Republican Representative George Santos has become a household name for everything he “hasn’t” done.
Though he has recently been granted a seat in two Congressional committees; the House Small Business Committee and the Space, Science and Technology Committee; Rep. Santos has been faced with calls for his resignation by the GOP due to numerous scandals and suspicion of lying.
When Santos won his seat in 2022, he made history as the first openly LGBTQ non-incumbent Republican elected to Congress, but what followed was a catalyst that led to his numerous supposed lies and wrongdoings to be revealed.
Barely a month after his win, The New York Times published a report detailing a number of claims made by Rep. Santos that appeared to be false. Following, Santos’s lawyer released a statement wherein he disregarded the report and said it was a defamation attempt by “enemies” at the Times.
The Times report revealed numerous false claims from the Republican’s resume, such as previous employment, family history and assets, educational background, and philanthropic endeavors.
According to the Wall Street giants, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, there is no record of Santos as an employee, as he claimed. He did not graduate from Baruch College in 2010, as he claimed. Friends of Pets United, Santos’s animal rescue group, is not registered with the IRS as a tax-exempt organization, as he claimed.
Narratives of his maternal grandparents fleeing Jewish persecution in Europe during WWII, or his former employees whom he had lost in the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, or a family fortune built upon real estate investments were all false.
In response to this bombshell report, Santos took part in multiple New York media interviews. He approached it with a mix between admitting his wrongdoings but also making excuses, chalking up the “misrepresentations” to a “poor choice of words.” Regarding his Jewish heritage, Santos clarified that he was Catholic, despite his previous identification as a “proud American Jew.”
As the new year started, more and more scandalous information involving the Republican representative was brought to light.
Brazilian authorities chose to revive a suspended 2008 case against Santos regarding a stolen checkbook; though at the time he admitted to the charges, court proceedings were halted in 2011 due to an inability to locate him. The Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission claiming the Santos campaign used funds to pay for personal expenses and not documenting the origin of a $705,000 loan.
On Jan. 11, Republican officials and GOP leaders in Nassau County called for Santos to resign, which was then backed by multiple members of Congress. In a tweet, Santos wrote, “I was elected to serve the people of #NY03 not the party & politicians…I will NOT resign!”
Shreyasi Rana, a UT international studies major from Nepal said, “it is disappointing to see government officials to be in such positions after being held accountable for repeated showing of their unworthiness in this day and age.”
A few days later on Jan. 18, immigration records invalidated his claim that his mother was in the South tower of the World Trade Center and survived the 9/11 terrorist attack. The same day, disabled veteran Richard Osthoff, accused the politician of stealing funds from a GoFundMe to provide surgery to his service dog.
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has stated that if Santos is found to have broken the law he will be removed from office, which would cause issues for the Speaker who holds only a 5-seat majority. According to the US Senate website, only 15 members have ever been expelled from Congress and 14 are from the Civil War.
On Jan. 31, Santos told House Republicans in a private meeting that he would like to step down from his two Congressional committee positions until “issues are resolved.” The next day, Politico reported that the FBI is further investigating accusations of the GoFundMe scheme by Santos against Osthoff.
Regardless of a profound amount of disapproval from his Congressional colleagues and fellow party members, Rep. George Santos maintains that his decision to step down from Congressional committees was his own.
As of Feb. 2, Santos will continue to serve in the House of Representatives as more controversy arises and investigations continue.