Controversial freshman lawmaker George Santos was sworn into the 118th Congress in a single day amid startling admissions he lied to voters within the run-up to a November victory.
The 34-year-old Republican now represents components of Queens and Lengthy Island, however for how lengthy stays the query prime of thoughts for many New Yorkers. It is unclear how the brand new class of Washington lawmakers will react, if in any respect, or whether or not Santos will maintain regular in his seat by way of the subsequent two years.
Santos has been dealing with calls to resign after admitting he lied about his family history, resume and education, all following a bombshell report from The New York Instances final month.
A rally was deliberate for Saturday exterior the district workplace of the latest member of congress. Organizers mentioned they’re calling for newly-elected Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy to launch a congressional ethics investigation.
Very like how he ran from reporters this previous week on the Capitol, Santos has been operating from mounting calls to resign over the previous couple of weeks.
He has denied that he’ll step apart, whilst heaps of alleged mistruths, partial or outright lies involving a variety of topics from his mom to training to job historical past, sexual orientation and now a pay-to-attend swearing-in, cloud what initially was lauded as an incredible victory for the brazenly homosexual Republican who flipped a Lengthy Island Home seat lengthy held by the alternative social gathering.
George Santos led reporters on chase by way of the Capital immediately selecting to disregard questions in regards to the political resume he admitted fabricating. Greg Cergol experiences.
He was seen as one of many GOP’s few shiny spots in what was in any other case an underwhelming midterm election. However as experiences started to emerge that he had lied about having Jewish ancestry, a profession at prime Wall Road corporations and a university diploma, Santos was a distraction to Republicans getting ready to take management of the Home.
Whereas some fellow Republicans have referred to as for ethics investigations or for Santos to resign, GOP Home leaders, together with McCarthy, have notably remained silent. Some lawmakers are involved that he’s ready to take workplace beneath a cloud of uncertainty.
“Santos represents, I believe, a grave national security risk,” mentioned Rep.-elect Pat Ryan, who represents New York’s nineteenth congressional district. “Every member of Congress gets a top secret security clearance. This is something I held as a combat veteran as an intelligence officer. He should not have access to that classified information.”
For his half, Santos apologized for his fabrications however downplayed them as “sins” over embellishing his resume, telling The New York Submit that “we do stupid things in life.”
Santos’ monetary disclosure types present that he accrued a fast fortune regardless of current monetary issues and that he spent giant quantities of marketing campaign funds on journey and inns.
Federal prosecutors in New York have began to look at Santos’ background and his monetary dealings. The New York lawyer common’s workplace mentioned it’s trying into the allegations surrounding Santos, whereas native district attorneys’ workplaces in Queens and Lengthy Island have additionally mentioned they’re reviewing whether or not he broke any legal guidelines.
The New York Instances uncovered data in Brazil that present Santos was the topic of a legal investigation there in 2008 over allegations that he used stolen checks to purchase gadgets at a clothes store within the metropolis of Niteroi, which is close to Rio de Janeiro. On the time, Santos would have been 19. The Instances quoted native prosecutors as saying the case was dormant as a result of Santos had by no means appeared in courtroom.
Santos has denied that he was being sought by authorities in South America.
However in a press release Tuesday, state prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro mentioned now that Santos’ location is understood they may petition to reopen the case.
Democrats in Congress are anticipated to pursue a number of avenues in opposition to Santos, together with a possible criticism with the Federal Election Fee and introducing a decision to expel him as soon as he’s a sitting member.
Till 2020, Santos had no property and an earnings of $55,000 from LinkBridge Traders, based on monetary disclosure statements filed with the clerk of the Home.
Two years later, in the same submitting, Santos reported earnings between $1 million and $5 million for every of 2022 and 2021 — all coming from the Devolder Group, of which he had whole curiosity. He described the entity as a “capital intro consulting company.”
Federal marketing campaign data present that he loaned his marketing campaign greater than $700,000.
Congressman-elect George Santos is full-steam forward with preps for his swearing in. Chris Glorioso experiences.
The North Shore Chief, an area newspaper on Lengthy Island, raised questions earlier than the election about Santos’ funds and marketing campaign spending, a report that drew little discover on the time. In announcing it was endorsing his opponent, the newspaper cited Santos’ habits and referred to as him “sketchy” and “most likely just a fabulist — a fake.”
However his statements about background, his monetary disclosures and marketing campaign spending didn’t appeal to widespread consideration till December, when The New York Times examined the narrative that Santos introduced to voters throughout his marketing campaign.
Since then, Santos has admitted mendacity about working for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, in addition to having earned a level in finance and economics from Baruch Faculty in New York.
Past his resume, Santos invented a life story that has additionally come beneath query, together with claims that his grandparents “fled Jewish persecution in Ukraine, settled in Belgium, and again fled persecution during WWII.”
Throughout his marketing campaign, he referred to himself as “a proud American Jew.”
He backtracked on that declare, saying he by no means meant to assert Jewish heritage, which could have raised his enchantment amongst his district’s important ranks of Jewish voters.
“I never claimed to be Jewish,” Santos informed the Submit. “I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish.’”