Crom’s Crommentary: A Civil Society Requires Equal Treatment Under the Law

May 15, 2023

Live from Music Row, Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio for another edition of Crom’s Crommentary.


Michael, I have a very good friend who I have an enormous amount of respect for, and we were together last week and he made a comment. He said that what I said about George Santos, not me, I said that because he voted correctly on the debt ceiling, he should not be forced to resign from Congress.

Even though he is alleged to have done a bunch of other things, including admitting that he misrepresented his resume and his accomplishments to voters during the election that he shouldn’t resign. And my friend took exception to that saying that honesty is honesty and we can’t have dishonesty.

And my response was, you have to put honesty and dishonesty in context. If you’re dealing with politicians, and this isn’t a game, but it is game theory. And in game theory, the most important principle in game theory for there to be appropriate and honest competition is that everybody plays by the same set of rules.

My response was, as long as Democrats can do what they do and say what they say and be dishonest with the voters, George Santos should be playing by exactly those same set of rules. That doesn’t make it right, but it does make it even.

And in this case, if you’re playing in a basketball game and you’re dribbling the ball down across the court and the person guarding you kicks you in the groin right in front of the referee and you drop to your knees and the opponent steals the ball and lays it in and does that three times in a row, pretty soon you’re going to have to decide whether or not kicking your opponent in the groin is appropriate, because obviously, the referee thinks it is.

And while it may not be for that particular game that must be a legal a legal defensive strategy. What I did was I went and looked at what he has been indicted for. There are 13 counts, my goodness. So here’s what they are. The first five counts are about wire fraud.

This is an article in PBS NewsHour, which says in Santos’s case, these counts relate to allegations that he hoodwinked donors into contributing money by telling them their contributions would be used for campaign ads when he actually spent some money on himself, including buying designer clothes and making credit card payments.

Okay. Let’s assume for purposes of discussion that those allegations turn out to be true. Every member of Congress should have their campaign funds examined and if it turns out that they have done those same things, I believe that Ilhan Omar and Ocasio-Cortez would be found guilty of those same things.

Counts six through eight, unlawful monetary transactions over $10,000. This count contains the allegation that in 2022, Santos illegally transferred a $25,000 campaign donation from one donor and a $24,000 to another donor to an account that he controls.

That’s all it says here. So we don’t know anything else about that, whether or not that is money that he then spent, or whether or not it’s money that he then paid for his campaign. We don’t know that. so that’s ambiguous here.

Then count nine, theft of public money. They said that Santos embezzled US funds by falsely obtaining money set aside for unemployed people during the height of the pandemic, even though he had a job. That’s an allegation that we’ll have to see what the facts are and how much money we’re talking about, and whether or not other people who do that same thing are merely fined.

That’s an important part there. Numbers 10 and 11 are wire frauds regarding fraudulent applications for and receipt of unemployment benefits. These counts also refer to the alleged scheme to obtain money earmarked to help Americans for COVID, there were two checks for $564 each. That’s how big the checks were that they’re claiming is a crime.

This is the point I’m trying to make here. Show me the person, and I’ll find you the crime might be what’s going on here under this count. And then false statements, under this count, Santos is accused of lying on a 2020 House financial disclosure form which requires the legislature to give a complete account of their income and assets.

Maybe he missed something. And maybe it was small. We don’t know. And then count 13 was essentially the same as count 12. Now, I say that because this past week, the Supreme Court in two cases, overturned convictions that the federal government got against Governor Cuomo’s two cronies where they claimed that the Justice Department greatly overreached in their definition of certain crimes.

The courts ruled in favor of the defendants in both of those cases and in one case it said that the statute, and it was way too vague, implied that the public has a right to a person’s private, honest services whenever the person has clout. That’s not true. And then the final one was the second circuit, the right to control.

So the point I’m trying to make here is that the media is making George Santos out to be some terrible person that, whether or not he is or not, I have no idea, but the laws ought to be applied equally if they’re going to be applied and if we are going to live in a civil society.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this Crommentary:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Samuel Schroth.