Santos scandal crashes into McCarthy presidential battle
One Republican has openly called for an internal investigation into Santos and others have privately said he is likely to be investigated. Meanwhile, McCarthy and other executives have remained silent about Santos’ admitted fabrications about his background, including his Jewish faith, that he worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, and that he graduated from Baruch. Middle school.
« At a minimum, it was a colossal lack of judgment that has now put the conference in a very difficult position, » said retired Rep. John Katko (RN.Y.), who represented an equally moderate district in the US. ‘state, about Santos. .
“Are they defending someone they know who has made several material misrepresentations about their background? Or are they dropping it with an overwhelming majority? Katko added, calling it a « no way out situation ».
House Republicans generally believe Santos’ future will become clearer once they have an official speaker. But at present, the Republican leader has five members publicly threatening to oppose his bid for president on January 3, which happens to be the same number required to prevent him from reaching the necessary 218 votes. And the party is buckling for potentially multiple votes, marking only the second time since the Civil War that the presidential race would go beyond a first ballot.
“McCarthy can’t do anything official until McCarthy is a speaker. So it has to happen before anything else,” said a House Republican who plans to support the California Republican, on condition of anonymity to speak candidly. “But as far as Santos is concerned, I think his problems could cost him his chance to get a seat in financial services until everything is sorted out. Questions around his finances are a real problem.
So far, only Democrats are calling on Santos to step down from the post which was seen as a long-term win for Republicans in the first place. And the GOP — both locally and in the House — is unlikely to demand that he step down by a slim majority. But a Republican familiar with the talks said Santos told New York party leaders he would not seek re-election after this term. If he doesn’t make that statement openly soon, the Republican said, he risks those leaders publicly withdrawing their support.
Representatives for Santos did not respond to a request for comment on the story.
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), a member of the oversight committee, told the Washington Examiner on Wednesday that he « does not support [Santos] be at our conference. He stopped short of calling on Santos to step down and said House GOP leadership needed to question him. And his new Empire State colleague slammed Santos for the headlines and doubts he raised after Republicans campaigned on « accountability » and « integrity. »
« New Yorkers deserve the truth and House Republicans deserve the opportunity to govern without distraction, » Rep-elect Nick LaLota said in a statement Tuesday, calling for an internal House investigation and, if necessary, , to a law enforcement investigation.
Already, the Nassau County Republican prosecutor has announced that she is opening an investigation into George Santos after he lied about his background. Anne Donnelly’s investigation comes after The New York Times reported that Santos told a campaign story that was riddled with lies.
In an interview with the New York Post this week, Santos downplayed his misrepresentations as embellishments on his resume and « poor » word choices. He admitted that he was not a graduate of Baruch College as he previously claimed, nor had he worked « directly » for private equity firms which he listed as « Goldman Sachs and Citigroup ».
« My sins here embellish my resume. I’m sorry, » Santos told the conservative tabloid.
He also defended previous statements claiming he was Jewish despite being a practicing Catholic, saying he instead said he was « Jewish » because his ancestors were practicing Jews. A previous campaign statement, however, showed he described himself as a “proud American Jew.”
Republican circles do not buy his attempts to coin words. On the contrary, it has raised more questions about his past, with some questioning his alleged wealthy status, how he self-funded part of his campaign, his ties to Russia, and even though he was actually born in the United States
And the private chatter could result in a chilly reception from his colleagues once in office. LaLota is sure to have company among Republicans in his belief that Santos’ antics are painting the rest of them in a gloomy light, just as they prepare to take power after a campaign focused on accountability. Biden administration.
As Santos sought to defend his record with conservative media, he found no friendly counterparts in a Tuesday night interview with Tulsi Gabbard, a former Democrat who left the party and replaced Fox News host Tucker Carlson. .
Gabbard, who served in the House for eight years, first asked Santos to explain the meaning of the word “integrity” and went on to say, “Aren’t you ashamed? »
She concluded the interview, her first television interview since the Times report, by pointing out that he has a credibility problem: « It’s hard to imagine how they can possibly trust your explanations when you’re not not really willing to admit the depth of your deception. for them. »
Republicans on Capitol Hill generally did not view the interview as helpful for Santos’ image. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the outgoing head of the Republican Study Committee, shared his views on Twitter shortly after, writing that Gabbard had done a « good job » roasting Santos.
Still, The New Yorker has received support from at least one member, who is no stranger to causing outrage.
“I think we Republicans should give George Santos a chance and see how he legislates and votes, not treat him the same as the left,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) tweeted. . congressman to « be honest with his district now. »
Either way, Republicans agree that Santos will need to do a lot more to resolve the scandal.
« I don’t think we’re going to hear the end of this anytime soon. This is a problem that will persist for some time and could have serious repercussions on him personally,” Katko said.