Wednesday 8 February 2023

Rep. George Santos Under House Ethics Committee Investigation: McCarthy

 House Speaker Kevin McCarthy confirmed Tuesday the House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into Rep. George Santos (R-NY), which some Republicans believe could force the freshman representative out of Congress.

“Ethics is moving through, and if ethics finds something, we’ll take action,” McCarthy told reporters. “Right now, we’re not allowing him to be on committees from the standpoint of the questions that have arisen.”

McCarthy has not called on Santos to resign, according to CNN, and believes voters should have the power to decide the outcome.

Remarks about Santos from McCarthy come on the same day a group of Santos’ constituents planned to travel to Washington, D.C., demanding he resign or be removed by a House vote.

Santos told CNN he is “not concerned” about the Ethics Committee investigation or his constituents calling on him to resign.

“You’re saying that the freedom of speech of my constituents is a distraction to my work?” Santos asked. “Do you think people are a distraction to the work I’m doing here?”

Santos has refused to step down amid the GOP representative admitting he lied about aspects of his career and personal life, which includes campaign finances, education, and work history.

Federal law enforcement has reportedly also investigated Santos over his alleged involvement in a “GoFundMe scheme” that was set up for a disabled U.S. Navy veteran’s dog.

According to multiple reports and the Nassau County, New York, district attorney’s office, federal and local prosecutors have begun investigating whether Santos lied about finances on the campaign trail.

The New York Times reported last month that law enforcement officials in Brazil “intend to revive fraud charges” against Santos stemming from an incident in 2008 that involved a checkbook that was allegedly stolen.

Last week, Santos requested that McCarthy remove him from two committee assignments amid several active criminal investigations into him.

McCarthy would later say he had “new questions” about Santos, CNN reported.

Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY) told CNN he believes his fellow freshman GOP representative should resign.

“As I’ve said consistently, I think he ought to resign and really take stock of himself and start being honest, not only with the people he serves, but with himself,” Molinaro said.

Don Levy with Siena College Research Institute told a local Fox affiliate the GOP congressman faces growing skepticism from his constituents.

According to a Newsday/Siena poll, local media reported 78% of constituents want Santos to resign, while 75% believe he cannot be an effective representative.

“89% of Democrats, 72% of independents, and 71% republicans,” Levy said. “Rarely do you see numbers that are that aligned.”

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