George Santos, a Republican who was just elected to Congress to represent New York, is battling allegations that he misrepresented himself on the campaign trail.
Santos’ résumé contains claims about his education and employment history that are either unsupported by evidence or contradicted by it, according to a Monday report from The New York Times and corroborating reports from other outlets.
Santos is congressman-elect for New York’s third Congressional District, which covers the stretch of northern Long Island closest to New York City. He is slated to be sworn in on January 3 when the new Congress convenes.
Santos claimed he earned degrees in finance and economics at Baruch College and New York University. However, NYU and Baruch both confirmed to CNN and the Times that they could find no records of Santos attending either school.
Santos also claimed in his campaign biography that he has worked at the Wall Street firms Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. Both companies told CNN and the Times that they have no record of his ever working there.
In yet another questionable claim, Santos also said he founded and ran a charity called “Friends of Pets United,” but there appears to be no record of such an organization in the IRS database.
The Times also discovered alleged unresolved criminal charges against Santos for check fraud in Brazil. Santos reportedly did not respond to an official court summons. Santos is the son of Brazilian immigrants.
Santos also omitted important information about his personal financial disclosures, the Times found. He reported a salary of $750,000 and over $1 million in dividends in his 2022 financial disclosure at the Devolder Organization in Florida in 2022 and 2021. However, he failed to report any of the clients he served while there. Furthermore, the Devolder Organization failed to file the required annual reports and so was made temporarily “inactive” by the state of Florida.
Santos’ attorney, Joseph Murray, hit back at the allegations in a statement on Monday, calling the allegations “defamatory.”
“After four years in the public eye, and on the verge of being sworn in as a member of the Republican led 118th Congress, the New York Times launches this shotgun blast of attacks,” Murray wrote in the statement, which was posted to social media. “It is no surprise that Congressman-elect Santos has enemies at the New York Times who are attempting to smear his good name with these defamatory allegations.”
The chairman of the local Republican committee weighed in on Tuesday, saying Santos should have an opportunity to defend himself.
“While issues that have been raised in a December 19th New York Times article are serious, I believe that George Santos deserves an opportunity to address the claims detailed in the article, which have been repeated by other news sources,” Joseph Cairo Jr., the Nassau County Republican Committee chairman, said in a statement.
“Every person deserves an opportunity to ‘clear’ his/her name in the face of accusations. I am committed to this principle, and I look forward to the Congressman-Elect’s responses to the news reports,” Cairo said.
Democrats have called for an investigation into Santos’ questionable biographical claims.
Santos ran as an openly gay Republican whose platform included energy independence, lowering inflation, funding law enforcement, and a flat tax rate.