Hold George Santos’ feet to the fire, even if he’s one of your own.
That was the message Democratic Congress Members Dan Goldman (Manhattan, Brooklyn) and Ritchie Torres (Bronx) sent to the House Republican leadership Sunday as they demanded they cooperate with several investigations into their admitted résumé fabricating colleague representing northeast Queens and northern Nassau County.
Goldman and Torres, both frequent Santos critics, sent a letter demanding that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (CA), House Republican Caucus Chair Elise Stefanik (North Country) and Republican Congressional Leadership Fund President Dan Conston “proactively and forthrightly cooperate” with current investigations into Santos. The two Democrats had previously requested the House Ethics Committee investigate Santos over his fishy campaign finance disclosures.
Those probes, they said, include a forthcoming House Ethics probe that McCarthy confirmed Thursday, and investigations by the U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York and the Nassau County District Attorney’s office.
“Investigators examining Mr. Santos’ conduct must understand the entire web of deceit, and it is therefore essential that McCarthy, Stefanik, and Conston immediately and proactively cooperate with all current and future investigations into Mr. Santos’s fraudulent conduct,” Goldman said, in a statement. “The American people have a right to know whether Republican leadership was complicit in perpetrating this fraud on the voters.”
The lawmakers said their letter was sparked by new reporting from The New York Times Friday night that revealed Republican campaign operatives were aware of many of Santos’ deceits, through a so-called “vulnerability study” conducted by his own campaign, long before the information became public in a separate investigation from the paper of record late last year.
And that McCarthy, Stefanik and Conston all — to some extent — knew about Santos’ shady past, including his fake academic degrees and having worked for a company accused of running a multi-million dollar Ponzi Scheme.
The pair of lawmakers also called on GOP House leadership to reveal publicly exactly how much they knew about Santos’ fraudulent past prior to his election.
“Thanks to even more intrepid public reporting, we now know that the highest levels of Republican leadership were at least partially aware of some of the lies on which Rep. George Santos built a dishonest and disgraceful campaign to reach elected office,” Torres said. “What’s particularly troubling is that Republican leadership chose to stay silent and allow him to continue to campaign and defraud the very people he is now somehow supposed to represent.”