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Editorial: Santos must go

Santos
George Santos at his Election Night party in November. (Photo courtesy of George Santos for New York)

George Santos appears to have won a ticket to Congress by not only riding a local “red wave” in the November midterm elections, but also allegedly padding his resume full of lies.

The bombshell New York Times report published Monday exposed the Republican congressman-elect as an alleged fraud who lied to voters about his education, his career and even his charitable contributions.

It sounds like something George Costanza of “Seinfeld” fame would have done to land a date or a job. Instead, Santos is accused of spinning a web of utter falsehoods to secure for himself one of 435 seats in the House of Representatives.

There’s nothing funny about any of this blatantly fraudulent behavior. The people of northeast Queens and northern Nassau County deserve, at the very least, someone who is honest about who they are. If someone can’t tell the truth about themselves, what can they be truthful about? Or better yet, what else will they lie about to get their way?

It’s incredible that the Times’ investigation of Santos’ background was published just weeks before Santos is due to take his post in the House of Representatives as part of a very slim Republican majority.

Somehow, Santos evaded all vetting by the media and by the Republican Party, squeaking by his Democratic challenger Robert Zimmerman in November thanks to a surge of Republican support on Long Island.

Based on the New York Times’ findings, the system massively failed.

Santos claimed to have graduated from Baruch College; the National Republican Congressional Committee claims he went to NYU. Neither school can verify that he ever did.

Santos claimed to work for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, two of this country’s biggest financial institutions. Neither of them could verify that he did.

Santos claimed to have founded the Friends of Pets United, a nonprofit animal care group. Even that couldn’t be verified.

And in the wake of the report’s publication, Santos’ camp has sought to smear the report, rather than refute the allegations directly. As the old legal saying goes, “When neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table.”

Unless George Santos can produce verifiable evidence denying the allegations in the Times report, he should step aside now. If he refuses to resign, the House leadership must refuse to seat him.

The people of the Third District deserve a truthful person to represent them in the sacred halls of the House of Representatives. And the Republican Party ought to respect this institution and the voters enough to put forth someone of truth and integrity next time.

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