Democrats call on Rep.-elect George Santos to resign amid reports he fabricated resume details

George Santos
FILE – Republican Candidate for New York’s 3rd Congressional District George Santos, left, talks to a voter while campaigning outside a Stop and Shop store, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Glen Cove, N.Y. Santos, who won a seat in Congress in the November election is under pressure to explain himself amid evidence that he fabricated parts of the life story that endeared him to New York voters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File) Mary Altaffer/AP

Democrats call on Rep.-elect George Santos to resign amid reports he fabricated resume details

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Several Democrats are calling on Rep.-elect George Santos (R-NY) to resign his newly won House seat after the incoming GOP freshman admitted to lying about his education and employment history while campaigning during the midterm elections.

Santos was elected to Congress in November after defeating Democratic candidate Robert Zimmerman to represent New York’s 3rd Congressional District, and he is set to be sworn into office next week. However, the New York Republican has been under scrutiny since his win due to inconsistencies on his resume — with criticisms only intensifying Monday night after Santos admitted to the New York Post that he had fabricated details of his professional life.

GEORGE SANTOS ADMITS TO LYING ON CAMPAIGN TRAIL BUT MAINTAINS HE’LL TAKE OFFICE

“GOP Congressman-elect George Santos, who has now admitted his whopping lies, should resign,” said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), the incoming vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, in a statement. “If he does not, then [House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy] should call for a vote to expel [Santos].”

Santos admitted to lying about several details on his campaign website while running for office earlier this year, including his alleged employment history with Wall Street firms such as Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. Instead, the congressman-elect later told the New York Post he worked for a company called Link Bridge that did business with the two financial firms, conceding he “never worked directly” for them and chalking it up to a “poor choice of words.”

Santos also came under fire for lying about his educational history after he initially claimed he earned degrees in finance and economics from New York University and Baruch College. However, the congressman-elect later confirmed he never graduated from any college.

The concessions prompted several Democrats to warn about the precedent his presence would set, possibly encouraging others to run for office while touting false background details.

“George Santos should resign as Congressman-elect. If he refuses, Congress should expel him. He should also be investigated by authorities,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX). “Just about every aspect of his life appears to be a lie. We’ve seen people fudge their resume but this is total fabrication.”

Other Democrats chimed in, with several lawmakers calling for investigations into his campaign, while others have insisted he not be sworn into Congress.

“Holy Smokes. [Santos] just confessed to defrauding the voters of Long Island about his ENTIRE resume,” said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA). “[Retweet] if he should be banned from taking the oath for Congress.”

Despite the outrage, there may not be much congressional leaders can do to block Santos from taking office.

The House has rules in place that cement its authority over “the Elections, Returns, and Qualifications of its own Members,” according to Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution. However, the House may only use these powers to exclude a member from being seated if that member failed to meet the specific criteria for membership in the House, which includes being at least 25 years of age, being a citizen of the United States for at least seven years, and living in the state in which the candidate won his or her election.

Because Santos met all three of those criteria, House members cannot simply block his swearing-in.

However, House members do have the authority to “punish its Members for disorderly Behavior,” the Constitution states, by voting to expel a member once they are sworn in. Five members of the House and 15 members of the Senate have been expelled pursuant to this clause.

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It’s unclear whether Santos would be removed this way as expulsion requires a vote from two-thirds of House members, and it is unlikely that enough Republicans would join Democrats to reach the necessary threshold. It’s also unclear whether GOP leaders are planning to investigate Santos’s conduct, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy declining to answer questions about the revelations last week.

The Washington Examiner contacted McCarthy’s office, as well as the National Republican Congressional Committee, for comment but did not receive responses.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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