Santos constituents, New York lawmakers gather at Capitol to call for his ouster
Constituents of Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) and a pair New York Democratic lawmakers gathered at the Capitol on Tuesday to call for the embattled congressman’s ouster as he comes under increased scrutiny for biography fabrications and campaign finance questions.
Dozens of constituents, flanked with signs criticizing Santos, representatives from the group Concerned Citizens of NY-03, and Reps. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) and Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) called for Santos to be removed from Congress during a press conference, pointing to his embellished résumé and questionable financial disclosure forms.
“We made the trip here today to really express our outrage regarding George Santos,” said Ben Marzouk, a constituent of New York’s 3rd Congressional District.
“As a Republican, George Santos certainly does not represent my party. He has tarnished my district and created an embarrassment for a party — that we should not be defined by him,” he added.
Jody Kass, the coordinator for Concerned Citizens of NY-03, said the group has “only one goal,” adding “and that is to have George Santos removed from squatting in our seat in the House of Representatives.”
The constituents led a number of chants, including “Hey hey! Ho ho! Santos has got to go!” and “Force him out!” One sign being held read, “Enough lies expel Santos today.”
Following the press conference, a group of constituents went to Santos’s office and hand-delivered a petition demanding that he leave Congress.
“I look forward to welcoming them and having a thoughtful discussion with them,” Santos told reporters on Tuesday.
“That’s their freedom of speech,” he added, “and I’ll entertain a conversation with them every single day. I represent them all equally.
Santos has drawn scrutiny since before he was sworn in as a member of Congress. The New York Times published a report in December that accused him of fabricating parts of his résumé, and he later admitted to some embellishment.
Since then, the congressman has been questioned about other falsehoods and suspicious components of his campaign finance reports.
Goldman and Torres filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee last month that accused Santos of failing to file timely, accurate and complete financial disclosure reports. He is also the subject of local, federal and international probes.
Goldman said the pair filed the complaint “because we saw the unbelievable and unprecedented amounts of fraud, deception and lies that a single person has brought to what should be the hallowed halls of the Capitol.”
Torres said Santos poses the greatest threat among lawmakers.
“Of the 535 members in Congress, there’s no one who poses a greater threat to the institution than George Santos,” Torres said, later adding “the lies of George Santos are every bit as outrageous and outlandish as the man himself.”
“He brings new embarrassment to the people of New York, to the people of Long Island, and it is time for him to resign,” he said. “His ability to govern has been crippled by a complete collapse in credibility.”
Goldman zeroed in on Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik — the highest-ranking New York Republican — asking why they have not called on Santos to resign. McCarthy and Stefanik have both deferred to voters in New York’s 3rd Congressional District.
“We know George Santos is not going to resign on his own. He’s making more money in Congress than he’s ever legitimately made before. What’s his incentive to resign? It’s going to have to come from the top,” he added.
Marzouk, the Republican from the 3rd Congressional District, specifically discussed Santos’s previous statements regarding his mother and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“To say that your mother was part of that, you have to be really psychologically impaired to throw that around like it’s nickels,” he said.
In 2021, Santos wrote on Twitter, “9/11 claimed my mothers life.” And his campaign website previously said his mother worked in the South Tower and “survived the horrific events of that day, but unfortunately passed away a few years later.”
Reports, however, have surfaced that Santos’s mother was not in New York on Sept. 11 of that year. During an interview with One America News last week, the congressman said, “I never claimed my mother died on the 9/11 attacks.”
“The toxic dust that permeated throughout Manhattan and my mother being present [in] downtown Manhattan, that is what I was referencing,” he added.
Santos invited a former firefighter who helped with rescue efforts at the World Trade Center on 9/11 to President Biden’s State of the Union, scheduled for Tuesday night.
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