Many are calling on New York Republican Rep. George Santos to resign after The New York Times revealed that much of his life story was fabricated. However, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy isn’t among them.
According to The Hill, McCarthy told reporters on Wednesday that Santos “will continue to serve” despite the controversy.
McCarthy notes that “a lot of other people” in Washington have lied
“I try to stick by the Constitution,” he said, adding, “The voters elected him to serve. If there is a concern, and he has to go through the Ethics, let him move through that.”
When asked about Santos having lied about his biography, McCarthy pointed out that the congressman is far from unique, saying, “So did a lot of people here in the Senate and others.”
“It’s the voters who made that decision. He has to answer to the voters and the voters to make another decision in two years,” McCarthy said. “He is going to have to build the trust here and he’s going to have the opportunity to try to do that.”
The Times reported earlier this month that Santos has been accused by authorities in Brazil of using a stolen checkbook to fraudulently spend $700.
Innocent until proven guilty
What’s more, Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly told Newsday in December that her office will be looking into Santos.
Still, The Hill noted that McCarthy remains unconvinced, remarking, “What are the charges against him? In America today, you’re innocent till proven guilty.”
“So just because somebody doesn’t like the press you have, it’s not me that can oversay what the voters say the voters say,” McCarthy insisted.
“If there is something that rises to the occasion that he did something wrong, then we’ll deal with that at that time,” the House speaker declared.
Santos: “I will NOT resign!”
McCarthy’s position regarding Santos stands in sharp contrast with that taken by fellow Republican Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman.
Blakeman told Fox News this week that Santos’ presence is “a stain upon the House of Representatives,” adding that the lawmaker is someone “I can’t trust.”
For his part, Santos made clear in a tweet on Wednesday that despite urgings from critics, he has no intention of stepping down.
I was elected to serve the people of #NY03 not the party & politicians, I remain committed to doing that and regret to hear that local officials refuse to work with my office to deliver results to keep our community safe and lower the cost of living.
I will NOT resign!
— George Santos (@Santos4Congress) January 11, 2023