‘Hiding from legitimate questions’: Jeffries demands answers from scandal-embroiled George Santos

Hakeem Jeffries
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., questions Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russell Vought as he testifies during a hearing of the House Budget Committee about President Trump’s budget for Fiscal Year 2021, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (Alex Brandon/AP)

‘Hiding from legitimate questions’: Jeffries demands answers from scandal-embroiled George Santos

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Incoming House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) is calling for answers from Rep.-elect George Santos following reports that the New York Republican fabricated his resume and allegations he faces criminal charges in Brazil.

Santos is facing scrutiny after a New York Times report called into question Santos’s truthfulness regarding his education, background in finance, address, and a charity he claimed he led — information the outlet was unable to verify. Santos is also accused of committing check fraud in Brazil.

Jeffries slammed the New York Republican, whose seat was pivotal in the GOP taking its narrow majority, during a press conference on Wednesday.

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“At this moment, we need answers from George Santos. He appears to be a complete and utter fraud — his whole life story made up, and he’s going to have to answer that question. Did you perpetrate a fraud on the voters of the 3rd Congressional District in New York? Right now, George Santos appears to be in the witness protection program,” Jeffries said.

“No one can find him. He’s hiding from legitimate questions that his constituents are asking about his education, about his so-called charity, about his work experience, about his criminal entanglements in Brazil, about every aspect it appears of his life,” he added.

Jeffries went on to accuse Santos of misrepresenting his political views on the campaign trail, alleging that he is less centrist than he let on.

“It’s also apparent to me that George Santos has perpetrated a fraud in terms of his views on delivering for the people of Nassau County. He pretended to be a moderate on the campaign trail. We know that is not true. He’s consistently played footsie with white supremacists, election deniers, and those who seek to overturn our democracy,” Jeffries continued.

“And so, we’ll see what happens on Jan. 3. It’s an open question to me as to whether this is the type of individual that the incoming majority should welcome to Congress. That’s a question for Kevin McCarthy at this point in time,” he said.

McCarthy’s office has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Through a lawyer, Santos has shot back at the accusations but has not outwardly denied them.

“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,” attorney Joseph Murray said in a statement.

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“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,’” he added, with a quote incorrectly attributed to Churchill.

Jeffries argued that Republicans are off to a chaotic start even before they have taken over the majority, noting the tension within the GOP over the uncertainty of who will be the next speaker in addition to the Santos situation.

“House Republicans are attacking Senate Republicans, Marjorie Taylor Greene is fighting with Lauren Boebert, and George Santos appears to be starring in the sequel to Catch Me If You Can, and it’s not even Jan. 3,” he said.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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