Following a series of revelations about lies that Representative-elect George Santos has told on the campaign trail, New York prosecutors have opened an investigation into the Republican as party leaders in Congress remain silent about the scandal.
Nassau County prosecutors in Long Island, New York, opened the investigation on Wednesday. It’s unclear which claims are under scrutiny; some commentators and experts have speculated that there may have been illegal activity related to his $700,000 loan to his campaign, though reporters have been uncovering more and more lies in recent days.
“The numerous fabrications and inconsistencies associated with Congressman-Elect Santos are nothing short of stunning,” said Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly, a Republican, in a statement. “The residents of Nassau County and other parts of the third district must have an honest and accountable representative in Congress. No one is above the law and if a crime was committed in this county, we will prosecute it.”
Santos has been facing increasing calls to resign after he admitted in an interview earlier this week to numerous lies uncovered by New York Times journalists — including fabrications about his college degree, work history and having a Jewish background.
“George Santos should resign as Congressman-elect. If he refuses, Congress should expel him,” wrote Rep. Joaquin Castro on Twitter. “George Santos represents more than an individual case for American democracy. If he’s allowed to serve there will be more who seek office up and down the ballot who will believe that they can completely fabricate credentials, personal features and accomplishments to win office.”
Santos has downplayed the lies in interviews, claiming that he had simply “embellished” his resume, that lies about working directly for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup were a “poor choice of words,” and that “a lot of people overstate in their resumes or twist a little bit.” Never did he appear to fully acknowledge that he had been misleading his future constituents on fundamental facts about himself for months, if not years, to get elected.
On Wednesday, CNN uncovered yet more lies that Santos has told over his two congressional campaigns.
According to CNN’s investigation, Santos never attended elite New York private school Horace Mann, as he has claimed multiple times. He also never attended a prominent private equity conference in which he claimed to have gone on stage and criticized Goldman Sachs about its renewable energy investments.
Further, Santos appears to have fabricated a story about his family name — a name under which he ran a GoFundMe. In February, Santos told Fox News that his grandparents formerly held the Jewish last name Zabrovsky, but there is no record that this is true. He appeared to have used the pseudonym Anthony Zabrovsky to run a GoFundMe, now taken down, to raise money for his pet charity — the details of which he has also seemingly lied about.
Though Santos has come under fire from some isolated Republican sources, he has yet to face any sort of repudiation from prominent Republicans. In fact, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) came to his defense on Twitter this week, complaining that Santos is facing calls to resign even though he has admitted to the lies, which does not appear to be fully true.
Meanwhile, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California), who is in the midst of a tense bid to become House Speaker, has maintained silence on the issue; some commentators have said that he is likely remaining mum because he “needs all the support he can get,” with a narrow four-seat majority for Republicans in the House and, potentially, enough Republican votes against him to block his speakership.
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