New York Times Article Reveals Congressman-elect George Santos Seemingly Lied About Credentials

george santos
Photo courtesy of George Santos for New York

Republican George Santos, who was elected to Congress in New York’s 3rd Congressional District in November, may have falsified key parts of his resume, including his education, nonprofit work, and former jobs, according to a New York Times investigation published Dec. 19.

On the campaign trail, Santos claimed to have graduated with bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from Baruch College followed by a financial career at Wall Street firms that included Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. However, the Times reported that Baruch College has no record of his supposed 2010 graduation, and Citigroup and Goldman Sachs told the Times they have no record of his employment. Also, while the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) website claims he attended NYU, that institution also has no records for him, the Times reported.

“A New York Times review of public documents and court filings from the United States and Brazil, as well as various attempts to verify claims that Mr. Santos, 34, made on the campaign trail, calls into question key parts of the résumé that he sold to voters,” the article says. Santos is openly gay and the son of Brazilian immigrants.

The Times investigation found no records of Friends of Pets United, an animal rescue organization that Santos claims to have founded in 2013, as a tax-exempt charity through the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.). In addition, the Times reported that while Santos claims to have a family fortune of tens of millions of dollars from the family’s real estate company, investigative reporters could not locate any of the properties.

Neither Santos nor the NRCC has responded to the Press’ requests for comment. However, Santos posted on Twitter a statement from his attorney, Joseph Murray, which accuses the Times of launching a smear campaign against Santos, saying that he “represents the kind of progress that the Left is so threatened by – a gay, Latino, first generation American and Republican who won a Biden district…”

“After four years in the public eye, and on the verge of being sworn in as a member of the Republican led 118th Congress, the New York Times launches this shotgun blast of attacks,” Santos’ attorney said. “It is no surprise that [Santos] has enemies at the New York Times who are attempting to smear his good name with these defamatory allegations.” 

In response to the accusations of fraud, Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan (I-Woodbury), who ran in the Democratic congressional primary in New York’s 3rd district and was defeated by Santos’ competitor Robert Zimmerman, is calling for Santos’ resignation.

“My constituents have been calling my office all morning outraged, whether they voted for him or not,” Lafazan told the Press. “They are outraged and have every right to be. He lied [across] two elections, and he should be held accountable. He should do the right thing and resign.”

The New York Working Families Party, which endorsed Zimmerman in the NY-3 election, has also spoken out against Santos following the publishing of the Times report.

“The New York Republican Party continues to reveal itself as the party of extremists, insurrectionists—and now outright frauds,” said New York Working Families Party Director Sochie Nnaemeka. “George Santos lied to voters and is unfit to serve in any public office, much less Congress. If the law doesn’t force him out of office, we’re confident the voters of NY-3 will. The time to start kicking Republicans out of power in New York is now.”

Santos is also being criticized for attending a New York Young Republican Gala that featured guests who push far-right wing conspiracy theories. Santos is set to take over as congressman in January for the district that includes North Shore Nassau County and parts of eastern Queens, to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), who unsuccessfully sought higher office rather than re-election.