George Santos Has a Bad Case of the Shoppies
George Santos, the checkered first-term Republican congressman from New York, pleaded not guilty to 13 criminal charges including wire fraud and money laundering on Wednesday, stemming from a federal indictment filed earlier this week alleging that Santos, among other things, spent thousands of dollars of solicited campaign funds “on personal expenses, including luxury designer clothing and credit card payments.”
In other words, it appears that Representative George Santos may be suffering from a bad—even felonious—case of the shoppies.
Santos, who represents a section of Queens and Long Island that comprises the wealthiest congressional district in New York, has built up a curious fashion profile since he arrived in Washington earlier this year. During his swearing-in, Santos wore a pale blue sweater under a navy blazer that made him look, as the Washington Post put it, “very much like a freshman at a prep school in hell.” Within his first chaotic week on the House floor, he made a show of hobnobbing with fellow lightning-bolt Republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz in his thick-rimmed Ray-Bans frames and a Cartier Santos watch, which Forbes joked could be a knockoff. On Twitter, he’s fashioned himself as the unofficial House style correspondent, offering a review of NASA’s latest spacesuit and a best-and-worst-dressed list from the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. (“God I miss #JoanRivers❤️,” he tweeted, referring to the late comedian’s hosting gig on the E! celebrity fashion show Fashion Police.) He gave the current president of the New York Young Republican Club a Ferragamo tie right off his neck. In grifting and politics, few things are more important than looking the part.
But as the indictment suggests, Santos’s shoppies well predate the building of his current D.C. status wardrobe. Earlier this year, Santos confessed to using stolen checks to purchase $1,300 worth of shoes and clothing in Rio de Janeiro in 2008. Two of Santos’s former roommates accused him of stealing a checked Burberry scarf and then wearing said scarf to a “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington in 2021. On Election Day 2022, Santos cast his vote in Queens wearing a quilted Burberry coat and an enameled Hermès “Clic H” bracelet, which, like the Ray-Bans, has become another one of his staple pieces. And back in December, the New York Post spotted Santos helping his sister move, toting items in shopping bags from Target, Macy’s, and Hermès.
After his arraignment in federal court on Wednesday, reporters asked Santos if he used donors’ funds to buy “expensive suits,” to which Santos replied, “No, I did not,” according to The Hill. Other than a pair of dark Ray-Ban sunglasses, a bare-wristed Santos appeared to have left his other usual luxury accessories at home. Though that’s not to say he didn’t leave the premises in style: Per the New York Times, “He got into a gold Bronco, honked once and sped away.”
Originally Appeared on GQ