Republican congressman George Santos has temporarily withdrawn from two House committees amid spiraling scandals. Santos was appointed to two House committees by Republican party leaders despite the scandals.
The New York Republican has faced mass calls for his resignation over false statements, including his largely made-up résumé. Calls for resignation have also come from investigations of his bizarre past behavior and current campaign finance filings.
Santos told fellow Republicans of his decision at a closed-door party meeting on Capitol Hill on Tuesday morning.
The Republican congressman reportedly told fellow Republicans he had become “a distraction”.
Earlier this month, House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy appointed Santos to the committees on small business and science, space, and technology.
The speaker did so despite confirming that a member of staff for Santos pretended to be McCarthy’s chief of staff while seeking campaign donations.
In the election last year, Santos labeled himself as “the full embodiment of the American dream” – an openly gay child of Brazilian immigrants who rose to the upper echelons of Wall Street before entering the world of politics.
But following his election in the November midterms, Santos’ life story began to unravel after various U.S. news outlets uncovered a series of falsehoods.
He is now under local, state, federal and international investigations over the use of a stolen checkbook.
Santos faces a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice over his campaign finances. His filings prompted questions about the source of his personal wealth, having a potential link with a Russian autocrat coming into focus.
Republicans in Santos’s district and other New York Republicans have been joined by New York and national Democrats in calling for Santos to quit. Polling in the third district shows nearly 80 percent of voters now think he should do so.
But it means the Republicans would have to sign up for a special election, something they fear due to having such a slim majority already in the House.