New York Republican Rep. George Santos has been under intense scrutiny since late last year when The New York Times exposé revealed that many details about his career and personal life were fabricated.
While the freshman lawmaker has thus far been adamant about staying in office, Santos recently said that he will be withdrawing from his committee assignments.
Santos cites “ongoing attention” on personal life and campaign finances
According to the New York Post, Santos announced in a statement on Tuesday he will “temporarily recuse” himself from the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and Small Business Committee.
The congressman explained that this move is due to the “ongoing attention surrounding both my personal and campaign financial investigations.”
“This was a decision that I take very seriously. The business of the 118th Congress must continue without media fanfare,” Santos continued.
“The business of the 118th Congress must continue without media fanfare,” he insisted, adding, “It is important that I primarily focus on serving the constituents of New York’s third congressional district and providing federal level representation without distraction.”
House speaker says he has spoken with Santos
In his statement, Santos went on to thank House Speaker Kevin McCarthy “for meeting with me to discuss the matter and allowing me to take time to properly clear my name” prior to resuming his committee duties.
Journalist Olivia Beavers covers congress for Politico, and according to her, McCarthy told reporters earlier this week that Santos had spoken to him about stepping away from committee assignments.
Asked Speaker McCarthy about Santos’ decision.
He told reporters: “I met with George Santos yesterday and I think it was an appropriate decision that until he could clear everything up. He’s off committees right now….We had a discussion and he asked me if he could do that.…”
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) January 31, 2023
“I met with George Santos yesterday and I think it was an appropriate decision that until he could clear everything up, he’s off committees right now … We had a discussion and he asked me if he could do that,” Beavers quoted McCarthy as saying.
Santos’ troubles are mounting
Santos faces trouble on several fronts, including from Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly, who told Newsday in December that her office will be conducting an investigation of Santos.
Further, Fox News reported last week that video footage emerged which apparently shows Santos dressed in drag at a Brazilian festival.
What’s more, the Times reported in January that Santos has been accused by Brazilian authorities of using a stolen checkbook in 2008 to fraudulently spend $700.