February 9, 2023

The real George Santos, who previously went by the name Anthony Devolder, is wanted by prosecutors in Brazil for allegedly committing fraud against the elderly and forging checks. According to former associates there and photos and videos that have gone viralalso used to compete as a drag queen in Brazilian beauty pageants, although insists that this is not true.

And in one of the most heartbreaking revelations yet, which the Republican has also dismissed, Santos as Devolder, allegedly helped a homeless military veteran raise $3,000 on GoFundMe for his dying dog, Sapphire, to receive treatment for a tumor. stomach in 2016. It is then alleged that he disappeared without giving the funds to the veteran, Rich Osthoff. Sapphire died the following year.

“The girl never left my side in 10 years”, Osthoff this week he told the Oyster Bay Patch while remembering having to put down his beloved pet.

“I went through two episodes where I seriously considered suicide, but the thought of leaving her without me saved my life. I loved that bitch so much that I inhaled her last breaths from her when I put her down.”

Two months after being elected, Santos now faces a series of investigations into his financial disclosures and campaign finances, as well as a new criminal investigation in Brazil over his alleged use of a stolen checkbook to purchase nearly $700 worth of items. under a false name.

While the congressman admits that he embellished parts of his life and heritage, he meant that he was “Jewish.”that” it was a strange defense: he insists he’s not going anywhere.

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“I was elected to serve the people of #NY03 (New York’s 3rd congressional district), not the party and politicians,” Santos tweeted this month. “I will NOT resign!

However, calls for him to step down are growing louder, even within his own ranks. Earlier this month, Republican officials in Nassau County, which occupies Santos’s seat, accused the congressman of misleading voters, describing him as “a stain on the House of Representatives.”

But inside the now Republican-controlled House of Representatives led by Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Santos was appointed last week to two panels that consider bills and oversee government agencies: the Small Business Committee and the Science Committee, Space and Technology. The party line, at least for now, is that it is up to the voters to decide his fate.

“I try to stick to the constitution. The voters elected him to serve,” McCarthy said. “If there’s a concern, and it has to go through the (ethics committee), let it go through that.”

Under the US constitution, members can be ousted with a two-thirds majority of the vote, which is unlikely in a chamber where Republicans hold 222 of the 435 seats. After enduring 15 rounds of voting to become Speaker, McCarthy also knows that every seat counts.

Charging

If Santos were to resign, he would vacate a district that President Joe Biden won by eight points in the 2020 presidential election. Republicans would risk the seat reverting to Democrats, further shrinking their slim majority in the House.

But veteran analyst Larry Sabato points to a broader problem: the erosion of trust in democratic institutions and a Republican Party that has been redefined by former President Donald Trump.

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“There’s almost nothing that removes someone from public office these days,” says Sabato, founder and director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

“For years I have joked with people that I think murder could do it, but now I think it has to be first degree murder. Involuntary manslaughter is not enough.”

The question, of course, is how a seemingly pathological liar like Santos got cast in the first place. Part of this, Sabato says, is due to poor investigative practices, lack of media resources and fear of crime in New York, which Republicans took advantage of during the midterm elections.

But part of it is also the sheer luck of a boundary redistribution. The Santos district, a predominantly white and Asian-American seat that connects northeast Queens to Long Island’s north shore, had initially been rigged by Democrats (a process in which parties manipulate voting maps) to lean in his favor.

However, the New York supreme court tossed out the map in June and reassigned a new map for electoral districts across the state, giving Santos an electoral advantage.

The embattled politician now occupies an office on the first floor of the Longworth House office building on Capitol Hill. When Congress sits, he can’t go anywhere without being hounded by reporters and photographers, while most fellow Republicans keep their distance.

Santos showed a remarkably lonely figure on his first day of the new Congress when a right-wing riot broke out around the presidency. The following week, however, he seemed to have found a place among the rioters, appearing with hardline Republican Matt Gaetz on former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast.

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Republican Matt Gaetz of Florida.Credit:Bloomberg

When Gaetz, who was replacing Bannon at the time, asked how he responded to those calling for his resignation, Santos was as defiant as ever.

“I wish well all your opinions, but I was chosen by 142,000 people. Until those same 142,000 people tell me they don’t want me, we’ll know in two years,” he said.

And then, true to form, came another lie.

“I have lived an honest life,” he said, “and have never been accused of doing anything wrong.”

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