This is a statement from Concerned Citizens of NY-03 which has been fighting since January to have George Santos held accountable for defrauding voters and apparently, donors. He has already escaped two votes to expel, and now the House Ethics Committee has issued its report finding “unprecedented” corruption. Further, the Committee found that “the nature of the violations are fundamental ethical failings that go to the core of the legitimacy of the electoral process. And, most significantly, Rep. Santos’ fraud on the electorate is ongoing – he continues to propound falsehoods and misrepresentations.” There is now a third resolution to expel Santos.
In early January, as the litany of Santos’s lies emerged and the scale of his fraud on the electorate became clear, voters came together in a nonpartisan effort to seek his ouster. But even with the firehose of scandals that soon became fodder for late night TV and international media, Santos made it clear that he had no shame and would not resign. Unfortunately, former Speaker Kevin McCarthy was unwilling to force Santos out, promising that the Santos mess would be addressed once the House Ethics Committee report was issued, despite the tarnish that Santos’s scandals brought to the GOP.
Outraged NY-03 constituents, the victims of Santos’s fraud, with no voice in Washington, have been holding protest rallies and press conferences, conducting national letter-writing and postcarding campaigns, issuing press statements, signing petitions, andmore. For ten months, we have been calling on the House of Representatives to expel Santos.
We understand that the Constitution permits the House to expel a Member of Congress, and there is no limit on that authority, except that it requires a two-thirds majority. But we also understand that expelling a Member of Congress is momentous, with only five expulsions from the House of Representatives in the history of our country – and that the recent expulsions followed criminal convictions. (Santos’s criminal trial will not begin until September at the earliest, so he is unlikely to be convicted before the next election.)
Yesterday, the House Ethics Committee issued their long-awaited report on Santos, which found overwhelming evidence of unethical conduct and illegal activity. But the Ethics Committee chose not to opine on whether Santos should be expelled, instead leaving it up to the House of Representatives to decide if George Santos should become the sixth Member of Congress ever to be expelled from the House. Importantly, the House Ethics Committee found that the Santos case is “unprecedented in many respects.” Further, the Committee found that “the nature of the violations are fundamental ethical failings that go to the core of the legitimacy of the electoral process. And, most significantly, Rep. Santos’ fraud on the electorate is ongoing – he continues to propound falsehoods and misrepresentations.”
Rep. Michael Guest, GOP Chair of the House Ethics Committee, is expected to introduce a privileged Resolution to Expel Santos this morning, which will force a floor vote on November 28th or 29th. We are relying on the GOP leadership to whip votes so that the expulsion resolution passes this time. We are also looking to the NYGOP Five — Reps. Nick LaLota, Anthony D’Esposito, Brandon Williams, Mike Lawler, and Marc Molinaro — to fight to achieve Santos’s ouster. Together they have had the power all along to force the GOP leadership to remove Santos from his seat, but so far, they have chosen not to exercise it. They need to notify Republican leadership that they can no longer count on the NYGOP Five to vote in lockstep with the Republican agenda, until Santos is ousted from Congress.
The Ethics Report makes it clear that Santos’s egregious conduct “warrants public condemnation” and the unprecedented nature and scope of his deceits supports the case for expulsion. Indeed, it would set a dangerous precedent to leave George Santos in Congress for his two-year term after his unrelenting lies, theft, and fraud. Allowing Santos to stay would send the wrong message to future fraudsters: If you lie your way into elected office, there will be no consequences, and you can collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary and benefits on the public dime. You can also continue to grift as long as you can take the heat from the press and your constituents.
The residents of NY-03 should not have to spend one more day with Santos as our Congressman. Are Republicans up to the task of bringing some integrity back to the House of Representatives?
About 40 cars participated in a “Drive Out Santos” caravan event on Saturday, February 25, organized by Courage for America, Concerned Citizens of NY 03, and Moveon.org. The event was aimed at “driving” home and keeping top-of-mind the many lies, frauds, and failures of George Santos, who remains in Congress months after his frauds came to light, despite investigations by federal, state, local, and even international (Brazil) authorities.
