Poor Kevin and Elise. They thought that they might get just one weekend, at least, where there wasn’t a crisis having to do with their former golden boy, George Santos. Alas, that is not the case. Things are as bad as ever.
In fact, things have gotten worse. Former journalist Derek Myers came forth last week with an audio tape depicting the chaos in George Santos’ congressional office. Talking Points Memo published a lengthy article describing how Myers was hired and then he was maybe hired and then the offer was rescinded and he was shown the door.
Now, Myers reveals for the first time that sexual harassment was involved, along with the shoddy employment gambit. Here’s the letter he sent to the ethics committee.
Two schools of thought here: either Myers withheld this information, to see if he got his job back and in the event that he didn’t he was going to use it to ruin Santos, OR, Myers is miffed he didn’t get the job and he made this up. Now, logically, Santos is going to claim the latter, as people do in sexual harassment cases. But the story could go either way, 50/50.
My initial thought on this is that Matt Schlapp and George Santos should hook up. What do you think? Then they could stop bugging the young staffers. Although, that may be a lot of the high, is doing the power trip.
Now here’s another thought: Did Kevin McCarthy already know about this and that is why he took Santos off his committees? No idea, just speculating. But it is intriguing that we now have sexual harassment taking place in the halls of congress, not that that is completely original, but it used to be a bit more discreet than this. Here are excerpts from the Talking Points Memo article published February 2.
Along with talking about his own experience, Myers described the climate in Santos’ office. In his telling, it was an unorthodox setup with young staffers doing much of the work as they struggle to make new hires, a claim Santos’ team has disputed.
One twentysomething former Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) staffer, Rafaello Carone, “does all the legislation,” Myers said, directing Santos on how to vote.
Lovett, the chief of staff, is bound by a “three-year NDA,” per Myers’ recollection and the recording. Myers said this is because Lovett “knows too much.”
“George knows that Charlie knows things about George,” Myers said. “That is why George made Charlie sign a three year non-disclosure agreement.”
Lovett rejected that claim.
“The congressman said that in a lighthearted joking kind of manner, neither I nor anyone on staff is on a non-disclosure contract or agreement,” Lovett told TPM.
Myers suggested that the Monday decision not to give him a job was partly due to a conversation that Santos held the same day with Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy.
“Basically the speaker told him, look, you’ve gotta be more like a statesman,” Myers recalled.
During that conversation, Myers said McCarthy stripped Santos of his committee posts. That contradicts the narrative from Santos, who has suggested he made the choice to step aside without pressure from Republican leadership.
“He feels terrible about lying, he feels terrible that he got caught,” Myers said of Santos.
Amid all this, Myers still wanted to stay.
On Thursday, Myers returned to Santos’ office to ask for his job back one more time. He was rebuffed, he said, only holding a conversation with Burra before departing.
Even as he got the axe, Meyers left two parting gifts for Santos.
One was the tie that Santos complimented as he began to rescind the job offer.
The other, Myers told TPM, was a coffee mug that he bought Thursday morning from the Spy Museum gift store.
“Deny Everything,” the mug reads.
Regardless of what actually happened, and there’s no question in my mind that it was shoddy, the sexual harassment allegation will be played up as a lie made in retaliation for not getting the job. That said, the issues surrounding the job and putting Myers to work as a “volunteer” when his paperwork to be paid was supposedly being processed is pretty tacky business. If it did take place, then it needs to be redressed. Normal jobs don’t work in as shoddy a fashion as that and jobs in congressional offices absolutely should not work on that level.
All of this being said, I don’t know if Santos will lose his seat. I think they may have to find body parts in his freezer for that to happen. Maybe that’s where we’re going next.