Fetterman said he slyly asked Santos — who was ousted from Congress amid his own legal issues — to record an encouraging message for "Bobby from New Jersey"
“Hey, Bobby! I don’t think I need to tell you, but these people that want to make you get in trouble and want to kick you out and make you run away, you make them put up or shut up!” Santos says in the video, adding: “You stand your ground, sir, and don’t get bogged down by all the haters out there. Stay strong. Merry Christmas!”
Fetterman's team told Business Insider they paid $343.20 for the Cameo. A spokesperson added that the video was delivered to Fetterman's team 16 minutes after it was requested.
I thought my ethically-challenged colleague @BobMenendezNJ could use some encouragement given his substantial legal problems.
So, I approached a seasoned expert on the matter to give ‘Bobby from Jersey’ some advice. pic.twitter.com/y8iX55EyNi
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) December 4, 2023
Fetterman has called on Menendez, a fellow Democrat, to resign after the New Jersey senator and his wife, Nadine, were indicted in September following a federal investigation into their business dealings with three men linked to Egypt's government.
The 39-page indictment alleges that Menendez, 69, and his wife, 56, accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bribes in exchange for protecting the three businessmen — Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes — and to "benefit" the government of Egypt. Some of those bribes, prosecutors say, came in the form of envelopes stuffed with cash.
"Over $480,000 in cash — much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothing, closets, and a safe — was discovered in the home, along with over $70,000 in Nadine Menendez's safe deposit box," the indictment alleges. Menendez, who was chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the time of the indictment, has since told reporters the cash came from his "personal savings."
Shortly after the indictment was unveiled, Fetterman said he would return a $5,000 campaign donation he received from Menendez and that he would do so "in envelopes stuffed with $100 bills."
Asking Santos, who is mired in his own legal issues, to film the video about Menendez was not random.
Just last week, Santos became only the sixth House member in history to be expelled after the House Ethics Committee released a report in which it "unanimously concluded" that the New York Republican could not be trusted and alleged that he committed fraud.
The committee's explosive report was released in the wake of a 23-count federal indictment against Santos earlier this year, which handed down a variety of theft and fraud charges involving his congressional campaign. (Santos pleaded not guilty to each of the criminal charges and has not yet gone to trial.)
Shortly after Santos' expulsion, he vowed to exact revenge on those who had voted in favor of ousting him. One person he singled out in an X post hours later was Democratic Rep. Rob Menendez — Sen. Bob Menendez's son — saying he should be investigated in connection with the allegations against his father.
Santos joined the video-sharing platform Cameo, which allows users to pay for a videotaped message, days after he was expelled, and he has already filmed a number of videos in which he pokes fun at the allegations against himself.
The Cameo page describes Santos as "Former congressional 'Icon'! 💅🏼" and "The Expelled member of Congress from New York City."
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