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Did Republican Consultant-elect George Santos lie about his life story?


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The biography of newly elected Congress member George Santos appeared fairly spectacular. The 34-year-old son of immigrants had graduated from Baruch Faculty, a public faculty in New York, earlier than occurring to work at companies like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. Santos ultimately turned a profitable financier who began an animal rescue charity. The issue is that biography was apparently a lie, and now he may be going through not solely political penalties however authorized penalties for his wholesale innovations.

As revealed in the New York Instances on December 19, it wasn’t simply that Santos exaggerated his résumé — he had allegedly invented it out of entire material.

The Instances discovered that he apparently didn’t graduate from Baruch Faculty, he didn’t work for Goldman Sachs or Citigroup, there have been no data of him being a profitable financier, nor have been there of him registering his animal rescue charity. The Instances additionally discovered that he had been charged with examine fraud in Brazil.

Additional, various retailers have discovered no proof of Santos’s repeated claims to be Jewish, to have Jewish heritage, or to be descended from refugees fleeing the Holocaust. Santos even described himself at one level as a “proud American Jew” in a marketing campaign place paper.

In a media tour with pleasant retailers on December 26, Santos admitted to placing “slightly little bit of fluff” on his résumé. In different phrases, he conceded that he by no means graduated from faculty, by no means labored for Goldman Sachs or Citigroup, and wasn’t Jewish (although he claimed to be “Jew-ish”). Santos dismissed mendacity about fundamental biographical data as embellishment, and he pushed again on the Instances’s reporting about his legal cost in Brazil. “I’m not a legal,” he advised the New York Put up.

The story has sparked one of many weirder political scandals in American historical past. Members of Congress have dedicated homicide in workplace. In reality, a member of Congress has even killed one other member of Congress. Even within the current day, we’ve seen each scandal underneath the solar, from Anthony Weiner tweeting a lewd image of himself, to Marjorie Taylor Greene’s notorious Fb put up about Jewish house lasers. But it surely’s arduous to think about a precedent for a scandal like this as Santos faces requires his resignation from fellow Republicans and investigations into potential legal misconduct.

Who’s George Santos?

There are some issues we find out about Santos. The brazenly homosexual son of Brazilian immigrants, he was elected in November to an open congressional seat that features a skinny slice of Queens and far of the North Shore of Lengthy Island in Nassau County. Santos defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman by a margin of 54 p.c to 46 p.c. This represented a significant swing from 2020 when Biden had received the district by the identical margin. That 12 months, Santos ran towards incumbent Tom Suozzi in an analogous district and misplaced handily by a margin of 56 p.c to 43.5 p.c.

Santos can also be an ardent Trump supporter — a lot in order that he was at Trump’s Ellipse rally on January 6, 2021, and has repeatedly falsely claimed that the previous president received the 2020 election.

Additionally, for all his alleged mendacity about his résumé, it’s clear that one firm Santos labored at, Harbor Metropolis Capital, has been accused by the Securities and Alternate Fee of being a Ponzi scheme. As for Santos’s different employment, he did spend a stint as a Portuguese language customer support agent for DISH Community a decade in the past.

What don’t we all know?

We don’t know so much. This ranges from fundamental information about Santos’s biography to particulars about his dealings with the Brazilian legal justice system, and all the things in between, together with the place he truly lives.

However most significantly, we don’t know the place Santos’s cash comes from. The Consultant loaned his personal marketing campaign $700,000 through the 2022 cycle and claimed an earnings of $750,000. He additionally listed tens of millions of {dollars} in belongings together with an condominium in Rio De Janeiro value as much as $1 million and a seven-figure financial savings account. It’s a significant shift in fortune for somebody who was evicted twice, in 2015 and 2017, for failing to pay lease and had been taken to courtroom for not paying money owed. Even in 2020, he reported earnings in just one class — compensation in extra of $5,000 paid by one supply — with no different belongings.

Santos initially offered no data on his funds on his media tour, besides to concede that he owned no property. He had beforehand claimed on Twitter to be a landlord who owned 13 properties. The consultant ultimately claimed in an interview with Semafor that his newfound wealth got here from “capital introduction” the place he helped dealer offers for the rich. Santos used a yacht sale for example of how he earned a residing, “For those who’re a $20 million yacht, my referral charge there could be wherever between $200,000 and $400,000.”

What occurs now?

Santos is already being investigated by federal and native prosecutors whereas the workplace of New York Lawyer Basic Letitia James has been “trying into a few of the points which have come out.” Additional, a grievance has been filed with the Federal Election Fee by the nonpartisan Marketing campaign Authorized Middle alleging Santos illegally hid the supply of the cash he loaned his marketing campaign via a straw donor scheme and different alleged violations, together with whether or not he used marketing campaign funds to pay for private bills.

Dan Goldman, a fellow consultant from New York and a former prosecutor, has urged that Santos face legal investigation for conspiracy to defraud the US in addition to submitting false statements to the Federal Election Fee.

In an interview with Vox, Goldman shied away from weighing in on whether or not Santos needs to be denied his seat in Congress. “I feel the larger query isn’t whether or not I feel George Santos needs to be a member of Congress. The larger query is whether or not Kevin McCarthy and the Republican management assume that George Santos needs to be a member of Congress.”

Quite a lot of Santos’s fellow Republicans have referred to as on him to resign as properly. The Nassau County Republican Occasion, lengthy thought-about essentially the most highly effective county celebration in New York, referred to as on Santos to step down on Wednesday, as produce other fellow New York Republicans, together with Reps. Anthony D’Esposito, Mike Lawler, Nick Langworthy, and Brandon Williams. Joe Cairo, the chair of the Nassau County GOP, advised reporters, “George Santos’ marketing campaign final 12 months was a marketing campaign of deceit, lies and fabrication” whereas demanding his resignation.

Rep. Max Miller (R-OH), one in all solely two Jewish Republicans within the Home and a longtime Trump White Home aide, referred to as on Santos to resign Thursday and cited the New York Republican’s lies about his household ties to the Holocaust in doing so. Republican management has equivocated, with Speaker Kevin McCarthy acknowledging that whereas Santos has “an extended approach to go to earn belief” and nonetheless has to face investigation by the Home Ethics Committee, Santos continues to be “part of the Republican convention.”

Nevertheless, as of now, McCarthy wants Santos virtually as a lot as Santos wants McCarthy. McCarthy solely turned Speaker by the pores and skin of his tooth on the fifteenth poll. With a slim majority — and the probability of frequent member absences now that that the Home has gotten rid of proxy voting — McCarthy wants each vote he can get.

Additional, as a result of Santos represents some of the Democratic seats in Congress held by a Republican, forcing him to resign underneath any circumstance is dangerous. It will be a troublesome seat for a Republican to carry in a particular election and a loss would additional imperil an already slim GOP majority.

Within the meantime, it’s a matter of ready for the following shoe to drop. As unsustainable as the present establishment might sound, the one impetus proper now for Santos to resign can be a way of disgrace, and it appears unlikely that he carries that burden.

Replace, January 11, 11:50 pm ET: This story was initially revealed on December 21 and has been up to date as extra particulars have been reported about Santos’s background and requires him to resign.

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