George Santos Is Stepping Down From His Committee Assignments

Anna Moneymaker/Getty
Anna Moneymaker/Getty

After meeting privately with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Monday night, Rep. George Santos (R-NY) told House Republicans Tuesday that he would step down from his committee assignments while he works through a host of allegations about his repeated lies.

McCarthy told reporters that Santos had suggested the idea, signaling a notable about-face for the freshman lawmaker, who has remained defiant for weeks, refusing to apologize, resign, or to even substantially acknowledge the many investigations and allegations piling up.

McCarthy, who had put Santos on the House Small Business Committee and Science and Technology Committee just this month, characterized Santos’ recusal as an “appropriate decision” for now “until he could clear everything up.”

In a statement issued Monday afternoon, Santos said he’d asked McCarthy to be temporarily recused from his assignments given “the ongoing attention surrounding both my personal and campaign financial investigations.”

“This was a decision that I take very seriously. The business of the 118th Congress must continue without media fanfare,” Santos continued. “It is important that I primarily focus on serving the constituents of New York’s Third Congressional District and providing federal level representation without distraction.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said Santos felt there was “so much drama, really, over the situation.” She said the move was only temporary and was done, in part, so House Republicans can boot Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) off the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Santos’ decision comes amid rising calls for him to resign over a slew of lies told about his personal life and professional experience, as well as questions over his campaign spending.

The embattled lawmaker is now facing multiple investigations and complaints. Brazilian prosecutors are attempting to renew criminal charges against Santos relating to his alleged use of a stolen checkbook, while in this country questions surrounding his campaign spending and financial disclosures have generated complaints to the Federal Election Commission and House Ethics Committee.

Since he took the oath of office on Jan. 7, reports have emerged that have piled more pressure on Santos. A report last Friday suggested that over a dozen of the major donors to his unsuccessful 2020 congressional campaign don’t appear to exist, while a Daily Beast story earlier in the week revealed that a $500,000 loan he gave to his campaign didn’t come from his personal funds although he previously claimed it had.

George Santos Admits 500K Personal Loan to Campaign Wasn’t ‘Personal’

Some of his other recent hits have also included telling a Brazilian podcast that he was the victim of an assassination attempt; initially denying that he had dressed in drag under the name Kitara Ravache before later admitting that it was him; and apparently attempting to hide his Spotify account, for some reason.

The sheer variety of the alleged falsehoods peddled by Santos has even led to his own Republican colleagues telling him to resign. But Santos has so far remained steadfast in his refusal to step down. Earlier this month, he tweeted that he was elected to serve his district, not his party or other politicians.

“I remain committed to doing that and regret to hear that local officials refuse to work with my office to deliver results to keep our community safe and lower the cost of living,” he added. “I will NOT resign!”

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