Congress’ most controversial new member, Rep. George Santos (R), can count second-term congressman and fellow New Yorker, Rep. Ritchie Torres, among the legions who want to see him booted out of the capitol for defrauding voters.
Rep. Torres (D) is calling on the Federal Election Commission to launch an investigation into potential illegal activity and irregularities with Santos’ campaign finances. In a letter to the chair of the agency, Torres requested the FEC investigate Santos’s relationship with Redstone Strategies, an unregistered fundraising group, for violations of the Federal Election Campaigns Act, as reported by the New York Times.
Investigative reporting by the Times has unleashed a near-daily drumbeat of allegations against Santos, for fabricating his bona fides while running for the open seat in New York State’s third congressional district last year. That seat opened when then-Rep. Tom Suozzi (D), vacated it to launch an unsuccessful run for governor against incumbent Kathy Hochul.
Santos falsely claimed to have worked at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. In addition, Santos gave his own campaign $700,000, despite having disclosed earning an annual salary of just $55,000.
“Given what we know through public reporting, it is outrageous to me that Mr. Santos was even allowed to be sworn in officially as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Torres. “But now, there are serious questions that need to be answered surrounding the way in which he supposedly financed his illegitimate campaign for elected office that was built on a web of deception encompassing nearly every facet of his professional and personal life.
“Rep. Santos has proven himself to be not only a habitual liar who’s supremely unqualified to be serving in Congress, but someone who desperately needs to be held accountable for breaking the public’s trust and potentially breaking the law.”
A concerned citizens group in Santos’ district publicly thanked Torres for his efforts to “encourage the FEC to take action to hold Rep. Santos accountable.
“It’s a shame that (House) Speaker Kevin McCarthy thinks it is okay for the more than 700,000 people who live in this district to have no legitimate representation,” said Jody Kass Finkel, founder of Concerned Citizens of NY-03, which includes parts of western Long Island and northeastern Queens. “Rep. Torres understands how insulting it is for us to be told to ‘Live with it. Get over it. Your voice does not matter.’ We will not be silent and deserve to have a representative who tells us the truth.
“We look forward to our ongoing collaboration with Rep. Torres to deliver accountability for the people of this district and to finally get Santos the squatter evicted from office once and for all.”
Torres earlier this month filed an official complaint against Santos with the House Ethics Committee, and is continuing to press Republican House leadership to publicly explain how much they knew about Santos’s lies before he was elected, and when they found out.
He is sponsoring new legislation aimed at punishing candidates for federal office who lie to voters about their background.