The caravan route was a veritable tour through the labyrinth of Santos’ lies, passing key landmarks that represent the main categories: an animal hospital, exemplifying the bogus charities he set up to bilk people out of money; Citibank, emblematic of his fabricated resume; Lake Success Jewish Center, a reminder of the pain he caused by claiming a Jewish heritage and grandparents who escaped the Holocaust, then saying he didn’t mean he was “Jewish,” but rather he was “Jew-ish:; Il Bacco, where he spent $26,000, encapsulating the campaign finance violations and financial dealings, which are actual crimes, now being investigated by federal, state and local authorities; ending at Santos office (still with former Congressman Tom Suozzi’s name) at 242-09 Northern Blvd, Queens, where he ghosts his own constituents.
(To be refreshed about the dozens and dozens of Santos’ lies, text Santos to 50409 and you can see one by one 40 to 50 of Santos lies, and generate a letter to your Congressmember to vote to expel Santos, a campaign set up by Concerned Citizens of NY 03.)
The route, and the website are aimed at highlighting Santos’ lies and frauds “he wants us to forget” but which have strong emotional impact on the constituents he defrauded, said Casey Sabella. “He lied his way to Congress. And while he is a lackluster legislature [not able to serve on committees] he is pushing legislation that doesn’t comport with the needs, wants and values of NY-03.”
For example, Santos is co-sponsoring legislation to make the AR-15 the “national gun,” – which should also be a reminder that he lied about having four employees massacred at the Pulse Nightclub in Florida. But, it must be said, brings him closer under the protection of the most radical extremists, the Sedition Caucus.
“That encourages violence and makes it harder for teachers and people in public service to do their jobs,” Sabella said, who must be fearful about the next mass shooting, which now happen with more frequency than the days of the month,
Governor Kathy Hochul reacted to Santos co-sponsoring the bill, stating, “It’s outrageous and appalling that New York Congressman Santos would attach his name to legislation that would designate the AR-15 as the ‘national gun of the United States.’ This weapon of war has been used in mass shootings across the United States – from my hometown of Buffalo, where the shooter used a modified AR-15 to murder ten people in a despicable act of white supremacist terrorism, to Parkland, Florida, where the shooter killed seventeen innocent people with an AR-15-style weapon. The families and friends of those killed in Parkland have become heroic advocates for gun safety – including the Beigel-Schulman family of Dix Hills, who fight for change in memory of their son, Scott. This bill, which attempts to glorify the weapons that have been part of such horrific tragedies, adds unforgivable insult to injury for those families. It should never become law, and Congressman Santos should immediately remove his name from it, if he has any respect for New Yorkers.”
The route went past Lake Success Jewish Center, to highlight Santos’ lies about having Jewish heritage, which really rankled Charlie Robbins, a Moveon volunteer and NY03 constituent with his children and grandchildren. “At a time when antisemitism is growing, somebody lying about being Jewish, about being a descendant of Holocaust survivors, is offensive, disqualifying. A man of his character shouldn’t be in Congress. Expel him.” Instead, Santos (who boasted about being at the January 6 rally and contributing money to bail out Capitol rioters) has allied himself with the White Christo Fascists in Congress – including Marjorie Taylor Greene,.
(Indeed, while these constituents were rallying, White Christo Fascists have become so emboldened by Trumpism, as to declare February 25 “National Hate Day,” prompting Governor Hochul, at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah’s Shabbat of PeacN not Hate, to state, “There are 20 million New Yorkers who are with you today and every day as we stand up and call out antisemitism and racism and homophobia and all the other isms, because there’s still far more of us than there are of them, and I want them to know that. There is strength in numbers, but there’s also strength and a legacy of courage of standing up to evil. In the last century, what we saw, the lessons, what happened with the Holocaust.”)
“There is no question in my mind that Mr. Santos is not fit to represent the people of Congressional District 3. We have no idea what he stands for except himself and his power and greed,” Robbins said.
Marie Marsina, who lives within walking distance of two of the sites along the caravan route, Il Bacco restaurant in Little Neck, and Santos’ district office in Douglaston, said, “Santos may think he got away with lying about campaign finance, funding, spending, but these are serious violations of federal law. They are illegal.” Santos patronized Il Bacco frequently – listing expenses of $199.99, exactly one cent short of the $200 threshold for requiring documentation, seven times; he listed items at $199.99 at least 37 times, totaling $7000, on everything from airlines, to purchases at BJ’s to Target. “Where did the money really go?”
