January 29, 2023

Santos has been named to two House committees amid growing calls for his resignation



CNN

Freshman Rep. George Santos was awarded seats in two subcommittees after House Republicans debated where to face the New York congressman. Growing legal issues And Calls for his resignation are growing for Lie in detail About his application.

Multiple GOP sources told CNN that the House Republican Steering Committee, controlled by Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his key allies, has tapped Santos to serve on two House panels: the Small Business Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. Santos had privately lobbied GOP leaders to serve on two more top committees, one overseeing the Treasury Department and the other foreign policy, but top Republicans rejected the pitch after some leaders blocked his inclusion on their panel.

Still, Republican leaders have decided to treat Santos like other members of the House, even as questions about his past grow, with some raising security concerns about allowing him access to classified briefings.

Rep. Texas Republican and Chairman of the House Small Business Committee for the 118th Congress. Roger Williams supported the decision to name Santos to his board.

“I don’t condone what he said, what he did. I don’t think anyone does. But that’s not my role. He was elected,” Williams told CNN.

The controversy surrounding Santos presents an early test of McCarthy’s leadership as speaker, creating a distraction as the new GOP majority tries to roll out its agenda. But McCarthy and GOP leaders are well aware that if Santos resigns, President Joe Biden will vacate a seat in the eight-point district, giving Democrats a real chance to further tighten Republicans’ razor-thin House majority.

Although he declined to call on Santos to resign, McCarthy told reporters he was not aware of Santos embellishing his resume, but “there was always some question about it.” McCarthy said Santos should be subject to a House ethics investigation and that it’s up to voters in his district — not lawmakers — to decide his fate.

Watch McCarthy admit her fears about George Santos’ resume

Other top Republicans aligned themselves with McCarthy’s position.

Indeed, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise stopped short of calling for Santos’ resignation on Tuesday, saying on Tuesday that he had “answered some serious questions” and that he now needed to “focus on the things he promised to do.”

Scalise added: “He ran on an agenda and he has to follow through on it — as well as answer the questions that have been raised.”

Florida Republican Rep. Byron Donalds, who sits on the steering committee that names members to their seats, supported the plan to install Santos on a committee.

“In this country you are innocent until proven guilty,” Donalds said. “There are members who have had problems in the past. They were allowed to stay in their groups and stay in groups. Then the legal process takes hold and we make changes. So that’s probably what’s going to happen.”

Senior House Republicans privately acknowledged that there is no easy way to handle the controversy surrounding Santos as they face the decision of which committee assignments to give him. Their concern: If they deny him a seat now, it could set a precedent for other members who face intense scrutiny from the press but are not charged, two GOP sources said. Instead, Republicans will follow normal GOP convention procedures, which could lead to him being booted from the caucuses if he is impeached. Yet in 2019, then-House Minority Leader McCarthy and his allies on the steering committee Then initialized-delegate. Steve King He then withdrew from his committees His racist views Came to know.

But Republicans know Santos’ problems could worsen, forcing them to take stronger action against him.

Santos already faces a federal investigation An investigation into his finances was led by prosecutors in New York.

In a separate case, CNN reports that law enforcement officials in Brazil Reinstates fraud charges against Santos. Prosecutors said they would get a “proper answer” from Santos in connection with a checkbook stolen in 2008, after police stopped investigating him after nearly a decade of being unable to locate him.

In an interview with the New York Post last month, Santos denied being charged with any crime in Brazil, saying, “I’m not a criminal here — not here or in Brazil or in any jurisdiction in the world. Absolutely not. That didn’t happen.”

According to documents obtained by CNN in 2008, Santos admitted to stealing a checkbook belonging to his mother to buy clothes and shoes.