News (USA)

George Santos’s lawyer was at the January 6 Capitol insurrection

George Santos (L) and Joseph Murry (far R) Photo: YouTube screenshot

Joseph Murray, the lawyer and constituent services representative of gay Rep. George Santos (R-NY), attended the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The insurrection sought to violently overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Footage of the insurrection shows Murray recording the attempted coup with his smartphone while wearing a blue jacket and a red cap. While alongside a mob supporting then-President Donald Trump, Murray “passed downed barricades, entered restricted grounds, and made [his] way up the steps of the north side of the building,” Mother Jones reported.

No footage shows Murray committing violence or entering the building. However, Queens Republican district leader Philip Grillo — who was arrested for trespassing — told the aforementioned publication that he saw Murray “leading the charge up [Capitol H]ill… urging us on, waving us to follow him.” On July 25, 2021, Murray spoke in defense of the over 1,000 January 6 arrestees at an event that described them as “political prisoners.”

Five people died during the insurrection and roughly 140 police officers were injured. The injuries included a broken spine, a lost eye, lost fingers, brain damage, and multiple cases of PTSD. While ransacking the Capitol, the rioters shattered windows while trying to access congressional chambers, smeared feces in the hallway, and stole computer equipment, potentially constituting a national security breach.

Murray deleted his Twitter account on January 8, 2021, after Trump was banned from the site for inciting violence. He repeated Trump’s baseless claims that an unprecedented conspiracy of voter fraud, which only occurred in the states he lost, “stole” the 2020 election from him. The Trump campaign’s claim was rejected over 60 times for lack of evidence in courts across the country, including in rulings by Trump-appointed judges. Santos has similarly claimed that his own failed 2020 election bid was “stolen” — he lost that race by over 46,000 votes.

While Santos’s office didn’t respond to media inquiries about Murray’s actions during the January 6 insurrection, Murray has appeared at Santos’s side since even before Santos’s successful 2022 election. More recently, Murray accompanied Santos in federal court on May 10 to face 13 financial criminal charges. Murray has often offered no comment when asked by the media about Santos’s many falsehoods.

In a 2019 candidate questionnaire during his campaign to become Queens district attorney, Murray wrote, “I am also deeply concerned with rooting out corruption in government and elsewhere. Voter fraud and other official misconduct must never be tolerated, and we must always protect the integrity of our elections from even the mere appearance of impropriety.”

He pledged, if elected, to investigate the Democratic primary for Queens District Attorney over the “appearance of impropriety” after absentee and provisional ballots changed the race’s outcome. He also opposed reforming the bail system for poor arrestees, spending taxpayer funds on social re-entry programs for former convicts, and closing the city’s notoriously violent Rikers Island jail. He pledged to prosecute sex workers and undocumented immigrants. However, he also opposed “qualified immunity” shielding cops from misconduct charges, coercive police interrogations, and pressuring suspects to agree to plea deals before trial.

Murray lost the election by 79,000 votes. No evidence of voter fraud in the 2019 Democratic primary for Queens District Attorney ever emerged.

Murray is a former New York police officer and boxer who was arrested for felony assault in 1993 for breaking a fellow officer’s jaw. Murray claimed self-defense and entered a nolo contendre plea which made no admission of wrongdoing. He accepted a 60-day suspension and one-year probation for his actions.

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