NY Rep. George Santos sworn in to Congress amid controversy, scrutiny over campaign
NEW YORK (WPIX) — George Santos was sworn in to the House of Representatives early Saturday to represent New York’s 3rd Congressional District, despite the scrutiny he is facing for lying about his experience.
Santos has admitted to lying about his heritage, work experience and education, and making a bevy of other falsifications regarding his life during his primary and general election campaigns.
“I apologize if anybody feels hurt or betrayed,” Santos previously said during an interview with New York’s City & State.
Several of Santos’ colleagues in Congress have called for a House Ethics Committee investigation into his actions, including Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y).
“The process starts with the Office of Congressional Ethics which will conduct a preliminary review and then if the preliminary review finds that the allegations have merit, they will refer the matter to the Ethics Committee,” Torres said.
In a statement on Wednesday, Santos’ spokesperson told Nexstar’s WPIX the lawmaker is focused on his new job representing New Yorkers.
“George is preparing to take on his responsibilities in Congress and preparing for the next chapter. When he is able to allocate time to press inquiries, he will,” he said.
On Tuesday, Joseph Murray, an attorney for Santos, specifically addressed an unresolved 2008 fraud case against Santos in Brazil, which has reportedly been revived.
“In the abundance of caution, I am in the process of engaging local counsel to address this alleged complaint against my client,” wrote Murray, adding that he has not been contacted by law enforcement from any jurisdiction about criminal allegations against Santos.
Murray went on to say that he was in Washington D.C., “looking forward to celebrating my client being sworn in.”
Santos arrived in Washington to be sworn in on Tuesday, but the ceremony was delayed for several days after Republicans repeatedly failed in multiple rounds of voting to elect a House speaker. Incoming House members cannot be sworn in until a speaker is chosen.
Kevin McCarthy was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives early Saturday after 15 rounds of voting.
WPIX’s Henry Rosoff contributed to this report.