Nassau County Republican party leaders and lawmakers called for the resignation of U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-Nassau, Queens), who is facing multiple investigations upon his first week in office after admitting he lied about his background.
The Nassau GOP’s unprecedented call for the resignation of a congressman that the party twice nominated to represent the 3rd Congressional District came five days after he was sworn in and three weeks after The New York Times published an expose revealing Santos fabricated much of his resume.
“George Santos has disgraced the House of Representatives and the Republican Party with a veritable profusion of lies, dishonesty, misstatements and hurtful false claims,” said Joseph Cairo, chairman of the Nassau GOP. “It’s time for George Santos to resign his seat.”
Santos rode a red wave of surging Republican voters to victory over Democrat Robert Zimmerman in the midterm elections after U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) made a second failed gubernatorial bid instead of seeking re-election to the district that includes the North Shore of Nassau and northeastern Queens.
Although the Daily Beast reported in April that Santos had worked for a company that the Securities and Exchange Commission accused of operating as a Ponzi scheme and that he received campaign donations from the cousin of a Russian oligarch — and the North Shore Leader raised questions about his income irregularities — outrage didn’t take hold until the Times found that Santos lied about being a college graduate who worked for high-profile Wall Street firms. The Forward later revealed Santos’ claims of being Jewish were also a lie.
The stunning revelations prompted Nassau prosecutors, the New York State Attorney General’s office, and federal prosecutors to review the claims. Democrats also filed an ethics complaint against Santos this week.
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said his office will have “no contact with Santos’ staff until he resigns” and will refer 3rd Congressional District constituents dealing with federal issues to the office of freshman U.S. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-Island Park).
“He is a stain on the House of Representatives,” Blakeman added.
According to the Associated Press, when swarmed by reporters at the Capitol Wednesday asking if he would now resign, Santos responded, “I will not.”
Santos then posted to Twitter saying,”I was elected to serve the people of #NY03 not the party & politicians, I remain committed to doing that and regret to hear that local officials refuse to work with my office to deliver results to keep our community safe and lower the cost of living. I will NOT resign!”
More than 30 Nassau County Republicans, including state and county elected officials, town supervisors, and City of Glen Cove Mayor Pam Panzenbeck, stood as a united front calling for Santos’ resignation on Wednesday.
“George Santos deceived me and every member of the City of Glen Cove Council,” Panzenbeck said. “George Santos should steer clear of the City of Glen Cove because the members of our community do not want a liar to represent them in Washington.”
After the Nassau GOP’s news conference, the Suffolk Republican Party and New York State Conservative Party both joined in the Nassau GOP’s calls for Santos to resign. However, Queens GOP Chairman Tony Nunziato told the Press he will not be calling for Santos’ resignation without giving him “due process” for any potentially illegal activity.
-With Timothy Bolger