Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan called for disgraced Rep. George Santos to resign on Thursday, blasting the Long Island lawmaker’s candidacy as “fraudulent.”
“This isn’t an embellished candidacy,” Ryan told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “It’s a fraudulent candidacy. He hoaxed his voters, so of course he should step down.”
Santos (R-NY) is facing mounting pressure to resign over revelations that he lied about most of his background, including his employment history, education, and religion, to win over voters and donors.
Six members of New York’s Republican congressional delegation – Nick LaLota, Anthony D’Esposito, Nick Langworthy, Brandon Williams, Marc Molinaro, and Mike Lawler — have joined the chorus of Democrats calling for his ouster. The Nassau County GOP Committee also demanded Santos’ resignation Wednesday.
Current House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), however, has so far stood by Santos, arguing that he should keep his job unless a House Ethics Committee investigation turns up more damning evidence against New York’s 3rd District representative.
“The voters of his district have elected him. He is seated. He is part of the Republican conference,” McCarthy said Thursday. “There are concerns or whatever, so he will go before Ethics. If anything is found to have been wrong, he will be held accountable exactly as anybody else in this body would be.”
Last month, Santos admitted to The Post that he had lied during his campaign about graduating from Baruch College and NYU and working for top investment firms Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. During the campaign, he also made false claims about his personal life, including that he was a “proud American Jew” whose grandparents escaped Nazi persecution in Europe.
Santos is under investigation by county, state, and federal prosecutors, who are reportedly probing his financial disclosures and loans he made to his congressional campaign.