NEW YORK (WPIX) — New York Congressman-elect George Santos may have fabricated key parts of his resumé during his successful campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives, according to a report from The New York Times.
Santos painted himself as a fresh face of the Republican Party. Just 34 years old and openly gay, Santos said he is the son of Brazilian immigrants who worked his way through New York City’s Baruch College. On the campaign trail, Santos also described himself as a seasoned Wall Street financier who worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.
However, all of that is now unraveling. A New York Times investigation found no record of him working for either firm and no record of him attending Baruch College.
“I’ve never heard of anything so egregious and so blatantly problematic for a candidate to have misrepresented in fact his whole life to the voter,” said political analyst Basil Smikle.
Smikle said embellishing or lying on your resumé does not disqualify you, and in this case not grounds to keep Santos from being seated in the U.S. House of Representatives, especially a House that will be controlled by Republicans.
Last month, Santos was able to flip New York’s 3rd Congressional District from Democrat to Republican, contributing to the “red wave” that overtook Long Island in November’s election. His opponent, Robert Zimmerman, raised some of the inconsistencies during the campaign.
“The allegations against George Santos are so profoundly serious about his personal background, about his personal finances, about the way he financed his campaign, that they require a full House Ethics Committee investigation and a U.S. Attorney’s investigation,” Zimmerman said.
Santos contributed $700,000 of his own money to his campaign. He suggested his wealth comes from family real estate holdings. But The New York Times found no record to support his claims of family wealth. In fact, the newspaper reported he was twice evicted for not paying his rent. While expulsion is a long shot, he could be facing censure in an investigation.
“None of this may be disqualifying. He may not be expelled from Congress, but the censure in and of itself would tell voters that 31 members of his own party don’t even want him there, and that would be a problem for him if he tries to run again,” Smikle said.
Santos’ attorney, Joseph Murray, provided the following statement in response to The New York Times report.
“George Santos represents the kind of progress that the Left is so threatened by – a gay, Latino first generation American and Republican who won a Biden district in overwhelming fashion by showing everyday voters that there is a better option than the broken promises and failed policies of the Democratic Party. After four years in the public eye, and on the verge of being sworn in as a member of the Republican led 118th Congress, the New York Times launches this shotgun blast of attacks. It is no surprise that Congressman-elect Santos has enemies at the New York Times who are attempting to smear his good name with these defamatory allegations. As Winston Churchill famously stated, ‘You have enemies? Good. It means that you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.'”