George Santos’ Lies Catch Up With Him

By Rachel Spears — Political Editor

A newly-elected GOP congressman from Long Island, NY, George Santos, has come under scrutiny for dishonesty about his background, achievements, and use of campaign funds.

His race, the first in which two openly gay candidates ran against each other, drew national attention. Santos had lost his bid for the same seat in 2020. After his election loss in which he conceded more than two weeks later, he spoke at former President Donald Trump’s White House rally on the morning of January 6th. He ran again in 2022 as an openly-gay Jewish Latino Republican, a first for the party. 

In December 2022, it was reported that Santos had fabricated his résumé. In it, he claimed that he had graduated from NYU and worked at Goldman Sachs which is not true. At the time, Santos’s lawyer, John Murray, responded to these allegations saying that the congressman-elect was not shocked that the media would make false claims. “[Santos’s] enemies at the New York Times are attempting to smear his good name with these defamatory accusations,” he said. He then added a quote from Winston Churchill that was fabricated–the Former British Prime Minister never said those words.

Santos also claimed that he was Jewish and that his grandparents fled the Holocaust. He went so far as to say he was “a proud American Jew” in a position paper but after these statements proved to be partially false, Santos clarified his meaning. “I never claimed to be Jewish. I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background, I said I was ‘Jew-ish,” he explained. 

Santos’s former roommate, Gregory Morey-Parker, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper about Santos’s history of claiming to be Jewish. “He would say, ‘Oh well, the Jews will give more if you’re a Jew.’ And so that’s the name he used for his GoFundMe,” he said. Morey-Parker also revealed that Santos stole from him and went by a different name, Anthony Devolder, when they met. 

Photos of someone who resembles Santos in drag had originally been called “categorically false” by the congressman but he later changed his tune. “I was young and had fun at a festival. Sue me for having a life,” he said.

The falsehoods did not end there. His claims that his mother passed away on 9/11 also proved to be false when it was revealed that she was in Brazil at the time and passed away in 2016. 

Santos was also accused of stealing money from a veteran trying to raise money for his service dog’s surgery. At the time he supposedly ran an organization called Friends of Pets United but the IRS has no record of a non-profit with that name. The Navy veteran, Rich Osthoff shared his story via social media. “I just keep thinking, ‘How is he a member of Congress? How does somebody that low rise so high?'” he said. 

Dishonesty regarding money is something that has plagued Santos. $625,000 of the money that went towards his campaign were initially filed under “personal funds” but that label recently changed. Santos has been linked to a Russian oligarch but it is unknown where the money came from. “If the ‘loan from candidate’ didn’t actually come from the candidate, then Santos should come clean and disclose where the money really came from. Santos can’t uncheck a box and make his legal problems go away,” said Brendan Fischer, a deputy executive director of the watchdog Documented.

The GOP of New York State has called on the representative to resign. “George Santos deceived us. He deceived Republicans and he deceived Democrats,” said Jody Kass Finkel, the co-founder of Concerned Citizens of NY-03.

Despite this, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy and other House Republicans have not called for Santos’s resignation, just stated that he will be removed from Congress if the Ethics Committee finds that he committed a crime. “He has a responsibility to uphold what they voted for, to work and have their voice here, but at any time if it rises to a legal level, we will deal with it then,” McCarthy said. 

George Santos was appointed to two House committees: Small Business and Science, Space, and Technology.

His constituents in New York are unhappy about these revelations. “He’s a liar. He’s a cheater. And he’s probably a criminal,” said Finkel. 

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