House Republican leaders were silent on Tuesday after Representative-elect George Santos admitted to a laundry list of falsehoods about his background but still vowed to be seated in Congress.
Mr. Santos acknowledged in a series of interviews on Monday that he lied about graduating from college and made misleading claims that he worked for Citigroup or Goldman Sachs. He also acknowledged owing thousands of dollars in unpaid rent and denied committing a crime anywhere in the world, despite a New York Times report to the contrary.
The muted response from party leaders suggested that so far they were prepared to mete out little, if any, punishment to an incoming lawmaker who, while deceiving voters, flipped an open seat formerly held by a Democrat and helped Republicans secure their razor-thin House majority.
House Republicans, led by Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, have consistently closed ranks around members of their party facing scrutiny for a litany of misdeeds, including candidates who rallied at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and sitting lawmakers who appeared at a white nationalist conference. In Mr. Santos’s case, they likely have even less political incentive to take action. Still, some criticism began to emerge from corners of New York’s Republican Party. [Continue reading…]