Republican Congressman-elect George Santos (R-N.Y.) is being investigated by prosecutors after he said he had embellished his professional biography during his campaign to represent the state’s 3rd Congressional District.
Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly, a Republican who took office at the start of 2022, said in a statement on Dec. 29: “The numerous fabrications and inconsistencies associated with Congressman-Elect Santos are nothing short of stunning.
“The residents of Nassau County and other parts of the third district must have an honest and accountable representative in Congress. No one is above the law and if a crime was committed in this county, we will prosecute it.”
Representatives for Santos did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Dec. 26, in an interview with the New York Post and New York-based radio station WABC, Santos said he had fabricated parts of his education and work experience, in what he called “resume embellishments.”
Santos had falsely claimed on his biography posted on the National Republican Congressional Committee that he had obtained “degrees in finance and economics” at Baruch College and New York University, and had worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.
The revelations came about after a report from The New York Times on Dec. 19 called into question what Santos had claimed about his heritage, education, and work history.
The rep.-elect said he still plans to assume office in January. He is scheduled to be sworn in on Jan. 3, when the U.S. House of Representatives reconvenes.
“I want to make sure that if I disappointed anyone by resume embellishments, I’m sorry,” he told WABC on Dec. 26. “And I will deliver to you on everything I campaigned on because it’s still the same guy, still the same message, still the same priorities.”
Santos faced other allegations such as that he had falsely said he was Jewish. Santos on Dec. 26 told the New York Post he had “never claimed to be Jewish.”
Previously, he referred to himself as “a proud American Jew,” reported The Associated Press, and described himself as a “non-observant Jew,” reported the Jewish Insider. He separately had said on Twitter that he is a “conservative Roman Catholic.”
In remarks to the Jewish Insider in early November, Santos said: “Whether my mother’s Jewish background beliefs, which are mine, or my father’s Roman Catholic beliefs, which are also mine, are represented or not, I want to represent everyone else that practices every other religion to make sure everybody feels like they have a partner in me.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition issued a statement against Santos on Dec. 27, saying that Santos “will not be welcome at any future RJC event,” adding: “He deceived us and misrepresented his heritage. In public comments and to us personally he previously claimed to be Jewish.”
Separately, Santos denied that he had been criminally charged in Brazil, as alleged by The New York Times.
“I am not a criminal here, not here or in Brazil or any jurisdiction in the world,” Santos said. “Absolutely not. That didn’t happen.”