The Santos Scandal


Student researching George Santos, New York’s third congressional district representative, on February 14, 2023.

By now, many of us have heard of congressman George Santos from New York’s third congressional district. Santos is now accused of lying about everything from his resume to potential campaign finance violations, so what could be next for the congressman?

Concerns about Santos first arose when both Baruch College and New York University, both listed on his resume, could not confirm and had no records of his enrollment. This led to it being uncovered that he in fact did not work for Citigroup or Goldman Sachs, both of which were listed on his resume as well. Santos later admitted to the New York Post that, “My sins here are embellishing my resume.” While he did confirm some of a key New York Times investigation into his background, Santos sought to minimize the “misrepresentations.”

Later, concerns would arise about the criminal history of George Santos. It was revealed that George Santos was charged with fraud in Brazil after writing checks from a stolen checkbook as a young man. Santos denied the claims stating, “I am not a criminal here- not here or in Brazil or any jurisdiction in the world. Absolutely not. That didn’t happen.” Another issue would arise when former service member Richard Osthoff, a disabled veteran of the navy, came forward stating that George Santos had helped him raise 3,000 dollars for a life-saving surgery for Osthoff’s dog as a part of Santos’ charity Friends of Pets United, then refused to turn over the money. Osthoff states that Santos then ignored multiple text messages concerning where the money was and became impossible to reach. It was later discovered that Friends of Pets United was never a registered charity but rather fabricated by Santos. An investigation into this matter also led to inquiries about the “Over 700,000 dollar” donation made by Santos to his campaign. An investigation has been launched to determine if this “donation” may have been an illegal donor scheme. 

George Santos has been accused of many things but ultimately the opinions of his constituents may be the most important in deciding George Santos’ future. According to polls conducted by the Washington Post, “78 percent of voters in Santos’ district want him to resign.” The Washington Post also stated that “nearly 8 in 10 voters want him out (including 7 in 10 Republicans.)” This was made clear when Nassau County Republican Leaders called for his resignation. Nassau County GOP chair Joe Cairo stated, “He has no place in the Nassau County Republican Committee, nor should he serve in public service or as an elected official,” during a press conference. House Democrats have also called for Santos’ resignation with Representatives Richie Torres and Dan Goldman filing a formal complaint with the House Ethics Committee against George Santos. Representative Torres stated that, “Santos must be held accountable for defrauding both congress and the public.” Even though there may be a large call for George Santos’ resignation, there is not a lot of precedent surrounding issues like this.

When asked about potential precedent around something like the situation with Santos, Durango High School government teacher David Weisfelt stated, “Politicians have been known to lie before,” and later starting with regards to George Santos, “This is of a different caliber.” Mr. Weisfelt also added that he can’t think of a similar situation but may be overlooking somebody. When asked about his personal opinion about what should happen regarding George Santos, Mr. Weisfelt stated simply, “Congressional vote, censure, boot him,” but added that it is a really rare occurrence. 

As George Santos has stepped down from his committee assignments, many wonder what is next for him but only time will tell as Santos refuses to resign unless, “those sane 142,000 people tell me they don’t want me,” referring to those who voted for him in his district.