Brian Benjamin, who was appointed Lt. Governor by Democrat New York Governor Kathy Hochul, has been arrested. According to the NY Daily News:
Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin surrendered to federal authorities to face campaign finance fraud charges related to his failed city comptroller campaign.
Benjamin is expected to appear in Manhattan federal court later Tuesday, the New York Times first reported.
Update from NY Post:
New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin was arrested Tuesday for an alleged campaign finance scam tied to his days in the state Senate, federal officials confirmed to The Post.
Benjamin, who Gov. Kathy Hochul chose in August as her No. 2 and running mate for this year’s election, faces a federal bribery conspiracy indictment in connection with a scheme to funnel phony campaign contributions to his unsuccessful bid for city comptroller, according to a Southern District of New York indictment.
Federal prosecutors announced a 12 p.m. press conference to discuss Benjamin’s indictment.
Benjamin — a Democratic former state senator who represented parts of Harlem —admitted to The Post last month that he was questioned by the feds amid a reported probe into whether he was involved in a scheme to illegally funnel contributions to his 2021 bid to serve as the city’s chief financial officer.
Update from Todd Starnes:
Benjamin reportedly failed to notify Gov. Kathy Hochul of a subpoena he received from the district attorney in relation to his aide, Gerry Migdol, when he was a state senator, WSKG reports.
Migdol allegedly solicited fake campaign donations so Benjamin, who was running for New York City comptroller at the time, could boast higher fundraising numbers to get public matching funds.
Benjamin denied any wrongdoing.
“The State Police did a thorough investigation, I participated in that,” he said. “I followed the process as it was supposed to be followed.”
Hochul expressed her support for Benjamin amid the investigation.
“I have utmost confidence in my lieutenant governor,” Hochul told reporters. “He is my running mate.”
This story will be updated as more information comes available.