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CBS: Rep. George Santos pleads not guilty to 13 federal charges including using campaign donations for personal expenses, including designer clothes and cash

"Mr. Santos' breathtaking scope of lies has left his constituents -- and all New Yorkers -- gasping for air and calling for accountability. Now that the Eastern District of New York has appropriately indicted him, Mr. Santos should resign. It's been clear for a long time that the voters have been defrauded, and Mr. Santos' seat in Congress is tantamount to an ill gotten gain: he should not be allowed to profit from the fruits of his deception. Voters deserve a representative who doesn't lie and deceive their way into power, and unfortunately they have waited too long for Mr. Santos to do the right thing and resign," Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY said.

RawStory+: As First Republic Bank faltered, five members of Congress dumped their personal stock investments

While there’s no evidence that the lawmakers used information they obtained through their public service to inform their First Republic stock trades, such stock sales “can erode the public’s faith and confidence in Congress,” said Aaron Scherb, senior director of legislative affairs for Common Cause, a nonpartisan government watchdog organization. “The perception of corruption can be just as damaging as actual corruption in many cases,” said Scherb, noting that a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers have introduced bills that would ban members of Congress and their immediate family members from trading individual stocks at all.

Roll Call: Despite fears agency could be crippled, House fills ethics posts

Despite his initial concerns, Aaron Scherb, Common Cause’s senior director of legislative affairs, said that with Jeffries' quick appointments, OCE would “now be back up at full speed for the 118th Congress.”

Roll Call: McCarthy names GOP members to House Ethics Committee

“The appointment of Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) to the House Ethics Committee is especially revealing,” said Aaron Scherb, a senior director of legislative affairs at Common Cause, in an email to CQ Roll Call. “When the committee is investigating Rep. George Santos’ numerous lies, fabrications, and significant ethical lapses, a reasonable observer could call into question the ability of Rep. Garbarino to be an objective investigator.” 

CBS News: George Santos' backers include a migrant smuggler, a big Trump donor and the cousin of a sanctioned Russian oligarch

"This member of Congress has flaunted campaign finance laws," Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause/New York said. "There is no respect for the rules or the voters." According to Lerner, the personal financial disclosures made by candidates are critical for voters to have at their disposal prior to casting their vote. She says  "porous" campaign finance laws and lack of enforcement from the FEC have allowed this particular situation to devolve.

Roll Call: Democrats ask ethics panel to probe Santos’ financial disclosures

“House Republicans’ proposal will handcuff the nonpartisan ethics office, making it more difficult to ensure there are consequences for breaking the rules,” said Aaron Scherb, senior director of legislative affairs at Common Cause, in a news release Monday evening after the House GOP approved its rules package. “As their first legislative act, Congressional Republicans have decided to significantly weaken the independent ethics office. Their actions are a complete failure of leadership.”

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