Representative George Santos, a Republican from New York, arrives for a vote at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023.
Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Republican Rep. George Santos on Monday denied groping a former prospective staffer in his congressional office, calling the sexual harassment allegation “comical.”
Santos, the embattled freshman lawmaker from New York who was already facing a litany of other scandals and investigations, said he “of course” denies the latest claim “100%,” CNN reported.
That denial came three days after Santos’ accuser, Derek Myers, said he had filed a report asking the U.S. Capitol Police and the House Ethics Committee to investigate the alleged sexual harassment incident.
Myers also asked the ethics panel to probe Santos’ office for allegedly assigning him staff duties and promising him future employment while he was an unpaid volunteer, according to a letter Myers posted on Twitter.
Neither NBC News nor CNBC have been able to independently corroborate the letter’s allegations.
A spokeswoman for Santos’ office referred CNBC to his lawyer, who declined to comment. The U.S. Capitol Police did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Myers’ alleged report.
Myers’ involvement with Santos first came to light last week, when Talking Points Memo published audio that Myers had surreptitiously recorded inside the congressman’s office. That piece, which described Myers as a local news reporter, noted that he had been charged last year with wiretapping after his outlet published leaked audio of courtroom testimony. The nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists has called for those charges to be dropped.
In his letter posted Friday, Myers said that Santos sexually harassed him on Jan. 25 while the two men were alone in the congressman’s personal office going over constituent mail. Santos had asked Myers earlier in the day if he had a profile on the LGBTQ dating app Grindr, sharing that “he, himself had a profile,” Myers’ letter said.
Myers wrote that Santos called him “buddy” and “insisted” that Myers sit next to him on a small sofa before “placing his hand on my left leg, near my knee and saying, ‘Hey buddy, we’re going to karaoke tonight. Would you like to go?'”
Myers declined, and Santos then “proceeded to take his hand and move it down my leg into my inner-thigh and proceeded to touch my groin,” according to the letter. “He then proceeded to look at me and say, ‘My husband is out of town tonight if you want to come over,'” and shared his address with Myers, the letter alleged.
Myers said he pushed Santos’ hand away and returned to discussing constituent mail, then left the office soon thereafter. Five days later, Myers wrote, he was beckoned to Santos’ office and “asked about my background as a journalist” and matters that “had already been disclosed” in prior discussions with hiring managers.
On Feb. 1, Myers’ job offer was rescinded, the letter alleged. He had been offered a staff position just over a week earlier on Jan. 23, and had begun performing various duties in the office the next day — but he was told that his title would be “volunteer” until his onboarding paperwork had been processed, according to the letter.
“Since this, I have learned that such volunteer work within a Congressional office without the correct procedures being followed is in violation of the House Ethics,” Myers wrote, asking for an investigation.
The office of the House Ethics Committee’s Republican majority did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Myers’ letter. A spokesperson for Rep. Susan Wild, the top-ranking Democrat on the panel, told NBC that the office had received the letter. The Office of Congressional Ethics, a nonpartisan entity that Myers had tagged in his Twitter thread, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.