The biography of newly elected Congress member George Santos appeared fairly spectacular. The 34-year-old son of immigrants had graduated from Baruch School, a public faculty in New York, earlier than happening to work at corporations like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. Santos ultimately turned a profitable financier who began an animal rescue charity. The issue is that biography was apparently a lie. As revealed in the New York Instances on Monday, it wasn’t simply that Santos exaggerated his résumé, he had allegedly invented it out of complete material.

The Instances discovered that he apparently didn’t graduate from Baruch School, he didn’t work for Goldman Sachs or Citigroup, there have been no data of him being a profitable financier, nor had been there of him registering his animal rescue charity. The Instances additionally discovered that he had been charged with examine fraud in Brazil.

Additional, plenty of retailers have discovered no proof of Santos’s repeated claims to be Jewish, to have Jewish heritage, or to be descended from refugees fleeing the Holocaust.

Santos has circuitously denied any of the allegations. As a substitute, in a press release on Monday, which additionally included a quote wrongly attributed to Winston Churchill, his legal professional mentioned, “It’s no shock that Congressman-elect Santos has enemies on the New York Instances who’re trying to smear his good title with these defamatory allegations.” On Thursday, Santos adopted up on Twitter, promising “To the folks of #NY03 I’ve my story to inform and it will likely be instructed subsequent week.”

The story has sparked one of many more strange political scandals in American historical past. Members of Congress have dedicated homicide in workplace. In truth, a member of Congress has even killed one other member of Congress. Even within the current day, we’ve seen each scandal beneath the solar, from Anthony Weiner tweeting a lewd image of himself, to Marjorie Taylor Greene’s notorious Fb submit about Jewish area lasers. However it’s laborious to think about a precedent for a scandal like this.

Who’s George Santos?

There are some issues we find out about Santos. The overtly homosexual son of Brazilian immigrants, he was elected in November to an open congressional seat that features a skinny slice of Queens and far of the North Shore of Lengthy Island in Nassau County. Santos defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman by a margin of 54 % to 46 %. This represented a serious swing from 2020 when Biden had gained the district by the identical margin. That 12 months, Santos ran towards incumbent Tom Suozzi in an analogous district and misplaced handily by a margin of 56 % to 43.5 %.

The representative-elect can be a serious Trump supporter — a lot in order that he was at Trump’s Ellipse rally on January 6, 2021, and has repeatedly falsely claimed that the previous president gained the 2020 election.

Additionally, for all his alleged mendacity about his résumé, it’s clear that one firm Santos labored at, Harbor Metropolis Capital, has been accused by the Securities and Alternate Fee of being a Ponzi scheme. As for Santos’s different employment, he did spend a stint as a Portuguese language customer support agent for DISH Community a decade in the past.

What don’t we all know?

We don’t know so much. This ranges from primary information about Santos’s biography to particulars about his dealings with the Brazilian legal justice system, and every part in between, together with the place he really lives.

However most significantly, we don’t know the place Santos’s cash comes from. The Consultant-elect loaned his personal marketing campaign $700,000 in the course of the 2022 cycle and claimed an earnings of $750,000. He additionally listed thousands and thousands of {dollars} in property together with an house in Rio De Janeiro value as much as $1 million and a seven-figure financial savings account. It’s a serious shift in fortune for somebody who was evicted twice, in 2015 and 2017, for failing to pay hire and had been taken to court docket for not paying money owed. Even in 2020, he reported earnings in just one class — compensation in extra of $5,000 paid by one supply — with no different property.

What occurs now?

Dan Goldman, a fellow representative-elect from New York and a former prosecutor, has instructed that Santos face legal investigation for conspiracy to defraud the USA in addition to submitting false statements to the Federal Election Fee.

In an interview with Vox, Goldman shied away from weighing in on whether or not Santos must be denied his seat in Congress. “I feel the larger query isn’t whether or not I feel George Santos must be a member of Congress. The larger query is whether or not Kevin McCarthy and the Republican management suppose that George Santos must be a member of Congress.”

Nonetheless, as of now, McCarthy wants Santos nearly as a lot as Santos wants McCarthy. The Republican chief is going through a revolt amongst hard-right Republicans against him changing into speaker of the Home in January. With the slim incoming GOP majority, it means McCarthy can solely danger a handful of defections for a place that requires a majority vote of your complete Home. Shortly earlier than the Instances’s story was revealed, Santos endorsed McCarthy on Twitter.

Additional, as a result of Santos represents some of the Democratic seats in Congress held by a Republican, forcing him to resign beneath any circumstance is dangerous. It could be a troublesome seat for a Republican to carry in a particular election and a loss would additional imperil an already slim GOP majority.

Within the meantime, it’s a matter of ready for the subsequent shoe to drop. The workplace of New York Legal professional Common Letitia James is already “wanting into among the points which have come out.” As unsustainable as the present established order might sound, the one impetus proper now for Santos to resign can be a way of disgrace, and it appears unlikely that he carries that burden.

Replace, December 23, 10:20 am: This story was initially revealed on December 21 and has been up to date as extra particulars have been reported about Santos’s background.

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