“In TV interviews, Santos can play the victim and normalize candidate fraud, he can blame his treasurer [Nancy Marks, who has since resigned] or errors, but he is a grafter under investigation by federal, state, local authorities. Where did the money really go?” she declared. “NY03 deserves a representative, not a fraud. We are being held hostage by Santos, while he is earning $174,000 salary. We are not going away. New York Republican representatives need to step up and call on Congress to vote to expel Santos now.”
“George Santos is a career grifter who seeks out people’s vulnerabilities, including repeatedly preying on their good qualities of compassion and love for vulnerable animals. These actions, among so many other things he has done, make him manifestly unqualified to serve in Congress,”said Emily Raphael from Plainview, a member of the Steering Committee of Concerned Citizens of NY-03.
The route also highlighted Santos’ animal charity fraud, and is even accused of stealing money intended to save the life of a veteran’s dog (many participating in the caravan brought their dogs), prompting a cheer that is unlikely to ever have been used in any rally, “Woof woof. Bow wow. We want Santos gone now.”
The drive passed Citibank in New Hyde Park, represented how Santos fabricated his entire work history, including having worked for Citibank. “If anyone lied about those things, they would be fired. But Santos is still in power,” Sabella said. “And that makes it harder to do our jobs.”
The caravan ended in front of Santos’ office – still with Tom Suozzi’s name on the window and awning – to highlight the fact that though Santos has been back in the district during the Congressional recess, intended for Congressmembers to meet with constituents, he has had no town halls and no engagement.
“He can’t serve as our representative. Every day Congress fails to do something, is an insult to the community,” Sabella said. Santos, she said, betrays the district’s “wants, needs and values.”
“George Santos told real and significant lies that impacted all of us. It’s unacceptable that he is still in Congress actively legislating against us, and he needs to be expelled,” Sabella said.
Follow on social media: @Courage4America, @MoveOn, @CCNY03
About two dozen NY-03 constituents walked up to George Santos’ Douglaston, Queens office – still bearing the former Congressman Tom Suozzi’s name – hoping to be able to see him personally and hand him their petition that he resign for deceiving voters about his background, experience, finances. It is the recess, after all, when Congressmembers are in their home districts to meet with constituents.
But none of the constituents were allowed into the office to meet with him in person even though Santos was inside, according to Vish Burra, who described himself as Santos’ operations director but is more of a bouncer. Nor did Santos come out to meet his constituents.
Instead, Burra called the peaceful gathering a “mob” and said they were impeding access to the office, though no one other than these district residents were anywhere around.
“The Congressman is very busy. I can’t bring him out in front of a mob,” Burra said, and dismissed the thousands of signatures on multiple petitions as “fake constituents.”
About 10 New York City police were on hand, repeatedly pushing the group from one side of the sidewalk to another, finally corralling them behind a barrier.
This reporter was also refused entry to the office or the opportunity to ask Santos to comment on his constituents’ complaints.
The episode only served to validate the constituents’ complaints – they have no representation, no voice in Congress. Not only is their Congressman refusing to speak to them, but the rest of his colleagues in Congress are refusing to have anything to do with him. One might argue the situation violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection clause.
Jody Kass Finkel of Concerned Citizens of NY-03, a nonpartisan group that was formed to force Santos from office, instead read the statement she would have delivered directly to Santos to Burra:
“You are a pariah in Long Island. Nobody wants to work with you. We are weakened in our ability to get resources.”
The gathering at Rep. Santos’s District Office in Queens followed last week’s visit to Washington, D.C. by more than 50 NY-03 constituents, many of whom traveled by bus for nearly 10 hours roundtrip to the Capitol, where they were joined by Democratic Congressmembers Dan Goldman and Ritchie Torres, but were thwarted in their attempt to see Speaker McCarthy. Two days after the visit, where Santos’s constituents called on Speaker McCarthy to oust Santos, several Democratic Congressmembers introduced a Resolution to expel George Santos from the House of Representatives. That Resolution has been referred to the House Ethics Committee.
They called on Speaker McCarthy to immediately move the Resolution to expel Rep. George Santos to the House Floor for a straight up or down vote.
