New York Democrats urge McCarthy and Stefanik to ‘frankly’ cooperate with Santos investigations

New York Democrats urge McCarthy and Stefanik to ‘frankly’ cooperate with Santos investigations

New York Democrats urge McCarthy and Stefanik to ‘frankly’ cooperate with Santos investigations

Washington— New York Democratic Reps. Daniel Goldman and Ritchie Torres on Sunday called on House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and GOP Conference Chair Representative Elise Stefanik to cooperate “proactively and candidly” with the investigations into embattled Republican Representative George Santos.

Goldman and Torres, who deposit a House Ethics Committee complaint against Santos last week, sent a letter to McCarthy, Stefanik and Dan Conston, head of the Congressional Leadership Fund, asking them to disclose their “knowledge of Mr. Santos’ deception network before elections so that the public understands whether and to what extent you were complicit in Mr. Santos’ fraud on his constituents.”

“It’s one thing for a candidate like Mr. Santos to trick voters into supporting him based on a web of lies. But it’s another if the highest levels of Republican leadership knew about it. of Mr. Santos’ lies during the campaign and chose to be complicit,” they wrote. “Investigators examining Mr. Santos’ conduct must understand the entire web of deception, and so it is essential that you cooperate fully and candidly with these investigations.”

Goldman and Torres’ request comes in response to a New York Times article published Friday, which revealed that a “routine background study” commissioned by the Santos campaign revealed a “pattern of deception”, including fraudulent university degrees, involvement in a company accused of a Ponzi Scheme, multiple expulsions and suspended driver’s licenses.

According to the Times, Conston, a close McCarthy ally who leads the Republican-focused super PAC in the House, told lawmakers, donors and others he feared damaging information would come to light. exposing Santos as a fraud.

Indeed, Santos was embroiled in controversy after his election in November to represent New York’s 3rd congressional district, prompting calls for his resignation from some of his fellow Republicans in Congress.

Following public reports questioning his resume and finances, Santos admitted to having “embellished” large parts of his background during his successful bid for Congress in 2022, including his education and work experience. Federal and local prosecutors are now examining the New York Republican’s finances and financial disclosures, as well as the lies he peddled on the campaign trail and whether he complied with the law.

In addition to the House Ethics Committee complaint from Goldman and Torres, Santos is the target of a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission accusing him of illegally using campaign funds for personal expenses and providing false information about the source of his campaign donations and expenses. The lawsuit was filed by the Campaign Legal Center and questions whether $705,000 in campaign contributions improperly came from a corporation or foreign national.

A growing number of Republicans, including in the New York congressional delegation and the head of the Nassau County Republican Committee, have called on Santos to step downthough the congressman rebuffed those calls.

McCarthy, meanwhile, said voters will decide Santos’ future in Congress and told reporters Wednesday that many House and Senate members fabricated parts of their resumes.

“He has to respond to voters and voters can make another decision in two years,” McCarthy said.

But Goldman and Torres said in their letter to McCarthy, Stefanik and Conston that the American people “have a right to know whether Republican leaders, including each of you, were complicit in the perpetration of this voter fraud. “.

In a interview with “Face the Nation” On Sunday, Goldman called Santos a “complete and utter fraud” and said its financial disclosures included misrepresentations and omissions.

“This is a scheme to defraud voters in New York’s 3rd District, and it needs to be fully investigated,” he said. “And Mr. Santos has to think twice about whether he belongs in Congress. And more importantly, the speaker has to think twice about whether Mr. Santos is fit to serve in Congress.”

Jake Rosen contributed to this report.

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