The Lying Legislator: George Santos

Ryan Heshmati

January 13, 2023

What’s going on?

George Santos flipped a blue district in New York in the 2022 midterm election. To get to that victory, Santos made many claims about himself and his accomplishments that were later the subject of substantial criticism. Now, the congressman "…has acknowledged misrepresenting significant details about his religion, education and career…" according to Bloomberg's Jarrell Dillard and Gregory Korte. To understand this situation, where the congressman faces calls to resign from prominent figures like Congressman Ted Lieu, the background behind George Santos requires exploration.

Who is George Santos?

Born in 1988 to Brazilian parents, he grew up to work in a call center between 2011 and 2012 in Queens, New York, according to the New York Times. They also found that he worked at Linkbridge, a company that connects investors.

Seriously Sketchy   

According to BBC, George Santos' plethora of questionable claims has gone as far as potential misrepresentation of his religious background. The congressman, as he puts it, "embellished" his resume with significant fabrications. He claimed to have impressive positions at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, only to later claim that was an embellishment of the work he did at Linkbridge. The New York Times even found court records indicating Santos had used stolen checks in Brazil. The case had not advanced as law enforcement in Brazil had lost track of Santos, but now that they know where Santos is, according to Bloomberg, "…Brazilian authorities said they would petition to reopen…." Details as foundational as his education have now been revealed to be false. While claiming to have had a finance and economics degree, he finally admitted, "…[He] didn't graduate from any institution of higher learning."

What's Next?

Having taken office, despite all of his misdeeds, George Santos is the United States congressman from the 3rd District of New York. He appears determined to keep his position and not resign, however, he faces federal and state prosecutor investigations, according to NBC News. David Wright of CNN reports that "issues with contributions made to embattled Rep.-elect George Santos' campaign" have been flagged by the Federal Election Commission. With problems like contributions above the federal limit surfacing from the FEC, Santos, already on the defensive, will have his back further against the wall. While one might anticipate no legislator could come out of so much scandal with a future in Washington, other politicians have maintained careers despite various controversies. For instance, Senator David Vitter of Louisiana kept his seat even after being connected to a prostitution service, though he did fail to win a later gubernatorial election. With the wackiness of Washington in mind, Santos' fate is unknown.