An investigation into Representative-Elect George Santos’s (R-NY) biography reveals that it is largely fiction, but also potential criminal activity that could be a big problem for the slim four-seat GOP House majority.
At the same time, new revelations uncovered by The Times — including the omission of key information on Mr. Santos’s personal financial disclosures and criminal charges for check fraud in Brazil — have the potential to create ethical and possibly legal challenges once he takes office.
The Times attempted to interview Mr. Santos at the address where he is registered to vote and that was associated with a campaign donation he made in October, but a person at that address said on Sunday that she was not familiar with him.
Material omissions or misrepresentations on personal financial disclosures are considered a federal crime under the False Statements Act, which carries a maximum penalty of $250,000 and five years in prison. But the bar for these cases is high, given that the statute requires violations to be “knowing and willful.”
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Every slim congressional majority contains a bit of political peril. One scandal, illness, or death can substantially cut into the majority and alter the ability to govern.
This reality makes what Speaker Pelosi was able to accomplish with such a slim majority one of the most remarkable feats of leadership in the history of the House.
Republicans haven’t even settled on a Speaker, but there are already red flags popping up everywhere surrounding the House GOP. It only takes a few unforeseen circumstances to shift a majority.
Expect Republicans to stick with Santos because they need his vote, but there is already trouble brewing for the new House majority as soon as it is seated.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association