Federal prosecutors in New York have now opened an investigation into incoming GOP Congressman George Santos due to reports he lied about his personal and professional history.
Sources close to the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York confirmed to NBC News on Thursday that an investigation has been launched into the soon-to-be junior congressman. NBC News noted:
The investigation is said to be in its very early stages and has not zeroed in on any one allegation of wrongdoing yet, but the two sources confirmed that prosecutors are examining Santos’ finances, including potential irregularities involving financial disclosures and loans he made to his campaign while running for Congress.
A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York declined to comment on the matter.
News of the investigation comes after Republican District Attorney Anne Donnelly of Nassau County, New York, announced on Wednesday her office would be investigating Santos.
“The numerous fabrications and inconsistencies associated with Congressman-Elect Santos are nothing short of stunning,” Donnelly said in a statement.
“The residents of Nassau County and other parts of the third district must have an honest and accountable representative in Congress,” she added. “No one is above the law and if a crime was committed in this county, we will prosecute it.”
The New York attorney general’s office also said last week that it was “looking into a number of issues” regarding Santos but did not confirm an investigation.
Last week, a New York Times investigation revealed Santos may have lied about his résumé as well as other alleged unsavory details about his past.
On top of claiming he attended Baruch College, Santos also claimed in his campaign biography he worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.
The investigation by the Times called these claims into question, with both Citigroup and Goldman Sachs claiming they had no record of him working there. Officials with Baruch College also told the Times the school has no record of Santos graduating from the school in 2010, as he previously claimed.
Santos also claims in a biography on the website of the National Republican Congressional Committee he briefly attended New York University, but N.Y.U officials said they could find no record of his attendance.
At first, Santos called the investigation an attempt to “smear his good name” with defamatory allegations, but in an exclusive interview with the New York Post released on Monday, the freshman congressman admitted he embellished his résumé.
“My sins here are embellishing my résumé,” Santos said.
Santos further admitted he “never worked directly” for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, arguing his claims were a “poor choice of words.” According to the junior Republican, the company Link Bridge, where he served as vice president, had business ties to those top-level firms, adding that he would make “capital introductions” between clients and investors. Goldman Sachs and Citigroup were both “LPS, Limited Partnerships,” he said.
“I will be clearer about that. It was stated poorly,” Santos said.
Santos also admitted he never graduated from college. “I didn’t graduate from any institution of higher learning. I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume,” he said. “I own up to that … We do stupid things in life.”
Despite the falsehoods, Santos said they will not derail his congressional tenure.
“I am not a criminal,” Santos said. “This [controversy] will not deter me from having good legislative success. I will be effective. I will be good.”
Republicans and Democrats have since been calling for more investigations into George Santos or for him to resign entirely.
“Congressman-Elect George Santos has broken the public trust by making serious misstatements regarding his background, experience and education, among other issues,” Nassau County GOP Chairman Joseph Cairo said in a statement on Tuesday.
“He has a lot of work to do to regain the trust of voters and everyone who he represents in Congress,” Cairo added.