Newly discovered congressman’s immigration records. George Santos’ mother appeared to dispute the embattled freshman Republican’s repeated claims that she was at the World Trade Center during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Records show that Fatima Devolder said she was in Brazil between 1999 and early 2003, so she was not in New York City when the attack occurred. CNN obtained the records, first reported by The Forward, from genealogy researcher Alex Calzareth, who received them pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request.
While in Brazil in 2003, Devold stated on a form that she had not been to the United States since leaving in 1999. DeWolde also filed in Brazil in 2001, just months before the Sept. 11 attacks, saying her green card had been stolen.
Representatives for Santos did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
Santos has repeatedly claimed that his mother was at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, an event he said led to her death from cancer.
In a December 17, 2021 radio interview, “Andy Husser’s Voice of Reason,” Santos said his mother, who was “in a cloud of ash” on September 11, didn’t apply for financial relief because she didn’t want to get help from first responders. Take the money there.
“She was in the south tower, she escaped. She got caught in the ash cloud. My mom was fighting cancer until she died,” Santos said.
Santos had previously claimed that his mother was a treasurer, though that description has since been removed from his website. She listed her job as a housekeeper or domestic assistant, according to records obtained by CNN.
Devolder also listed that her parents — Santos’ grandparents — were both born in Brazil, again undermining his claim that his maternal grandparents escaped the Holocaust.
Santos has refused to resign from Congress despite mounting legal troubles and calls for his resignation because of the many lies he lied about on his résumé.
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He already faces a federal investigation led by New York prosecutors looking into his finances. In a separate matter, CNN reported that law enforcement officials in Brazil will resume fraud charges against Santos. Prosecutors said they would seek an “official response” from Santos over the 2008 checkbook theft, after police suspended their investigation after failing to locate him for nearly a decade.
In an interview with the New York Post last month, Santos denied being charged with any crimes in Brazil, saying “I’m not a criminal here — not here or Brazil or any jurisdiction in the world. Absolutely not. That didn’t happen.”
According to documents obtained by CNN, Santos admitted in 2008 to stealing a man’s checkbook from his mother’s possession to buy clothes and shoes.