Nov. 18, 2023
The Santos Saga: a Timeline of the Scandals, Charges, and Lies
Kenny Houston/New York Times
Due to the controversies surrounding his tenure in government, George Santos, a Republican from New York, has become well-known. He acknowledges that he fabricated information on his resume, including his professional experience, college attended, and his "Jewish-ish" background. Still, he maintains that he has done no wrongdoing and has no plans to resign. Despite this, Santos is the focus of numerous federal, state, municipal, and international investigations, and calls for his resignation have intensified even within his party. A House Ethics Committee released a report on Nov. 16, 2023.
Here is the timeline:
Nov. 3, 2020: Democratic Representative Tom Suozzi defeats Santos in his first congressional run. Two weeks later, on Nov. 17, he concedes.
Jan. 6, 2021: Santos blames Suozzi for stealing his electoral seat while speaking at a rally for Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., before the attack on the U.S. Capitol. In a subsequent interview, he claims that while Trump was at his "full awesomeness that day," he did not visit the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Jun. 10, 2021: Santos announces a second congressional candidacy to represent New York's 3rd Congressional District. According to his biography on the campaign website, he worked as an associate asset manager at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup after earning his degree from Baruch College.
Sept. 6, 2022: Santos files his financial disclosure report, stating that he has up to $11 million in assets. The North Shore Leader, a Long Island publication, raises questions concerning his money in light of his dramatic growth in net worth since his 2020 campaign.
Nov. 8, 2022: In a race that created political history for the LGBTQIA+ community, Santos wins his second attempt at running for Congress. This is the first time two openly gay candidates for Congress have faced off in a general election.
Nov. 19, 2022: Santos gives a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition summit, announcing that with his election, the number of Jewish Republican members of Congress will increase to three. In addition to numerous allusions to Judaism, Santos circulated a position paper declaring himself to be "a proud American Jew" during his 2022 congressional race.
Nov. 21, 2022: Santos claims he "lost four employees" in the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, in an interview with WNYC. Subsequently, the New York Times revealed that it doesn't seem like any of the 49 victims were employed by the several companies mentioned in his CV.
Dec. 19, 2022: According to a shocking investigation by The New York Times, Santos falsified his resume. In a statement, Santos' attorney, Joseph Murray, brushes off the piece, claiming that Santos was being accused by "enemies" at the newspaper and refers to the accusations as "defamatory," all without addressing any particular points made in The Times' reporting.
NBC New York is informed by representatives for Baruch and New York University—where he is rumored to have graduated—that they do not have any documentation of his attendance. Additionally, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup representatives inform NBC New York that they are unaware of his employment history.
Dec. 21, 2022: Although Santos' campaign website stated at the time that "George's grandparents fled Jewish persecution in Ukraine, settled in Belgium, and again fled persecution during WWII," The Forward claims that Santos' grandparents did not escape the Holocaust. His claimed Jewish origin is also questioned in the study. In reaction to the article, the Republican Jewish Coalition claims to have gotten in touch with Santos' group and stated, "These allegations, if true, are deeply troubling."
Dec. 22, 2022: Santos is the subject of a "number of issues" that the attorney general's office in New York says is "looking into." A Santos attorney responds that he has "not been contacted by anyone" from the attorney general's office. Additionally, Santos tweets, saying, "To the people of #NY03", I will be sharing my story the following week.
Dec. 26, 2022: Santos acknowledges that he falsified his resume in several media appearances in New York. He apologizes to WABC radio and admits to embellishing his resume, telling City & State New York that he has "never committed any crimes" in the United States or overseas. Among Santos' initial reactions to the Times inquiry are the interviews.
In an additional interview with the New York Post on Dec. 26, Santos admits to making several specific fabrications on his resume. He claims that neither Baruch College nor any other higher education institution awarded him a degree. He calls his statements that he was employed by Goldman Sachs and Citigroup "a poor choice of words." Santos responds, "I never claimed to be Jewish," when questioned about his assertions that his grandparents survived the Holocaust. I'm a Catholic. I described myself as "Jew-ish" after learning that my mother's side of the family was Jewish.
Dec. 28, 2022: Santos is the subject of an investigation by the Nassau County district attorney, who states, "The numerous fabrications and inconsistencies associated with Congressman-Elect Santos are nothing short of stunning.… No one is above the law, and if a crime was committed in this county, we will prosecute it."
