Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said on Sunday that Rep.-elect George Santos, R-N.Y., should consider resigning after admitting to fabricating and “embellishing” several claims about his education and work history.
Santos, who made LGBTQ political history by winning the race in New York’s 3rd Congressional District in November, is set to be sworn in as the new Congress convenes on Tuesday. Despite growing calls from Democrats and some Republican officials for Santos to resign or not be sworn in, House Republican leadership has remained deafeningly silent.
Brady, who is leaving Congress, said on “Fox News Sunday” that Santos would need to “take some huge steps” to regain public trust.
“In so many ways, this is troubling. “Certainly, he’s lied on numerous occasions,” Brady said. “He will almost certainly have to consider resigning.”
However, Brady believes Santos can redeem himself by admitting his mistakes.
“We’re a country that believes in second chances,” Brady said. “And when you own up to this, then do what it takes to earn respect and trust again, you know, we’re willing to do that. So I’m hoping he makes the right decision.”
Brady stated that the decision on whether Santos steps down is “between him and the voters who elected him.”
The New York Times revealed last month that it was unable to verify many of Santos’ alleged qualifications, such as having worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and having graduated from Baruch College.
Santos’ congressional campaign is being investigated by federal prosecutors in New York. Last week, two sources confirmed that prosecutors are looking into Santos’ finances, including potential irregularities with financial disclosures and loans he made to his campaign while running for Congress. NBC News previously reported that the investigation, on which a spokesperson for the prosecutors declined to comment, has not yet zeroed in on a single allegation.
The Nassau County district attorney is also looking into Santos. While the scope of that investigation is unknown, Republican District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly stated in a statement Wednesday that the “numerous fabrications and inconsistencies associated with Congressman-Elect Santos are nothing short of stunning.”
“No one is above the law, and we will prosecute any crime committed in this county,” Donnelly said.
The state attorney general’s office has also stated that it is “looking into a number of issues” concerning Santos, but has not confirmed whether an official investigation has been launched.
Santos’ campaign did not immediately respond to Brady’s comments, and his campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the inquiries.
Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., the outgoing chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have both ignored questions from reporters about Santos and whether he should be seated.
Santos previously tweeted that he supported McCarthy’s bid for speaker in a leadership battle within the House GOP, which will have a razor-thin majority in the new Congress.