Liberal Democrat Brian Benjamin, who is the Lieutenant Governor in New York, has been arrested on federal charges involving bribery and other finance-related charges. Benjamin surrendered himself to authorities. The charges stem from his campaign for office.
Benjamin is expected to soon appear in federal court. ABC New reported, “The lieutenant governor, who had been considered a rising political star after he was chosen by Gov. Hochul, faces bribery and other charges.”
The FBI and federal prosecutors have been investigating whether Benjamin knowingly engaged in a campaign finance fraud scheme. Subpoenas were issued in connection with the investigation.
Benjamin is accused of handing out state money to contributors and their projects as part of the alleged fraud. In 2021, Benjamin failed to notify Hochul of a subpoena that he had received from a district attorney in relation to his aide, Gerry Migdol.
Benjamin has denied any wrongdoing.
More on this story via Daily Wire:
Benjamin was a state senator when the Manhattan district attorney subpoenaed him last year about an alleged scheme run by a former campaign aide.
The aide, Gerry Migdol, allegedly solicited phony campaign donations so that Benjamin — who was then running for New York City comptroller — could boost his fundraising numbers to receive public matching funds.
Migdol was arrested and charged with soliciting fake donations.
Benjamin had recently been out of the public eye until last Thursday when he appeared alongside Hochul for the first time since March 22. Benjamin maintained he had done nothing wrong regarding the subpoena, WSKG also noted on Monday:
Benjamin told reporters that he failed to tell Hochul of the subpoena when she was vetting him to be her lieutenant governor last August. He said he participated in a background check by the State Police, and thought that was enough.
“The State Police did a thorough investigation, I participated in that,” Benjamin said. “I followed the process as it was supposed to be followed.”
WSKG also reported that, according to The New York Times, “federal prosecutors are looking at whether Benjamin steered state grants for his district to financially benefit Migdol.”
Last week, Hochul told reporters that she supports her second-in-command despite the subpoena. Prior to his arrest, New York’s governor insisted he would stay on the ballot for this year’s gubernatorial election
“I have utmost confidence in my lieutenant governor,” Hochul told the media. “He is my running mate.”