Santos Accused of Lying About Record

By Lucy Panicacci

Culture Editor

Throughout December 2022, college representatives, employers, and records revealed that Rep. George Santos of New York’s Third Congressional District lied about most of his campaign biography — including his education, employment, and personal life. Santos won his seat in the House in November 2022, succeeding Democrat Thomas Suozzi. Suozzi responded to the controversy in an op-ed on Jan. 3, stating, “It saddens me that after 30 years of public service rooted in hard work and service to the people of this area, I’m being succeeded by a con man.” 

Santo’s lies include his claim that he attended Baruch College in 2010, graduated with a degree in economics and finance, and obtained an MBA in international business from New York University. Santos also said he worked at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. Following responses from college and company representatives, Santos admitted to the New York Post that he “never worked directly” for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and “didn’t graduate from any institution of higher learning.” 

In addition, Santos stated he founded the animal charity Friends of Pets, noting it saved 2,500 cats and dogs between 2013 and 2018. With no IRS or registration records, this statement is also false. While being questioned by former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on Fox News, Gabbard told Santos, “You’ve apologized, you’ve said you’ve made mistakes, but you’ve outright lied. A lie is not an embellishment on a resume.” 

Santos fabricated numerous facts about his personal life as well. In an interview with the Jeremy Ryan Slate podcast in May 2022, he said his grandparents are Holocaust survivors and stated in his campaign bio that they “fled persecution during WWII.” However, genealogy and family records report that he does not have any Jewish heritage; rather, his maternal grandparents are from Brazil. He also claimed his mother was inside the World Trade Center during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but immigration records show she lived in Brazil until 2003. 

As of Jan. 2, Brazilian law enforcement is trying to revive a fraud case against Santos for spending hundreds of dollars with a stolen checkbook and fake name in 2008. Santos told WABC radio that despite these revelations, “I’m not a fraud. I’m not a criminal who defrauded the entire country and made up this fictional character and ran for Congress.” 

According to The New York Times, some Republicans already knew of Santos’ lies in November 2021. As part of Santos’ campaign process, his campaign team ran a routine background check on him, revealing the inconsistencies. His vendors urged him to drop out of the race; when Santos refused, many members of the campaign team quit. 

On Jan. 10, Democrat Reps. Daniel Goldman and Ritchie Torres requested for the House Committee on Ethics to open an investigation into Santos, alleging that he has violated the Ethics in Government Act. Additionally, Republican representatives of New York called for Santos to resign. Nassau County Republican Committee Chairman Joseph Cairo stated at a news conference, “As I said, he’s disgraced the House of Representatives, and we do not consider him one of our congresspeople.” 

However, Speaker Kevin McCarthy does not support these calls for resignation. When asked about the fabrication of Santos’ resume, he stated, “Yeah, so did a lot of people here, in the Senate and others, but the one thing I think, it’s the voters who made that decision. He has to answer to the voters and the voters can make another decision in two years.” When deciding Santos’ position in the House, McCarthy has to evaluate if maintaining a party majority comes before integrity. 

(Sources: CBS, Guardian, Intelligencer, NBC, NPR, NY Post, NY Times)

Categories: National, News

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