Republican Rep.-elect George Santos is facing mounting condemnation from House Democrats, some of whom are calling for him to step down, and even from some corners of the Republican Party, with at least one incoming Republican calling for him to face Ethical investigation. House Republican leadership, however, has remained silent on revelations that the New York Republican lied about parts of his biography.
Santos admitted to falsifying parts of his resume — including his past employment history and education — and apologized but said he intends to serve in Congress.
Democratic representative. Joaquin Castro of Texas and Ted Liu of California, among others, have called on Santos — after the congressman-elect admitted in an interview to “beautify” his résumé — to resign and if he refuses, the House will fire him.
Castro called for an investigation of Santos, arguing that if the New York Republican was allowed to serve in Congress after lying on his resume, “there will be more people seeking office up and down the ballot and they will believe them.” Credentials, personal characteristics and achievements can be completely faked to win the office.”
Former U.S. Attorney Democratic-elect Dan Goldman of New York called Santos “a total liar.” He criticized House Republicans, saying, “Congress also has an obligation to hold George Santos accountable, but unfortunately, we cannot trust House Republicans to launch an investigation in the House Ethics Committee.”
At least one incoming Republican conference member has called on Santos to be reviewed by the House Ethics Committee — an investigative panel split evenly between Republicans and Democrats but with limited options for exerting influence.
“As a Navy member who is committed to restoring the accountability and integrity of our government, I believe the House Ethics Committee needs to conduct a full investigation and, if necessary, enforcement,” Republican Representative Nick LaLota said. said in a statement. It marks the harshest rebuke yet from a Republican entering or serving Congress.
“New Yorkers deserve the truth, and House Republicans deserve the opportunity to govern without this distraction,” Lalotta added.
Another incoming Republican lawmaker from New York, Representative-elect Anthony D’Esposito, condemned Santos’ false statements and called on him to “take an honest path,” though he did not call for an investigation.
“Neighbors on Long Island are deeply hurt and rightfully offended by the lies and misrepresentations of Congressman-elect George Santos,” he said in a statement. The ‘confession’ took a necessary first step, but he must continue on the path of honesty.”
House Republican leaders are unlikely to reject Santos, who is due to be sworn in next Tuesday alongside other new members of Congress. According to the Constitution, the House of Representatives has the power to expel any member with a two-thirds vote, but doing so is extremely rare. Only five members of the House of Representatives have been expelled in American history.
Aside from a referral to the House Ethics Committee, other possible options for dealing with Santos include giving him no committee assignments, which would be up to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
In the past, the California Republican has shown no willingness to punish his members for bad behavior — especially when it comes to their behavior before they became members of Congress. McCarthy also declined to comment while members were under investigation, saying he would let the investigation wrap up before deciding how to proceed.
“This will not prevent me from being an active member of the United States Congress in the 118th session,” Santos told City & State in an interview released Monday night.
McCarthy’s office and the National Republican Congressional Committee did not respond to CNN’s request for comment late Monday.
Republican condemnation, however, came from outside Congress.
Joseph G. Cairo, Jr., chairman of the Nassau County Republican Committee, said Tuesday that Santos “has broken the public trust” and that “there is a lot of work to be done to regain voters’ trust.” .
“I am deeply disappointed in Mr. Santos, and I expected more than a package apology,” Cairo said in a statement. “The harm his lies have done to many has been profound, especially those affected by the Holocaust.”
CNN’s KFile reported that Santos’ claim that his grandparents “survived the Holocaust” were Ukrainian Jewish refugees from Belgium who had changed their surnames contradicted family trees compiled by genealogy websites, records of Jewish refugees, and reports of Jewish refugees. Sources such as interviews with multiple genealogists are contradictory.
“I never claimed to be Jewish,” Santos told the New York Post on Monday. “I’m Catholic. I say I’m ‘Jewish’ because I know my mother’s family has a Jewish background.”
But Santos described himself as a “proud American Jew” in a document shared with Jewish groups during the campaign that was first reported by Forward and confirmed by CNN.
When asked about the statement by the former Rep. Tuesday night. Tulsi Gabbard, guest host of Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” said Santos: “My heritage is Jewish. I’ve always considered myself Jewish. I was raised a devout Catholic.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition said Tuesday that the incoming congressman “distorted his legacy” and “would not be welcome at any future RJC events.”
“We are deeply disappointed by the election of Congressman Santos,” RJC CEO Matt Brooks said in a statement. “He lied to us and misrepresented his legacy. He previously claimed to be Jewish, both in public commentary and before us personally. He started his term in Congress in a very wrong way.”
Santos admitted Monday that he did not graduate from any college or university, despite previously claiming he has degrees from Baruch College and New York University.
He also admitted that he never worked directly for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs Financial, as he previously claimed, but claimed that he did work for them through his firm, telling the New York Post that it was a “bad wording.” Said he worked for them.
The New York Times first revealed last week that Santos’ biography appears to be partially fictional. CNN confirmed details of the report, including his college education and work history.