Washington – New York Democratic Reps. Daniel Goldman and Richie Torres on Sunday called on House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and GOP Chairwoman Elise Stefanik to “proactively and sincerely” cooperate in the investigation into hardline Republican Rep. George Santos.
Goldman and Torres, who submitted The House Ethics Committee filed a complaint against Santos last week, sent a letter to McCarthy, Stefanik and Dan Constant, head of the Congressional Leadership Foundation, asking them to disclose their “knowledge of Mr. Santos’ pre-election fraud network so that the public understands whether you were complicit and the extent of Mr. Santos’ voter fraud.”
“It is one thing for a candidate like Mr. Santos to persuade voters to support him based on a web of lies. But it is quite another when the highest levels of the Republican leadership knew about Mr. Santos’ lies during the campaign and chose to be complicit,” they wrote. “Investigators looking into the conduct of Mr. Santos need to understand the entire web of deception, and it is therefore imperative that you cooperate fully and openly with this investigation.”
Goldman and Torres demand is the answer to a New York Times article released on Friday, which found that a “routine background investigation” commissioned by Santos’ company revealed a “pattern of fraud” including fake degrees, involvement in a firm accused of being a Ponzi scheme, multiple evictions and driving license suspensions .
According to the Times, Constans, a close McCarthy ally who heads a super PAC aimed at electing House Republicans, told lawmakers, donors and others that he was concerned about damaging information exposing Santos as a fraud.
Indeed, Santos has been embroiled in controversy since his election in November to represent New York’s 3rd congressional district, prompting calls for his resignation from some of his fellow Republicans in Congress.
After public reporting to question in his resume and financials, Santos admitted that he “embellished” much of his background, including his education and professional experience, during his successful bid for the 2022 Congressional nomination. Federal and local prosecutors are now looking into the New York Republican’s finances and financial disclosures, as well as false information he spread during the campaign and whether he followed the law.
In addition to the House Ethics Committee complaint from Goldman and Torres, Santos appears the purpose of the complaint filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission accusing him of illegally using campaign funds for personal expenses and providing false information about the sources of donations and campaign expenses. The complaint was filed by the Campaign Legal Center and questions whether $705,000 in campaign contributions from a corporation or foreign national were improperly received.
A growing number of Republicans, including in New York’s congressional delegation and head of the Nassau County Republican Committee, called on Santos to resignalthough the congressman rejected these calls.
McCarthy, meanwhile, said voters will decide Santos’ future in Congress and told reporters Wednesday that many members of the House and Senate had fabricated parts of their resumes.
“He has to answer to the voters, and the voters can make a different decision in two years,” McCarthy said.
But Goldman and Torres said in their letter to McCarthy, Stefanik and Constant that the American people “have a right to know whether the Republican leadership, including each of you, was complicit in this voter fraud.”
In an “Face the Nation” interview on Sunday, Goldman called Santos “a complete and utter fraud” and said its financials included misstatements and omissions.
“This is a scheme to defraud voters in New York’s 3rd District and it should be investigated vigorously,” he said. “And Mr. Santos needs to think twice about whether he deserves a seat in Congress. And more importantly, the Speaker needs to think twice about whether Mr. Santos is fit to serve in Congress.”
Jake Rosen contributed to this report.