A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
George Santos is under fire on multiple fronts after admitting to lying about his heritage, education, and professional pedigree.
The Republican district attorney for Nassau County said she will look into the “numerous fabrications and inconsistencies” on George Santos’s resume.
Santos has put the Republican Party in a tight spot. How do party leaders deal with his fabrications and misrepresentations without jeopardizing their slim majority or setting a precedent?
The answer so far, for the most part, is to say nothing and let Santos speak for himself — and perhaps to let voters decide Santos’s fate in 2024.
The truth is that the Republicans have such a slim incoming majority of 222 GOP seats to 212 Democratic seats, that one vacancy leaves Republicans little political incentive to come down hard on Santos, as they might need his vote to pass their priorities.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Tom Emmer (Minn.) and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) have not commented on the revelations surrounding Santos’s background and falsehoods.
But some Republicans are starting to speak out against Santos. Three Republican members-elect from New York have called for investigations and have voiced their unsupported.
Nick LaLota called for “a full investigation by the House Ethics Committee and, if necessary, law enforcement.” Anthony D’Esposito said Santos’s “fabrications regarding the Holocaust and his family’s history are particularly harmful. Mike Lawler said Wednesday that Santos “should cooperate fully” with federal, state, and local investigations “if he is to regain the trust of his constituents and colleagues.”
Santos also faced tough questioning in a Fox News interview on Tuesday with Tulsi Gabbard, former congresswoman, and presidential candidate.
In the interview, Santos claimed he is not a “fraud” when asked about the recent revelations that his claims about his career and identity are riddled with lies and fabricated records.
Gabbard asked Santos whether he has no shame.
Santos has one strong defender, the controversial far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who was removed from her committee assignments after an uproar about her social media posts spreading conspiracy theories and interacting with posts advocating violence against Democrats.
“I think we Republicans should give George Santos a chance and see how he legislates and votes, not treat him the same as the left is,” Greene tweeted on Tuesday.
Santos has no plans to step down.
Santos said he was “not a criminal” and said that the scandal would not prevent him from serving his two-year term in the House of Representatives.
“My sins here are embellishing my resume,” Santos said. “I’m sorry.”