Santos Confession Doesn’t Quiet Calls for Resignation | National News

Admitted fabulist George Santos hasn’t even been sworn in yet as a new member of Congress from Long Island. But the calls for the Republican’s resignation are mounting after Santos confessed Monday to lying about virtually every area of his life, including his work history, his family religious background and his schooling.

“George Santos should resign as Congressman-elect. If he refuses, Congress should expel him. He should also be investigated by authorities,” tweeted Rep. Joaquin Castro, Texas Democrat. “Just about every aspect of his life appears to be a lie. We’ve seen people fudge their resume but this is total fabrication.”

Incoming Rep. Daniel Goldman, New York Democrat who was lead counsel for the prosecution in former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, called Santos a “total fraud” who “must resign.” Rep. Ted Lieu, California Democrat, bemoaned Santos’ “whopping lies” and said that if Santos does not resign, the incoming GOP House majority should expel him.

Democrat Robert Zimmerman, the man Santos beat to flip the Nassau County seat from blue to red, called for a do-over.

“George, if that’s even your real name, if you’re so convinced that #NY3 voters still trust you – resign & run against me again in a special election. Face the voters with your real past & answer questions about your criminal history. Let the voters decide,” Zimmerman tweeted.

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And the criticism was not limited to the Democratic side, as more details began to seep out about Santos’ lies. Scott Parkinson, vice president of government affairs for the conservative Club for Growth, said Santos should resign but be allowed to run again in a special election.

“Serving in Congress is a position of public trust,” Parkinson, a veteran of three GOP Senate offices, tweeted. “If a campaign is built on lies, you’ve broken the public’s trust in you & lost your credibility to serve.”

Particularly damaging was Santos’ erroneous campaign claim that his mother was Jewish and that his grandparents had escaped the Nazis during World War II.

In an interview with The New York Post published Monday, Santos insisted he only meant he was “Jew-ish” and was, in fact, Catholic.

That runs counter to earlier comments and behavior by Santos, who appeared at the Republican Jewish Coalition conference in Las Vegas last month and participated in the group’s menorah-lighting party on the first night of Hanukkah.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader who has been feverishly trying to cobble together enough votes to become the next speaker when the new House convenes Jan. 3, named Santos specifically in bragging last month that there would be the greatest number of Jewish Republicans in the House in 24 years.

The lies about being the grandson of Holocaust survivors hit a bipartisan, and very personal, nerve among Jews.

Matt Brooks, the CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said Santos would not be welcome at future RJC events.

“We are very disappointed in Congressman-elect Santos. He deceived us and misrepresented his heritage. In public comments and to us personally he previously claimed to be Jewish. He has begun his tenure in Congress on a very wrong note. He will not be welcome at any future RJC event.”

The Jewish Democratic Council of America, went a bit further.

“Lying about having Jewish heritage & being a descendant of Holocaust survivors is insulting to Jews everywhere,” the group said. “If these allegations are true, Rep.-Elect Santos must step down.”

Santos, in an interview he gave Monday to select news outlets, said he was ready to serve.

“I will be effective. I will be good,” Santos told the Post, even as he admitted to not having worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and that he had never graduated college, despite his campaign claim that he had graduated from Baruch College.

Santos’ sketchy history was exposed in a sweeping expose in The New York Times, which reported that not only was Santos’ campaign bio a series of lies but that his animal rescue charity, Friends of Pets United, is not listed as a charity with the IRS. Santos further said he lost four employees at the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in 2016, although the Times found no record of any victim of the mass shooting at the LGBTQ nightclub being employed by Santos.

Santos explained in a WABC-TV interview Monday that the four people – whom he did not identify by name – were in the process of being hired by his company.

The entire episode has Democrats fuming that their party had not exposed Santos’ lies ahead of the election for the swing district seat. And it raises questions about whether Santos’ behavior is the new political normal, as Trump loyalists continue to believe the “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump – himself the teller of many lies and exaggerations about his political and business lives.

“It should have been discovered by both (parties) and dealt with, and he should not have been the nominee or the winner,” says Matt Bennett, executive vice president for Third Way, a centrist Democratic group. But Bennett says he does not think Santos is the new template for truth in campaigning.

“There are super-crazy people in Congress, of course. But the notion that you can make up everything about yourself? That is a massive outlier, even in the era of Trump,” he adds.

There isn’t much Democrats can do to stop Santos from being sworn in as a member of Congress. McCarthy is in a bind, since Santos has committed to voting for McCarthy for speaker and the Republican leader can’t afford to lose any votes.

Santos may run into legal problems, however. The Times story raised questions about Santos’ company, Devolder. While Santos – who contributed $700,000 to his own campaign – reported a salary of $750,000 and more than $1 million in dividends from the company on his financial disclosure statement to the House, the Times found the company is something of a mystery, with little online or public presence.

Santos also listed no clients on his federal financial disclosure, odd for a company allegedly paying him such a high salary. If Santos lied on his financial disclosure forms, he could be prosecuted for it.

As for having Santos as a House colleague, “The Democrats at this point won’t be able to do anything about it,” Matthew Dowd, a political consultant who worked for the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2004, told MSNBC on Tuesday. But “my guess is, George Santos’ tenure in Congress is a short one,” he added.

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