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Lying in wait no longer: George Santos finally sworn in as Congress member despite his mostly fabricated backstory

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Rep.-elect George Santos, R-N.Y., top center, sits in the House chamber on the opening day of the 118th Congress at the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Admitted résumé fabricator George Santos (R-Queens/Long Island) was finally sworn in with the rest of his new House of Representatives colleagues early Saturday morning following the marathon four-day, 15-round election of new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Santos officially joined the 118th Congress early on Jan. 7, amid many House Democrats calling for his ouster, and even some of his New York House Republican colleagues calling for his conduct to be investigated. Even still, Santos released a statement following his swearing in Saturday morning that suggested he’d like everyone to simply forget that he deceived voters in his district about his career, education and family background — and let him carry on as a member of Congress.

“Now is the time to put political differences aside, stop the finger pointing, and start delivering results,” Santos said. “The work of Congress is not about my personal life, this is about delivering results for my constituents, finding bipartisan solutions, and reversing abysmal policies that have caused some of the worst inflation and crime in our nation’s history.”

Rep.-elect George Santos, R-N.Y. sits in the chamber during opening day of the 118th Congress at the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, Jan 3, 2023, in Washington.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The controversy surrounding Santos was sparked by revelations he made up or misrepresented large swaths of his educational, professional and personal history, which were brought to light through an investigative report late last year. His deceptions included clains that he graduated from Baruch College in 2010, worked for the prestigious financial firms Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and that his mother died as a result of being in the South Tower of the World Trade Center during the 9/11 teorrist attacks.

The embattled freshman Congress Member is also under investigation by at least three prosecutors’ offices, including the Suffolk County District Attorney and the U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, who are looking into any potential crimes he may have committed in falsifying his background.

While some New York Republican Congress members, like fellow Long Island freshmen Nick LaLota (Suffolk County) and Anthony D’Esposito (Nassau County), have come out against Santos. Even Congress Member Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island, Brooklyn) said on Wednesday that she wouldn’t trust Santos.

“I think It’s going to be very difficult for him to move forward,” Malliotakis said at the time. “I think it’s going to be very difficult for him to govern and work with others. And his colleagues can’t trust him. And I think it’s a major issue.”

McCarthy needed Santos’ vote in the tight speaker’s race — which was dragged out over the past week by a faction of far-right House Republicans, who repeatedly refused to elevate the California Congress member to the speakership. It was only when McCarthy made significant concessions greatly diminishing the speaker’s power and giving rank-and-file members more say in legislative matters to the rogue group that he was able to round up a majority to win the post.

But now that the speaker’s race is done, and Santos’ 15 consecutive votes for McCarthy have served their purpose, it’s entirely possible that the House Ethics Committee investigation into Santos.

Even in the absence of an ethics probe, Santos’ first has shown him to be less than popular, even among his Republican colleagues. On Tuesday, his first day, Santos could be seen on C-SPAN, and in several pictures, sitting by himself on the House floor, instead of mingling with his new colleagues.

Santos, however, still said he was “determined” to work with both Republicans and Democrats to deliver for his district.

“I am committed to serving the people of New York’s Third Congressional District and finding solutions to solve tough problems,” Santos said Saturday. “The work begins today, and I am determined to work with both Republicans and Democrats and support sound policy that will provide funding for local law enforcement, and reducing inflation.”

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