Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is among those in favor of the possibility of George Santos resigning from his position representing New York’s Third Congressional District in Congress.
Santos, a Republican, has now been criminally charged and faces allegations from federal prosecutors of wide-ranging financial misconduct, including wire fraud and money laundering. Notably, part of prosecutors’ case is an allegation he simply lied when making an infamous claim of a $750,000 salary from a company he led, a claim he made in filings with the House of Representatives that were required in association with his multiple runs for Congress. The question had emerged of where on earth he’d gotten the claimed money, although his alleged misrepresentations didn’t mean there weren’t other issues with his finances involving money he did have, according to the allegations. It had been clear prosecutors were building a potential case when reports indicated authorities asked the Federal Election Commission to hold off on its own potential enforcement action, giving space for prosecution.
“He should have resigned a long time ago,” Romney said of Santos. “He’s an embarrassment to our party. He’s an embarrassment to the United States Congress.” Romney isn’t entirely alone in that most Republicans pressed on the issue don’t seem exactly thrilled with Santos, who isn’t really doing much in terms of his formal role. He has introduced a series of proposed bills that have one after another garnered zero cosponsors, which isn’t normal, and he stepped aside from potential roles on committees in the House some time ago.
The criminal case isn’t the end of potential action against Santos, as the House Ethics Committee has him under its own investigation. Santos also now formally has a high-profile Democratic challenger seeking his position: Anna Kaplan, who is a past member of the state Senate in New York and officially unveiled her campaign just in recent days. In her campaign announcement video, it wasn’t just about Santos, as she also mentioned women’s rights and children’s safety, which are threatened by attacks on reproductive healthcare — whoever obtains it — and the proliferation of firearms.
Santos originally won his seat last year after a Democratic incumbent had been in office, so flipping control back to the Democratic Party could end up being an actually critical step in restoring Democratic leadership in the House in general. Other notable Democratic campaigns for the 2024 elections include Rep. Colin Allred (Texas) challenging Ted Cruz.
Mitt Romney on George Santos: "He should have resigned a long time ago. He's an embarrassment to our party. He's an embarrassment to the United States Congress." pic.twitter.com/joy9H6KnHX
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 10, 2023