Politicians and their ilk usually get away with their crimes. This time was different.
And a sudden arrest sent this Congressman’s office into chaos.
Americans have come to expect that crimes committed by the political elite will either never come to light, or, if they do, will never be prosecuted.
It is so prevalent, that a Trafalgar poll found 79.3% of Americans believe that the United States has a two-tiered justice system just last year.
Unfortunately for some in politics, they have to be made an example of so that the big players never have to see justice.
And that’s just what happened to this Congressman’s former aide.
Rep. George Santos’ (R-NY) former campaign aide was charged federally with wire fraud and identity fraud after allegedly impersonating House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) former chief of staff in order to solicit campaign funds.
Samuel Miele, 27, was accused in paperwork unsealed on Wednesday, charging that he solicited donations from over a dozen potential contributors using a false identity two years ago, when Santos was running for re-election in his New York seat.
He faces four counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, which has a mandatory minimum prison sentence of two years if convicted.
Miele, who was arraigned on Wednesday, pleaded not guilty and was freed on a $150,000 bond.
Miele pretended to be a “high-ranking aide to a member of the House with leadership responsibilities,” and he was behind “fraudulent fund-raising” emails and phone calls, according to the indictment.
Miele was paid a 15% commission on successful campaign contributions.
Although the records did not name Santos or the House aide Miele allegedly impersonated, the New York Times and Washington Post previously reported that Miele had purported to be Dan Meyer, McCarthy’s chief of staff when the speaker was Republican majority leader, in order to solicit donations.
In January, McCarthy verified the reports, informing reporters that Miele was fired once Santos heard of his behavior.
“My staff raised concerns when he had a staff member who impersonated my chief of staff, and that individual was let go when Mr. Santos found [out] about it,” McCarthy said.
According to the indictment, Miele sent emails from an account with McCarthy’s aide’s full name and reportedly signed the communications with the person’s official title.
Miele’s lawyer, Kevin H. Marino, told the Washington Examiner that his client is not guilty and that he “looks forward to complete vindication at trial as soon as possible.”
The same prosecutors who brought charges against Miele also filed charges against Santos, who was charged with 13 counts of money laundering, wire fraud, theft of public funds, and false statements by the Justice Department in May. He entered a not guilty plea and was released on $500,000 bond.
In June, a judge revealed the identities of the three co-signers on Santos’ bond, revealing that two of them were his father, Gercino Dos Santos, and his aunt, Elma Santos Preven.
Sure, Santos and Miele aren’t clean, they’re politicians. But the indignant acting of other politicians as if they haven’t done far worse is a joke.
Stay tuned to the DC Daily Journal.