Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) approaches another vote that could expel him from Congress, an action that succeeds a slew of lies and allegations that have landed the Republican in hot water.
Earlier this year, Santos escaped two attempts to oust him from Congress, followed by a third on Nov. 1. He had previously admitted to lying about aspects of his identity, and was indicted this year on criminal charges related to his campaign finances.
More recently, a House ethics report was released following an investigation into the representative, exposing even more alarming actions from his past.
The lies and allegations piled up, and now Santos faces yet another expulsion vote on Thursday.
Since the first expulsion vote, Santos has announced that he won’t run for reelection, and said that being expelled from Congress would be a “badge of honor.”
From lies about a secret drag queen past to misusing campaign finances, Santos’ has racked up a list of both serious and ridiculous lies and allegations. Here are six wild moments to come of the saga around Santos’ downfall.
His resume? All lies.
Santos dragged a string of lies about his college education, job history and identity through his campaign trail in 2021 — and they finally caught up to him this year.
As a candidate for New York representative, Santos claimed that he had graduated summa cum laude from Baruch College, received a MBA from New York University, worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, and had Jewish heritage.
All of those statements, among others, were disproved. Last year, he admitted that the claims were untrue, and described some of them as “embellishments” to his resume.
His anti-LGBTQ stance was challenged by the revelation of his drag queen past.
While there’s nothing wrong with drag, it does become a problem when you’re a member of Congress who vehemently supports anti-LGBTQ legislation. Santos conservative stance came under fire after reports surfaced showing that he performed in Brazilian drag performances.
In January, a Brazilian drag performer posted a photo on social media of herself with another person dressed in drag, whom she claimed was Santos. The New York congressman quickly denied the claims, writing in a post on X that the reports were “categorically false” and “outrageous.”
“The most recent obsession from the media claiming that I am a drag Queen or ‘performed’ as a drag Queen is categorically false,” he wrote on X. “The media continues to make outrageous claims about my life while I am working to deliver results. I will not be distracted nor fazed by this.”
But when pressed by reporters about the matter, Santos seemed to backtrack and imply that he was the one in the photo posted by the drag performer.
“No, I was not a drag queen in Brazil, guys. I was young, and I had fun at a festival. Sue me for having a life,” Santos told reporters in January, according to NBC News.
Santos allegedly faked an animal charity, and swindled a disabled veteran and his sick service dog.
In January, a disabled Navy veteran claimed that Santos scammed him in 2016, back when he was homeless and his service dog was sick. The representative allegedly raised $3,000 to pay for a surgery for the service dog. But the veteran said he never received the money.
According to reports, a person named Anthony Devolder — a version of Santos’ full name — allegedly reached out to the veteran saying his organization, Friends of Pets United, could help get a tumor removed from the dog’s stomach. Santos then set up a GoFundMe to raise the $3,000, which was reportedly never sent to the veteran.
On X, Santos denied allegations of the scam, writing, “The reports that I would let a dog die is shocking & insane. My work in animal advocacy was the labor of love & hard work.”
During his campaign, Santos claimed to have founded that animal charity organization ― and an investigation by The New York Times revealed that Santos used the organization to raise money but then pocketed the donations.
He suggested that Chinese communists kidnapped his niece.
During an interview with the Times in October, Santos spoke about how his opposition to the Chinese Communist Party put a member of his family at risk.
Santos suggested that people affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party kidnapped his 5-year-old niece for a brief period of time in Queens, New York, explaining that she disappeared from a playground in the city and was seen on security footage 40 minutes later with two Chinese men.
“Look, I don’t want to go into like, conspiracy theory,” Santos said. “But you know, if the shoe fits, right?”
But there was no evidence indicating his niece had been kidnapped at all, let alone by someone affiliated by the Chinese Communist Party.
“We found nothing at all to suggest it’s true,” a high-ranking law enforcement official told the Times. “I’d lean into, ‘He made it up.’”
He allegedly swindled his campaign donors, too, stealing their identities.
With all the recent reports, investigations and criminal charges, Santos’ misuse of campaign finances and lies to donors have been at the top of everyone’s radar.
Santos allegedly stole the identities of campaign donors and charged thousands of dollars to their credit cards without their authorization. Some of the money also reportedly ended up in his own bank account.
The representative was indicted earlier this year on 23 charges of fraud, money laundering, identity theft and making false statements. He pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for a criminal trial in September 2024.
Reports also showed that Santos spent $26,000 worth of campaign funds at an Italian restaurant in Queens, New York.
And he spent campaign money on OnlyFans, Botox and more.
The damning House ethics report that was published earlier this month revealed yet another one of Santos’ lies.
Following a monthslong probe into Santos, the report alleged that he spent campaign funds on a series of services and products for himself, including Botox, Sephora, spa treatments, an OnlyFans subscription and luxury accessories.
Santos called the report “biased” and asserted that the House ethics committee was going to “extraordinary lengths” just to smear him.