This past Tuesday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy officially confirmed that the House Ethics Committee had opened an investigation into Rep. George Santos (R-NY), which a number of Republicans believe could end up forcing the freshman representative entirely out of Congress.
“Ethics is moving through, and if ethics finds something, we’ll take action,” stated the House Speaker to the media. “Right now, we’re not allowing him to be on committees from the standpoint of the questions that have arisen.”
McCarthy has not yet called for Santos to officially resign, according to CNN, and thinks that voters should have the power to decide the outcome.
Remarks about Santos coming from McCarthy take place on the same day a group of Santos’ constituents planned to travel to Washington, D.C., demanding that he officially resign or be removed from his role by a vote in the House.
Santos explained to CNN that he is “not concerned” at all about the investigation from the Ethics Committee or that his constituents will call on him to give up his role.
“You’re saying that the freedom of speech of my constituents is a distraction to my work?” answered Santos. “Do you think people are a distraction to the work I’m doing here?”
Santos has refused to leave the role amid the GOP representative openly stating that he lied about a number of aspects of both his personal life and his career, which includes campaign finances, education, and work history.
Federal law enforcement has reportedly also carried out an investigation into Santos over his alleged involvement in a “GoFundMe scheme” which was created to gather money for a disabled U.S. Navy veteran’s dog.
As stated in a number of reports, the Nassau County, New York, district attorney’s office, and federal and local prosecutors have started looking into the possibility that Santos lied about finances on the campaign trail.
The New York Times stated in a report last month that officials in law enforcement for Brazil “intend to revive fraud charges” against Santos in relation to an incident that took place in 2008 which involved an allegedly stolen checkbook.
This past week, Santos requested that McCarthy take him off of two committee assignments because of several active criminal investigations into him.
McCarthy later went on to say that he had quite a few “new questions” about Santos, reported CNN.
Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY) stated to CNN that he thinks a resignation should be tendered by his fellow freshman GOP representative.
“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,” stated Molinaro.