It is becoming clear that Rep. George Santos (R-NY) lied about his background and experience to get himself elected to the House, and now officials from his state, New York, are pressuring the House to punish him for it.
Nassau County Republican Chairman Joseph Cairo and other officials, including freshman Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY), have called for Santos to step down because of his "deceit, lies and fabrication" concerning his resume.
“He has no place in the Nassau County Republican Committee, nor should he serve in public service nor as an elected official. He’s not welcome here at Republican headquarters for meetings or at any of our events,” Cairo said. “As I said, he’s disgraced the House of Representatives and we do not consider him one of our congresspeople.”
D’Esposito said his “many hurtful lies and mistruths surrounding his history have irreparably broken the trust of the residents he is sworn to serve.” Chairman of the New York GOP Rep. Nick Langworthy (NY) agreed with calls for Santos’s resignation and said the congressman “cannot be an effective representative,” arguing that “it would be in the best interest of taxpayers to have new leadership.”
While running for Congress, Santos lied about where he went to high school, graduated from college, his employment history, and his religious upbringing, according to discrepancies found by the New York Times.
According to the New York Intelligencer, no records could be found that Santos attended Horace Mann School, Baruch College, or New York University, as he had claimed. In fact, Santos later admitted he got his GED and never graduated from any college.
He claimed on his campaign bio to have worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, but both companies denied that he ever worked for them. He also claims to have had a company that found buyers for people's luxury toys (boats, cars) when they didn't want them anymore, but the paperwork on that is fuzzy at best.
Somehow, Santos was able to funnel millions of dollars into his campaign, but no one really knows how or where the money actually came from. He even lent himself $700,000.
The Nassau County prosecutor, a Republican, is now investigating Santos, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York is looking into his finances.
After all of his lies came to light, Santos was forced to come clean and admit he made up a lot of things to make himself sound better as a candidate.
But unlike most people who are caught in deception of that level, Santos has refused to resign from his position, claiming that the people of his district elected him. Never mind that it was under egregiously false pretenses.
His refusal to step down has put GOP House leadership between a rock and a hard place. If they force him to step down, their razor-thin majority gets even slimmer. But they don't really want to support this blatant liar, either.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has taken a middle position on the matter, saying that the investigations should be allowed to play out while assuring the public that Santos will not be placed in leadership or any important committees for the time being.
“The voters elected him to serve," McCarthy said. "If there is a concern, he has to go through the Ethics [Committee], let him move through that.”