“The residents of NY-03 will not sit back while that Resolution languishes in the Ethics Committee, which is just being constituted and has yet to hold its first meeting. Meanwhile, the residents of NY-03 are without meaningful representation and the country reels from Santos’s ongoing scandals,” declared Jody Kass Finkel, of Concerned Citizens of NY-03, which organized the action.
“We question the motives of the national GOP in allowing Santos to run, in seating him, and in not moving rapidly to oust him. The timeline shows that Speaker McCarthy and Rep. Stefanik knew a year before the election that Santos was a fraud, and had at least five months to replace him with a credible candidate. And they are still supporting him.”
She charged that McCarthy and Republicans with being content to allow the corruption of government and asked, “How deep does the corruption go?”
“In addition to his serious legal and ethical irregularities, Santos brings a firehose of scandal wherever he goes – from the constant drip of new revelations of old scams – such as his theft of charity funds intended for a veteran’s sick dog, to cheating an Amish dog owner, to new bombshell stories about a staffer Santos hired who accuses him of sexual misconduct. All of this is on top of his insensitive and manipulative claims of being a descendant of Holocaust survivors, having employees that died at the Pulse nightclub and that his mom died as a result of 9/11. Jews, the LGBTQ community, and families of 9/11 victims are outraged that he used their pain for political gain. He is an embarrassment to the entire country and the world is aghast at this spectacle, as well.”
“Republicans now hold all four Congressional seats on Long Island. So it’s reasonable to be skeptical about their ability to get anything done for Long Island, while the Santos scandal is front and center. We are in need of federal resources for roads, bridges, parks, toxic waste cleanups, etc. At the moment, the Long Island delegation is associated with the Santos disaster. When they appear in public, all they are asked about is George Santos. They will be hamstrung in delivering for Long Island until he is gone.
“Let Santos know we will not allow fraud, corruption to be normalized…We are looking to the three Long Island Congressmen – who had a hand in giving McCarthy the speaker’s gavel – to help end this national nightmare.”
Jane Russell of Manhasset, said, “I came to see if the fraudster would have the guts to come out. He does not represent me. More than 78 prcent of constituents said he should resign… This wicked degenerate is now my representative. I’m horrified. He’s a pariah with no credibility… If Santos doesn’t resign, we call on McCarthy to hold a vote to expel.”
Kim Keiserman of Port Washington said, “McCarthy seems to think our district will accept two years of Santos… Like all Americans, we depend on our representative to fight for our interests, values, be a serious participant, dedicated to understanding our problems, and legislating solutions. Not one whose entire time is taken by embarrassing revelations and investigations… We deserve to be represented by someone of personal integrity, who we can trust to tell the truth about his background, experience, campaign finances, and decisions in Congress – not someone who entire life is a lie, a conman with zero credibility with colleagues, a national security threat, who probably will be convicted of several serious crimes. We are not willing to accept having no representative at all. McCarthy, it is time to listen to us, do your job, hold a vote to expel Santos.”
Casey Sabella, an organizer with Courage for America said that Santos is hoping to just sit tight “and we’ll shut up. But we know his lies, the crimes he committed – thank you local press. He can’t represent us. Hold a vote to expel.” Sabella has been organizing constituent petitions and rallies(go to www.whoisgeorgesantos.com).
She pointed to a new national drive launched by Concerned Citizens of NY-03 to have constituents across the country lobby their own Congressmember to get McCarthy to hold a vote to expel Santos (you also (in a humorous way) can see Santos’ lies, one by one.
In the last several weeks, at least 25 separate petitions, with hundreds of thousands of signatures, were initiated calling for his ouster. MoveOn delivered a petition to Santos’s District Office on February 1 which had over 100,000 signatures; the petition delivered last week in Washington had over 1,000 signatures from NY-03 residents; a Change.org petition had over 35,000 signatures. Today’s petition delivered to Rep. Santos is the second tranche of 1,000 signatures from NY-03 residents.
“People in NY-03 and across America are disgusted by Santos’s deceit,” Kass Finkel declared. “Each day that George Santos holds the honorable title of Congressman is an affront to the residents of NY-03, democracy and decency.”
Concerned Citizens of NY-03 is an ad hoc, nonpartisan group of constituents who have come together in their anger at George Santos’s deception with the sole purpose of having Santos removed from the U.S. House of Representatives.