New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office says it is “looking into a number of issues” raised about Congressman-elect George Santos in a New York Times article, but did not specify which issues or if there is a formal investigation underway.
The Times article called into question large parts of Santos’ background, including his education, past employment, nonprofit work, and financial dealings. Santos, a Republican, won in the November election against Democrat Robert Zimmerman for a seat in New York’s 3rd congressional district.
“Santos’ failure to answer any of the questions about these allegations demonstrates why he is unfit for public office and should resign,” Zimmerman said in a statement.
Zimmerman and others have also called for a federal investigation into the allegations against Santos, which include that he has lied about where he attended college, the jobs he’d held, properties he’s owned, and where he lives.
Santos has not refuted any of the allegations, but released a statement saying that he will respond next week. His lawyer also released a statement calling the Times article an attempt to “smear [Santos’] good name.”
The Times article notes that Santos loaned $700,000 to his campaign but it is unclear where he got that money, given there was no record of him working at the Wall Street firms he said to have worked at, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, and he had been evicted from two Queens apartments, according to court filings and documents that the Times found in their investigation.
The Times investigation also 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, 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.