THE DECLINE AND FALL OF GEORGE SANTOS: Calls for resignation grow as Justice files criminal charges
CENTRAL ISLIP, NEW YORK: According to three sources, federal prosecutors have brought criminal charges against the Republican representative from New York, Rep George Santos, whose astounding series of deceptions and lies has reportedly shocked even seasoned politicians. Santos is anticipated to show up as early as Wednesday, May 10, 2023, in Long Island Federal Courthouse in Central Islip, New York, where the allegations have been lodged under confidentiality.
Although the exact nature of the charges could not yet be ascertained, the FBI and Justice Department public integrity prosecutors in New York and Washington have been looking into claims that Santos made false statements in campaign finance reports and other charges.
‘Are you lying about that too?’ George Santos tweet celebrating Super Bowl LVII sparks storm of gags amid lying scandal
Who is Pedro Vilarva? Ex-boyfriend claims George Santos only cared about 'fame and power'
Joined by some New York Republicans, leading Democrats have called for Santos' resignation amid claims of everything from criminal activity on the campaign trail to minor personal dishonesty dating back more than ten years. The charges will be examined, according to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, before he decides whether Santos ought to be expelled from Congress. "I'll look at the charges," the California Republican told CNN on Tuesday, May 9.
What did George Santos lie about?
Santos has been accused of breaching federal conflict of interest regulations, violating campaign finance laws, taking money intended for a dying dog belonging to an Iraq War veteran, running a credit card fraud operation, and lying about his educational and employment history during his brief tenure in government. Santos has acknowledged that he misled people about his educational background and financial situation, but he still maintains his denial of the more serious accusations, as per CNN.
'Honesty and justice will be delivered to him'
Santos started his re-election campaign in April despite investigations into various charges against him in New York state, as well as by the House Ethics Committee and inquiries for his resignation from numerous of his home-state colleagues. In the aftermath of the indictment, Republican Representatives Mike Lawler and Marcus Molinaro of New York renewed their calls for him to resign. "There’s a clock ticking, and George Santos should have resigned in December. He should have resigned in January," Molinaro stated to NBC News. "He should have resigned yesterday, and maybe he'll resign today, but sooner or later, honesty and justice will be delivered to him," he said.
Details of allegations against George Santos
In early March, the Ethics Committee said that it had launched an investigation to discover if Santos "engaged in unlawful activity" while campaigning for Congress, or whether he "failed to properly disclose required information on statements filed with the House."
The committee also stated that it would investigate whether Santos violated federal conflict-of-interest regulations as a result of his work in a firm that provides fiduciary services as well as sexual assault claims made by a prospective staffer.
Navy veteran spoke to FBI
A Navy veteran, who claimed Santos stole thousands of dollars from an online fundraising effort meant to pay for his service dog's life-saving operation, also said he told the FBI about his claims.
Following The New York Times' revelation of a number of contradictions in Santos' biography, including those relating to his education, employment history, and financial dealings, the Nassau County district attorney's office stated in December 2022 that it was also looking into "numerous fabrications and inconsistencies" about his background. In the same month, the state attorney general's office declared that it was "looking into a number of issues" relating to Santos.
'He will have his day in court'
Santos has steadfastly refused to step down but announced in late January that he would recuse himself from a couple of assignments on the Small Business and Science committees amid the probes. Ritchie Torres, Dan Goldman, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, three Democratic representatives from New York, said Santos ought to have resigned a long time ago.
Some of the earlier accusations made against Santos were deemed "disturbing" by Ocasio-Cortez, who also stated: "He will have his day in court." The Republican leadership must "summon the courage to join House Democrats in expelling" Santos, as per Torres, if he refuses to step down.
Goldman stated, "I think the speaker should encourage him to resign, and if not, I think we ought to bring the expulsion motion that has already been filed to the floor," as per NBC News.