Dec 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

George Santos breaks silence as New York AG probes resume scandal

Rep-elect George Santos, wearing a blue suit, white shirt and pink tie, speaks to the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Rep-elect George Santos. Photo: Ronda Churchill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Incoming Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) on Thursday broke his silence about reports that he fabricated much of his resume, saying he has “a story to tell” next week.

Why it matters: As new revelations continue to mount about Santos’ alleged widespread deceptions, House Republicans have been placed in an extremely tough spot as they prepare to take the majority by a razor-thin margin.

  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who will likely need Santos’ vote for speaker, ignored questions about Santos when walking into the House chamber on Thursday.

Driving the news: New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating "some of the issues raised about Santos," her office told Axios.

What he's saying: “To the people of [New York’s 3rd District] I have my story to tell and it will be told next week," Santos tweeted on Thursday. "I want to assure everyone that I will address your questions.”

  • “I remain committed to deliver the results I campaigned on; Public safety, Inflation, Education & more. Happy Holidays to all!”

This is the first time Santos has addressed the allegations directly after days of relying on a statement from his attorney calling them "defamatory" and a “shotgun blast of attacks."

The backdrop: The New York Times this week published a bombshell report that raised doubts about many of the biographical claims Santos made on the campaign trail — and detailed potential legal and ethical concerns.

  • The Times reported that Santos lied about his employment and educational background, his residence and losing four employees at the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting. The Times also reported that he may have lied on his financial disclosure and was charged with check fraud in Brazil.
  • Reports in the following days raised further questions. Independent Jewish news outlet The Forward reported Santos, who has claimed to be Jewish, lied about his grandparents fleeing the Holocaust.
  • On Thursday, the Daily Beast reported that Santos, who has said he is openly gay, finalized his divorce with a woman less than two weeks before launching his 2020 campaign for Congress.

The big picture: While Republicans haven't been weighing in on Santos, there is an increasing drumbeat of calls from Democrats for him to be investigated.

  • Democrat Dan Goldman, Santos' fellow incoming New York freshman, has called for the Justice Department to launch a probe into Santos' legal issues in Brazil and whether he lied on Federal Election Commission filings.

Go deeper: The murky details in one congressman-elect's campaign biography

Go deeper