Six GOP congressmen from NY say embattled colleague George Santos should resign for lies

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Most Republican House members from New York are ready to see GOP Rep. George Santos leave less than two weeks after he took office, with six saying he should resign for a string of campaign lies exposed after his election.

That contingent consists of every other GOP rookie from the state who joined Congress this month, two of whom represent Long Island with Santos. Each issued statements saying it would be impossible for him to serve after losing the trust of his colleagues and constituents with flagrant deceptions about his work experience, education and more.

"With the extent and severity of the allegations against him, his inability to take full responsibility for his conduct, and the numerous investigations underway, I believe he is unable to fulfill his duties and should resign,” said Rep. Mike Lawler, a freshman representing Rockland and Putnam counties and parts of Westchester and Dutchess.

Rep. Marc Molinaro, a fellow Hudson Valley Republican with a district stretching west to Ithaca, said: "George Santos's dishonesty has eroded his ability to represent his neighbors and serve in Congress. I don't see how he can continue. He should resign."

U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) waits for the start of the 118th Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 3, 2023, in Washington, DC. Santos is facing scrutiny for lies he told about his personal and professional background during his campaign. Today members of the 118th Congress will be sworn-in and the House of Representatives is scheduled to elect a new Speaker of the House.

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Neither their blunt statements nor a chorus of earlier repudiations by Nassau County Republicans in Santos' district have persuaded the embattled 34-year-old congressman to surrender his seat. He has vowed to serve out his two-year term in a Democratic-leaning district that includes part of the North Shore of Long Island and a piece of Queens.

State and federal prosecutors are said to be investigating Santos' fabrications and handling of campaign funds to see if he broke any laws. Democrats have formally asked the House Ethics Committee — which consists of four members from each party — to launch its own probe. If Santos doesn't resign, he could be removed from office only if two-thirds of House members vote to expel him.

Among the colleagues urging him to resign is New York's Republican chairman, Nick Langworthy, elected to Congress in November to represent a district in Western New York and the Southern Tier.

“It’s clear that he cannot be an effective representative and it would be in the best interest of the taxpayers to have new leadership," Langworthy said.

The other New Yorkers calling for Santos' resignation are Reps. Nick LaLota and Anthony D'Esposito of Long Island and Rep. Brandon Williams, who represents a Central New York district that includes the cities of Syracuse and Utica.

LaLota also urged the Department of Justice and Federal Election Commission to freeze Santos' campaign account - if it actually contains funds.

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"The evidence that Congressman Santos fraudulently induced contributions is overwhelming and the ability to make his contributors at least partially whole should be preserved," LaLota wrote on Facebook.

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, a Staten Island Republican starting her second term in Congress, condemned Santos' behavior and questioned his ability to serve, but said through her spokeswoman that she wouldn't call for his resignation unless he committed a crime.

"Until the five bodies investigating identify criminal wrongdoing, the calls for his resignation must come from his constituents and they are," Malliotakis spokeswoman Natalie Baldassarre told the USA TODAY Network by email. "One thing is for sure, this has become a distraction for the members who have work to do.”

Three other House Republicans from New York — Elise Stefanik, Claudia Tenney and Andrew Garbarino — didn't respond to requests for comment on Santos. Stefanik is chairwoman of the House Republican conference and the third-ranking party leader below Speaker Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy has refrained from criticizing Santos and confirmed Tuesday that Santos would be assigned to committees in spite of his admitted fabrications and the storm of controversy.

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More:Rep. George Santos' finances are raising questions. Here's what public records show.

'A fraudulent candidacy': Former House Speaker Paul Ryan calls on George Santos to resign

Santos made up almost his entire biography during his two congressional runs, including his false claims that he attended the elite Horace Mann School, graduated from Baruch College, worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs and was Jewish and the grandson of Holocaust survivors. After the New York Times exposed his deceptions, he admitted he didn't graduate from any college but defended his career claims as embellishments rather than lies.

Chris McKenna covers government and politics for the Times Herald-Record and USA Today Network. Reach him at

This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Six NY GOP Congressmen say George Santos should resign for lies