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N.Y. Republicans call on lying Rep. George Santos to step down

The Nassau County GOP called on the newly-seated congressman to resign over all the outrageous lies he told on the campaign trail.


UPDATE (Jan. 12, 2024, 9:36 a.m. ET): This post has been updated to explain what would happen if Rep. George Santos resigned.

Republican officials in New York want off the George Santos train.

The Nassau County Republican Committee, which serves much of the freshman congressman's district on Long Island, officially called on him Wednesday to resign for running a "campaign of deceit."

Santos has been bedeviled by lies he’s spun about his personal and family history, and more recently, by the various investigations (local, state, federal and international) swirling around him. 

"George Santos' campaign last year was a campaign of deceit, lies and fabrication," Nassau County GOP Chairman Joseph Cairo said during a press conference. "He deceived voters of the 3rd Congressional District, he deceived members of the Nassau County Republican Committee, elected officials, his colleagues, candidates, his opponents and even some in the media."

The press conference featured the first GOP House member yet to call for Santos' resignation, when fellow New York Rep. Anthony D'esposito said Santos "does not have the ability to serve in the House of Representatives and should resign."

If Santos were to resign this year, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul would have to declare a special election within 10 days of the vacancy. That special election would take place between 70 to 80 days after that proclamation is issued.

Several names have been floated as potential candidates should there be a special election, including Santos' Democratic opponent in last year's election, Robert Zimmerman, as well as Republican state Sen. Jack Martin.

But Santos has claimed he merely “embellished” his resume and has refused to step down. And after the Nassau GOP made its announcement, Santos remained defiant, saying — you guessed it — he "will not" resign.

Following local and national reports exposing Santos' lies about his job experience, academic history and more, Nassau County’s district attorney announced last month an investigation into Santos’ deceptive campaign for New York’s 3rd Congressional District. 

Santos’ list of lies is quite long. He’s apparently lied about being Jewish, leading to his denunciation by a prominent group of Jewish Republicans. He lied about graduating college. He lied about having worked at Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. Even statements he's made about his mother's death have come under scrutiny.

On top of that, NBC News reported last month that federal prosecutors are investigating the Santos campaign’s finances, “including potential irregularities involving financial disclosures and loans he made to his campaign as he was running for Congress.”

And a prosecutor's office in Brazil recently told The New York Times it plans to bring criminal charges against Santos for a 2008 incident regarding a stolen checkbook.

Santos’ prolific lying seems to have helped Republicans claim a slim House majority. That’s at least part of the reason House Republicans aren’t taking steps to boot him from their caucus (at least for now). Prior to the Nassau GOP's press conference, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy stopped short of calling for Santos to step down or be removed from Congress, saying Santos should merely be barred from serving on top House committees. But Nassau GOP chairman Cairo said when it comes to his organization, “we do not consider [Santos] one of our Congress people,” proving they're not as willing as McCarthy to cape for one of the most shameless liars in their party.