Federal prosecutors in New York have now opened an investigation into incoming GOP congressman George Santos over reports that 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 opened into the future junior congressman. NBC News noted:
The investigation is said to be in its very early stages and has not yet pinpointed an allegation of wrongdoing, but the two sources confirmed that prosecutors are reviewing Santos’ finances, including potential irregularities involving financial disclosures and loans he made to his campaign while he was running for Congress.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York declined to comment on the case.
News of the investigation comes after Republican District Attorney Anne Donnelly of Nassau County, New York, announced Wednesday that her office would investigate Santos.
“The many fabrications and inconsistencies associated with Congressman-elect Santos are simply staggering,” Donnelly said in a statement.
“Residents of Nassau County and other parts of the Third District need to have an honest and accountable representative in Congress,” she added. “No one is above the law and if a crime has been committed in this county, we will prosecute it.”
The New York attorney general’s office also said last week it was “investigating a number of issues” regarding Santos, but did not confirm an investigation.
Last week a New York Times the investigation revealed that Santos may have lied on his resume as well as other allegedly unsavory details about his past.
In addition to claiming he attended Baruch College, Santos also claimed in his campaign biography that he worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.
The investigation carried out by the Time questioned those claims, with Citigroup and Goldman Sachs saying they had no record of his work there. Baruch College officials also told the Time 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 Republican National Congressional Committee website that he briefly attended New York University, but NYU officials said they found no record of his attendance.
At first, Santos called the investigation an attempt to “smear his reputation” with defamatory allegations, but in an exclusive interview with the New York Post Released on Monday, the freshman congressman admitted to embellishing his resume.
“My sins here embellish my resume,” Santos said.
Santos further admitted that he “never worked directly” for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, arguing that his claims were a “poor choice of words”. According to the young Republican, the Link Bridge company, of which he was vice-president, had commercial links with these leading companies, adding that he would make “capital introductions” between customers and investors. Both Goldman Sachs and Citigroup were “LPS, Limited Partnerships,” he said.
“I will be more clear about this. It was badly said,” Santos said.
Santos also admitted that he never graduated from college. “I have not graduated from any higher education institution. I’m embarrassed and sorry for embellishing my resume,” he said. “I admit it… We do stupid things in life.”
Despite the lies, Santos said they would not derail his tenure in Congress.
“I’m not a criminal,” Santos said. “This [controversy] will not prevent me from having a good legislative success. I will be efficient. I will be good.
Republicans and Democrats have since called for more investigations into George Santos or his resignation altogether.
“MP-elect George Santos has broken public trust by making serious inaccuracies about his background, experience, and education, among other things,” Nassau County GOP Chairman Joseph Cairo said in a statement Tuesday.
“He has a lot of work to do to regain the trust of voters and everyone he represents in Congress,” Cairo added.