NY's George Santos set to be sworn into Congress amid storm of controversy

NY’s George Santos set to be sworn into Congress amid storm of controversy

George Santos is set to be sworn into workplace on Tuesday afternoon together with different members of the 118th Congress, amid roiling controversy relating to a string of falsehoods and fabrications he informed about himself to propel his congressional marketing campaign.

Santos, who will characterize the third Congressional District masking components of Nassau County and Queens, faces the menace of a number of investigations. Over the vacation weekend, prosecutors in Brazil pledged to reopen a 2008 examine cashing fraud case involving Santos, The New York Occasions reported.

Some Republicans who make up New York’s congressional delegation have voiced issues in regards to the inconsistencies, although they’ve stopped brief of calling for Santos’ resignation. Others, like Rep. Elise Stefanik, the top of the Home Republican Convention who campaigned closely on Santos’ behalf, have remained silent, Gothamist reported.

The occasion narrowly retook the bulk within the Home and is set to maintain 222 seats within the physique, 4 votes greater than the 218 wanted to maintain the bulk.

Right here’s what you want to know.

What did Santos lie about?

Santos lied about his faith, the place he went to college, the place he labored, operating a nonprofit, and using 4 individuals who had been killed within the Pulse nightclub capturing, to identify just a few. Right here’s a listing. He’s made different doubtful claims which might be troublesome to verify or disprove — reminiscent of being mugged on the way in which to pay again hire, that he had a mind tumor, and that his mom handed away from most cancers associated to the 9/11 assaults.

How did nobody catch this, say, earlier than the election?

Truly, some folks did. Reporters on the native Lengthy Island weekly paper The North Shore Chief coated quite a bit of these irregularities a month forward of the election. The paper wrote that it wished to endorse a Republican however as a substitute picked his opponent Robert Zimmerman. It went on to name Santos “bizarre, unprincipled and sketchy” and dubbed him “Scam-tos.” However their reporting went largely unnoticed. Following all of the revelations about Santos, the publication ran one other op-ed titled “The Leader told you so.”

Christina Greer, an affiliate professor of political science at Fordham College, stated the scenario makes everybody look unhealthy.

“It’s embarrassing for the Republicans, but it’s also embarrassing for the Democrats. I think there should be questions about New York state Democratic leadership across the board,” Greer stated. “At what level or levels did this ball get dropped?”

In an interview with Jay Jacobs, the top of New York state’s Democratic Celebration, Jacobs defended the occasion’s dealing with of the congressional race, saying oppositional analysis had dug up some inconsistencies about Santos’ involvement within the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riots.

Zimmerman, who misplaced by 20,420 votes, stated the analysis had raised some issues about Santos’ biography, however wasn’t in a position to paint the total image that the Occasions had.

“Opposition researchers are not investigative journalists, they’re not private eyes,” he informed Gothamist. “A campaign can’t hire a genealogist and dispatch people to go to Brazil.”

Zimmerman stated his marketing campaign had a tough time convincing nationwide retailers that the race was aggressive and merited additional scrutiny.

“The only time the media really called us was about two openly gay candidates running,” he stated.

How has Santos responded when confronted about biographical inconsistencies?

Santos has granted a handful of interviews to Metropolis & State, The New York Submit, and Fox Information because the Dec. 19 Occasions investigation. In these interviews he admitted to sure inaccuracies and résumé gildings however remained defiant, accusing critics of nitpicking.

Who’s investigating?

Federal prosecutors are reportedly analyzing the case. So are the district attorneys in Queens and Nassau Counties. Authorities in Brazil had reportedly reopened the previous legal case in opposition to him. New York Lawyer Common Letitia James has promised to look into the scenario. There are issues about marketing campaign finance irregularities, the place he obtained a sudden windfall of hundreds of {dollars} in revenue, and the supply of a $700,000 mortgage he made to his congressional marketing campaign.

Can he simply report for work as traditional?

The Home has the facility to expel its personal members if it finds they have interaction in “disorderly behavior,” however that’s solely ever occurred 5 occasions in U.S. historical past.

To ensure that an expulsion to happen, two-thirds of the physique’s members would have to assist ousting Santos, however it’s laborious to think about Republicans would get behind this given their slender majority. Alternatively, the Home might censure or reprimand Santos, which registers members’ disappointment and frustration, however permits him to proceed serving in Congress. That course of would be spearheaded by the Home’s ethics committee — the one true bipartisan committee — however would seemingly drag out over months. The ethics committee additionally faces an unsure future as Republicans are poised to push for a slate of adjustments that might successfully intestine the workplace.

“The quickest outcome is he resigns as part of a plea bargain,” Rep. Ritchie Torres informed Gothamist. “Even if he’s arrested or indicted it does not immediately result in his expulsion from the institution. He could cling on. He could be calculating that it’s in his interest to wait for a plea bargain.”

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