Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
New York Republican Rep. George Santos’s brief-but-tumultuous tenure in Congress has entered a new phase, but it’s one that feels much like a repeat of recent history.
As first reported by CNN, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) says the House Ethics Committee is investigating the various accusations of wrongdoing, as well as confirmed instances of lying, by Santos.
“Ethics is moving through, and if ethics finds something, we’ll take action,” CNN quoted McCarthy as saying. “Right now, we’re not allowing him to be on committees from the standpoint of the questions that have arisen.”
FISM reported earlier this week that Santos had agreed to recuse himself from his two committee appointments while an ethics investigation, one spawned from at least two complaints filed over claims he made on the campaign trail, plays out.
Thursday, Santos took his message directly to conservatives, appearing on Newsmax to ask for forgiveness.
“I’m human; I’ve made mistakes,” Santos said during an appearance on Greg Kelly’s show. “I’ve made peace with those mistakes, and I’ve come clean on those mistakes. I thought we were the nation of repent and ask for forgiveness and move forward. The problem is the media fanfare around me continues to spiral.”
However, as has become the norm with Santos, controversies tend to arrive both in bulk and at regular intervals.
Santos, who has been received coldly by many Republicans, has had little success thawing his relationship with the right.
This week, Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney expressed concern that Santos was positioned too prominently in the seating arrangement at the State of the Union.
“I didn’t expect that he’d be standing there (in an aisle seat) trying to shake hands with every senator and the president of the United States,” Romney told reporters. “He should be sitting in the back row and staying quiet instead of parading in front of the president and people coming into the room.”
Romney also called Santos “a sick puppy.”
“He shouldn’t be in Congress, and they’re going to go through the process and hopefully get him out,” Romney said. “But he shouldn’t be there and if he had any shame at all, he wouldn’t be there.”
Santos, who is gay and the son of Brazilian immigrants, responded by accusing Romney of behaving in an entitled way. ABC reporter Lalee Ibssa shared a video in which Santos lashed out at Romney, whose remarks Santos described as not “very Mormon.”
“It’s not the first time in history that I’ve been told to shut up and go to the back of the room, especially by people who come from a privileged background,” Santos said in the video. “I’m never gonna shut up and go to the back of the room. I think it’s reprehensible the senator would say such a thing to me.”
“I think it's reprehensible that the Senator would say such a thing to me in the demeaning way he said,” Santos said about Sen. Romney’s comments to him at last night’s SOTU
“It wasn't very Mormon of him.” pic.twitter.com/OUs3xuh5Wh
— Lalee Ibssa (@LaleeIbssa) February 8, 2023
Thursday, yet another Santos issue emerged. Almost in concurrence with Santos’ Newsmax appearance, ABC News reported that the Federal Elections Commission had sent a letter to Santos’s campaign regarding fundraising for 2024.
It appears the Santos campaign has, according to its own filings, accepted about a dozen contributions and spent about $43,000 after the official end of the 2022 election cycle.
As Santos has not declared himself a candidate for 2024, he isn’t allowed to operate a campaign, so the financial activity prompted the FEC to request clarification.
“You must either disavow these activities by notifying the Commission in writing that you are not a candidate, or redesignate your principal campaign committee by filing a Statement of Candidacy,” the FEC letter reads.