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George Santos Has No Shame At All

George Santos
George Santos. Credit: MSNBC Screenshot.

He lied about his education, his employment history, his real estate holdings, his religious background, and even the time and circumstances of his mother’s death. But despite all that, George Santos is set to become a member of the United States Congress on Tuesday. 

According to the New York Times, ahead of his swearing-in on Tuesday, George Santos has been “hard to reach,” not answering phone calls or emails.

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He is facing at least two criminal investigations from different prosecutors’ offices, with more likely to come. Multiple lawmakers from both parties have called for a House ethics investigation into Santos. 

“What Santos has done is a disgrace. He’s lied to the voters,” Rep. James R. Comer (R-KY), who is expected to take over as chairman of the  House Oversight Committee, told the Times. 

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY), meanwhile, has announced plans to introduce legislation called the “Stop Another Non-Truthful Office Seeker Act — the SANTOS Act,” which would require more disclosures of personal information by candidates for the House. 

The George Santos affair has raised a lot of troubling questions, from how opposition researchers for Santos’ opponent, or the larger Democratic campaign apparatus, somehow missed all this, while the local media also failed to discover any of Santos’ deceptions until after the election. 

Open Investigation in Another Country

Meanwhile, earlier reporting had indicated that Santos may have an open criminal case in Brazil, where he was reportedly charged as a young man with stealing a checkbook. 

The Times reported this week that authorities in that country are reviving that case. 

“Brazilian law enforcement authorities intend to revive fraud charges against Mr. Santos, and will seek his formal response, prosecutors said on Monday,” the newspaper said. The case had been dropped years ago when authorities could not locate Santos, but now that he is an elected member of Congress, they are in fact able to locate him. 

George Santos Takes Oath for Congress

So despite all that, why is George Santos taking the oath today?

It’s because he is a duly elected member of Congress who won the election in November.

With the current status of the various investigations against him, there is nothing stopping him from not entering Congress as scheduled. 

Santos has not been asked to resign by Republican leadership in the House. There is, however, a strong possibility that, due to all the different investigations and the possibility of other wrongdoing coming to light, Santos’ stay in Congress will be a short one. 

In fact, the man whose seat Santos is taking wrote an op-ed, also for the Times, when he called for Santos’ removal from Congress. 

“A Con Man Is Succeeding Me in Congress Today” was the headline of the op-ed by Tom Suozzi, the Democrat who held the seat for three terms before not running for re-election last year. 

“I’ve lost track of how many evasions and lies Mr. Santos has told about himself, his finances and his history and relationship with our stretch of Long Island and northeastern Queens,” the outgoing Congressman wrote. “When he is seated, it will diminish our Congress, our country, and my constituents — soon his constituents. It saddens me that after 30 years of public service rooted in hard work and service to the people of this area, I’m being succeeded by a con man.”

He also tied it to more widespread problems in politics today. 

“But for now, there is no getting around the fact that Mr. Santos’s con game is a manifestation of a growing political phenomenon of saying or doing anything, with no automatic consequences,” Suozzi wrote.

“Whether it be far-right election deniers, personal attacks that call for violence against opponents, claims of false-flag mass shootings, extremists spouting the first thing that comes to mind and even one politician saying he could ‘shoot somebody’ on Fifth Avenue and still not lose supporters.”

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Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.