WASHINGTON – Two top Long Island Republicans have called on the House Ethics Committee to investigate Congressman-elect George Santos, a day after the embattled politician admitted in several interviews that he lied about his educational background and has done his work experience.
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and incoming Rep. Nick LaLota (R-Bay Shore) each told Newsday that congressional investigators should look into Santos’ record, which has come under scrutiny after a New York Times investigation found several holes in his resume. . distributed on the campaign trail.
“I think he is entitled to a hearing [House] The Ethics Committee, and that they should do a full investigation to see if he violated any law or any ethical guidelines,” Blakeman said in an interview. “I think we should let this process unfold, which I think will happen quickly and run. ”
LaLota, who is part of a new class of lawmakers who will be sworn in with Santos on Dec. 3, told Newsday in a statement that he believes “there should be a full investigation by the House Ethics Committee and if necessary, Law enforcement is necessary.”
WHAT TO KNOW
- Two top Long Island Republicans called on the House Ethics Committee to investigate Congressman-elect George Santos a day after he admitted he lied about his educational background and work experience.
- Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and Congressman-elect Nick LaLota (R-Bay Shore) each told Newsday that congressional investigators should look into Santos’ record.
- Other Long Island GOP leaders have also been critical Santos, however, stopped short of calling for him to resign after he defended his actions in media interviews as “embellishing his resume.”
“New Yorkers deserve the truth and House Republicans deserve an opportunity to ignore this,” LaLota said.
Other Long Island GOP leaders continued to criticize Santos, but stopped short of calling for him to resign after he defended his actions in media interviews as “embellishing his resume.”
Nassau GOP Chairman Joseph Cairo said in a statement Tuesday that although Santos has “violated the public’s trust by making serious mistakes about his background,” he should still serve in Congress.
“He has a lot of work to do to restore the confidence of the voters and everyone he represents in Congress,” Cairo said.
Questions also persist about the source of Santos’ income through a private firm and the source of the $700,000 he loaned his campaign in his second bid for New York’s Third Congressional District.
Santos, 34, admitted in an interview with the New York Post published Monday that he never graduated from “any institution of higher learning” despite previously graduating from Baruch College and New York University.
Santos was forced to defend his background after a Times investigation published last week pointed to a number of discrepancies with the biography he portrayed on the campaign trail as a wealthy businessman whose family owned 13 properties. Public records show no record of his family owning property in the area, the Times said, but he has been ordered by the courts to pay $12,000 in unpaid rent for an apartment in Sunnyside, Queens.
Santos, who defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman in November, also admitted to the Post that he never worked directly for Citigroup or Goldman Sachs as he previously claimed on his defunct campaign website. .
“My sins adorn my resume here. I’m sorry,” Santos said on Monday.
Cairo and others have also criticized Santos’ earlier claims that his grandparents were Jews who fled to Brazil from Belgium. to survive the Holocaust.
North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jen DeSena said in a statement: “I am especially upset that he would make family history about the Holocaust. Our Jewish neighbors, as well as all our residents, deserve better. Now Mr. Santos. If he If he really wants to repair the damage done, he must be honest and responsible to the public.”
Santos, in an interview with Jewish News Syndicate on November 22, said that his maternal grandfather “escaped because of Stalin’s persuasion.in Ukraine, before fleeing Hitler’s rule, they found refuge and a wife in Belgium.” In a campaign video, he described his grandparents as Holocaust survivors.
A report last week by Jewish Insider, citing Brazil’s national identity database and other genealogical records, suggested that his grandparents were born in Brazil.
Santos told the Post on Monday: “I never claimed to be Jewish. I am Catholic. Since I learned that my mother’s family is Jewish, I said I am Jewish.
“Santos misled us and misrepresented his heritage,” Jewish Republican Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a statement. wrongly started his tenure. He will not. welcome to any future RJC event.”
Incoming Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-Island Park), a former NYPD detective, called on Santos to “follow a path of integrity.”
“Neighbors across Long Island are deeply hurt and rightly upset by the lies and mistakes made by Congressman-elect George Santos,” D’Esposito said. “His fabrications about the Holocaust and his family history are particularly damaging.”
Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-Bayport), a second-term member of the House who will become Long Island’s top caucus in January, “cannot comment at this time” because he is a member of a House ethics committee. His spokeswoman Kristen Cianci said.
GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy did not respond to requests for comment.
“If George Santos is indeed his real name, he should resign immediately, because of the fraud he has perpetrated on the voters of the Third Congressional District,” Zimmerman told Newsday on Tuesday.
Zimmerman added that Santos should “run against me in a special election and face the voters about his true past and answer questions about his criminal history. Let the voters decide based on the truth.”
New York Democrat Jay Jacobs, who also chairs the Nassau Democratic Party, continued to call for a full investigation of Santos’ finances.
Campaign finance records show Santos has loaned his campaign a total of $700,000. He reported receiving a $750,000 salary on his federal candidate’s financial disclosure form this year — a significant increase from the $5,000 compensation he reported in 2020. In this year’s filing, Santos reported that his income came from the Devolder Organization, a private company registered in The Florida he reported was between $1 million and $5 million. He previously stated on his campaign website that the firm is owned by his family and oversees $80 million of his assets, but that claim has since been removed from his website.
The company had an estimated value of $43,688, according to a July analysis by financial data firm Dun & Bradstreet, reviewed by The Washington Post. As a private company, Devolder is not required to release public financial reports, but Dun & Bradstreet used “modeling” and “data science” to determine the company’s value, according to the Post.
“I think his bigger problem, which he still hasn’t answered, is how was it possible for him to have information that he hasn’t yet given him to be able to borrow $700,000 of his own money from his campaign?” Jacob said. “I think that’s where his real problems lie. And we need to get to the bottom of this.”
Santos was asked about his experience in the financial sector in an interview Tuesday night on Fox News, ““We can have this discussion — it will come out of the heads of the American people.”