Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., is a "dead man walking" in the House of Representatives and needs to resign, according to former Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.
Republican leaders in New York's Nassau County last week called for Santos, a fellow member of the GOP from that county, to resign from Congress over his "deceit, lies and fabrication." The freshman lawmaker has admitted he fabricated his background and items on his resume to win election in the November midterm elections.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Santos nevertheless will be seated on House committees, which King called "the latest twist in the surreal saga."
"In modern politics, I can't recall another freshman lawmaker who took office so completely lacking the trust and respect of his colleagues," King wrote in an opinion column in The New York Times on Wednesday.
"Except perhaps for a few ineffective congressional outliers, I can't imagine a member of either party working or cooperating with Mr. Santos. And when you don't have that, you're just faking your way through the workday — something Mr. Santos is apparently pretty good at."
King, who served 28 years in the House, said Santos needs "do the honorable thing and resign."
"The truth is that Mr. Santos is hurting the House that many of us love and dragging down the Republican caucus to a shameful place," King wrote. "He does not belong there, but there is no indication that he will consider resignation. The more bizarre the revelations, the more he digs in."
The Washington Post on Monday reported that Santos has deeper ties than previously known with Andrew Intrater, a businessman who is the cousin of a sanctioned Russian oligarch.
The Wall Street Journal last week reported that Santos persuaded at least one person to make a six-figure investment in a Florida-based company that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission later said was a Ponzi scheme.
"When you have no colleagues or friends on Capitol Hill who trust you, you get walled-in pretty quickly, and it's the voters who suffer," wrote King, who retired from the House in 2021.
"Expulsion would require a two-thirds vote by the House following an Ethics Committee hearing and findings or a criminal indictment and conviction. In any case that would be months away.
"As long as Mr. Santos remains in Congress, he is dead man walking and will be unable to get anything done for his constituents. For at least this one moment in his life, it is time for Mr. Santos to face reality, do the honorable thing and resign the seat in Congress."
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