New York Democratic Reps. Dan Goldman and Ritchie Torres on Sunday called on House GOP leaders to disclose what they know about the extent of newly-elected Rep. George Santos’ (RN.Y.) lies, including his background. school and professional.
In a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.); Rep. Elise Stefanik (RN.Y.), President of the House Republican Conference; and Dan Conston, who heads the Congressional Leadership Fund PAC, the two Democrats demanded that they “proactively and candidly cooperate” with current and future investigations into Santos.
“It’s one thing for a candidate like Mr. Santos to trick voters into supporting him based on a web of lies,” the lawmakers wrote. “But it’s quite another thing if the highest levels of Republican leadership knew about Mr. Santos’ lies during the campaign and chose to be complicit.”
Santos admitted after his election victory in November that he lied about his background. Goldman and Torres cited reports from The New York Times and New York Post that some top GOP aides were alerted to Santos’ fabrications before he was elected.
The Times said a “vulnerability study” of the Santos campaign revealed lies about his academic record, his involvement in a business that was part of a Ponzi scheme and multiple expulsions, the Times reported. Several campaign staff resigned after the study results.
According to the report, a senior Stefanik official helped Santos find new consultants in early 2022. A GOP donor also reportedly raised concerns about Santos to Stefanik associates. Stefanik, one of Santos’ top supporters during the race, had no comment.
“In order for the Ethics Committee to conduct a thorough investigation and for Congress to ensure that its members follow the law, it is imperative that Ms. Stefanik shares with the Ethics Committee and the public everything that she and her principal collaborator knew about Mr. Santos’ web of deception,” Goldman and Torres wrote in their letter.
Conston, who is close to McCarthy, also reportedly asked lawmakers and staff about Santos, the Times reported.
The New York Post reported that senior House GOP officials were aware of Santos’ lies and that the topic had become “a running joke.”
Goldman and Torres implored McCarthy “to be transparent about your knowledge of Mr. Santos’ network of lies. The American people deserve nothing less than the complete truth.
As a growing number of Republicans called on Santos to step down, McCarthy resisted. Santos supported his candidacy for the speaker.
Last month, Santos described his many lies as an embellishment to his record. He said he would resign only if the 142,000 people who voted for him called on him to step down.
Goldman and Torres filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee, alleging that Santos violated federal ethics laws. The two New York Democrats on Thursday introduced the SANTOS Act, which threatens to punish congressional candidates who knowingly lie on their resumes with jail time and fines.
Another complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission last week claims Santos used his 2022 campaign funds to pay for personal expenses, among other things.
The Huffington Gt