Santos also makes an appearance on Fox News on Dec. 28, addressing anchor and former House member Tulsi Gabbard, "I'm not a fraud. I'm not a fake. I've made some mistakes," adding that "It's not false" that he worked at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.
Jan. 2, 2023: Citing a spokesman for the Rio de Janeiro prosecutor's office, the New York Times reports that "Brazilian law enforcement authorities intend to revive fraud charges against" Santos concerning an incident in 2008 involving a stolen checkbook. TheSocialTalks has yet to confirm its intentions independently.
Jan. 9, 2023: The Campaign Legal Center files a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, alleging that the Santos campaign concealed the source of a $705,000 loan that Santos provided to his campaign and used campaign funds to pay personal costs.
Additionally, on Jan. 9, a member of Santos' political team posed as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's chief of staff to gather money for his campaign, according to CNBC and other media sites reports. According to CNBC, Santos' attorney declined to comment on whether or not Santos was aware that a staff member had impersonated McCarthy's chief of staff.
Jan. 10, 2023: The House Ethics Committee receives a complaint from Representatives Dan Goldman and Ritchie Torres, both of New York, over Santos' purported "failure to file timely, accurate and complete financial disclosure reports."
Jan. 11, 2023: Republican leaders in Nassau County, New York, demand that Santos step down at a press conference. County GOP Chairman Joe Cairo mentioned that Santos attended Baruch College and was a "star" on the volleyball team. Not long later, four House Republicans issue their resignation demands for Santos. They are rejected, and Santos tells reporters, "I will not resign." He tweets, "I will NOT resign!" too.
Jan. 12, 2023: In an interview with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., on "Steve Bannon's War Room," Santos says he will step down if "142,000 people" urge him to, referring to the total number of voters who supported him during the election.
Jan. 17, 2023: Santos receives appointments to two panels after numerous Democrats and some Republicans expressed concern that his presence on important committees would threaten national security. He has been appointed to the Science, Space, and Technology Committee and the Small Business Committee.
Jan. 18, 2023: After Santos had claimed that his mother was in the World Trade Center's South Tower and had survived the 9/11 attacks, NBC News and other media sources were able to obtain immigration documents proving that she was not in the country on Sept. 11, 2001.
A disabled veteran also accused Santos of stealing thousands of dollars from GoFundMe to pay for his service dog's life-saving operation on Jan. 18. "Reports that I would let a dog die is shocking & insane," tweets Santos in response.
Jan. 19, 2023: After a Brazilian drag performer posted a picture of herself and another person in drag on social media, identifying them as Santos, Santos maintains that any claims that he was a drag queen are "categorically false." The photos have not been independently authenticated.
May 2023: Federal prosecutors charge Santos with 13 counts of financial fraud. Mr. Santos enters a not-guilty plea, and the indictment centers on three schemes that the prosecutors had found. According to the prosecution, Mr. Santos and an unidentified consultant raised at least $50,000 for a fictitious political fund that he used to settle debts and purchase high-end clothing. A full report of these charges can be found here.
Oct. 2023: Prosecutors charge Mr. Santos with new crimes related to his 2022 campaign; he enters another not-guilty plea. Additionally, he has consistently refuted any wrongdoing. Although he has turned down calls for resignation, he declared he would not run for office again following the release of the House Ethics Committee findings.
Nov. 2023: According to the House Ethics Committee, there is "substantial evidence" is that New York Representative George Santos broke federal criminal statutes. The committee states that some of the infractions were covered by the 23 felony charges federal prosecutors had already brought against Mr. Santos. Santos announces that he will not be running for re-election.
"As discussed in the ISC's Report, Representative Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit. He blatantly stole from his campaign. He deceived donors into providing what they thought were contributions to his campaign but were in fact payments for his personal benefit," it says. You can read the full report here.
On Friday, Nov. 17, one day after the Ethics Committee delivered a damning report on its investigation into GOP Representative George Santos of New York, House Ethics Chairman Michael Guest, a Republican from Mississippi, submitted a resolution to remove Santos from Congress. After returning from the Thanksgiving break at the end of the month, lawmakers are anticipated to discuss the resolution.
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