Rep. Richie Torres (D-NY) strongly denounced fellow New York lawmaker, Rep. George Santos (R-NY), on a Tuesday NBC News opinion piece, calling it a “danger to our democracy and national security.” And while a handful of Republicans had “the courage to publicly denounce him and demand his overdue resignation,” Torres argued, the resistance of the vast majority of Republican lawmakers nationwide is based simply on math: Losing George Santos would mean an even lower minor. margin of control at home.
“Santos’s acceptance by the right is a function of power politics rather than ethics: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy needs all the votes he can get, and he needs George Santos to stay in power. Torres wrote. “Simply put, the House Republican leadership is in no rush to drain the Santos swamp.”
A resignation from Santos could mean a special election in a district Democrats have won in previous cycles and, even with a newly drawn 2022 map cutting off Democrat control, they are still favorites to win. If Democrats win another seat, it would mean a smaller majority for Republicans in Congress and one fewer vote for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as he introduces his agenda items.
Last Wednesday, McCarthy played down calls by New York Republicans for Santos’ resignation, saying “a lot of people here in the Senate and others” also fabricated part of their résumés.
Torres’ op-ed comes as calls mount from lawmakers urging Santos to resign. Santos has admitted to lying on his resume but, as Torres writes, his lies go beyond his credentials.
“By his own admission, Santos rose to elected office by lying to voters about almost every facet of his personal and professional life, including his family heritage, education, professional experience, business dealings, philanthropic endeavors and campaign finances,” Torres said. .
Santos is currently facing investigations from both local prosecutors and the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
“Under normal circumstances, the depth and breadth of his deception would embarrass one into resigning from public office,” Torres added. “But these are not normal times, and Santos is shameless not only in lying but in lying about his lie.”
That’s a reference to Santos’ recent appearance on Steve Bannon’s conspiracy theory show “The War Room,” where Santos assured Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) that he has lived an “honest life” and “never He has been accused of wrongdoing.” .”
“It doesn’t matter all the lies that Santos has told and the multiple criminal investigations that accuse him of irregularities,” Torres wrote. “Every American should be concerned about the risk of Santos having access to classified information and what he could do with it. This man’s presence in Congress is a danger to our democracy and national security, an embarrassment to this institution, and a major distraction from pressing issues that are far more worthy of our time, energy, and attention.”