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Embattled Rep. George Santos gets two House committee assignments

Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., waits for the start of a session in the House chamber on Jan. 6.
Alex Brandon
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AP
Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., waits for the start of a session in the House chamber on Jan. 6.

Some constituents of Long Island Congressman George Santos want his passport taken away while multiple investigations are ongoing into potential campaign finance violations.

While Santos admits to fabricating his resume to get elected, he denies wrongdoing over allegations of misusing campaign funds and lying on the financial disclosure he filed as a candidate.

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Office of Legislator Josh Lafazan
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Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan, D-Woodbury, standing outside of LaGuardia Airport on Wednesday, called for Rep. George Santos' (R-NY) passport to be taken pending investigations of criminal wrongdoing.

Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan said Santos is a liability.

“We believe an indictment of George Santos is not a matter of if, but a matter of when,” Lafazan said, standing outside of LaGuardia Airport on Wednesday.

This week, Santos was placed on two Congressional committees: Small Business, and Science, Space and Technology.

This is despite House Speaker Kevin McCarthy saying last week that Santos should not be seated on key committees that deal with sensitive information. McCarthy told reporters on Tuesday he will treat Santos like any other member of Congress.

An indictment would force Santos off any committee. However, there is precedent for removing members of Congress from committee preemptively, including when then-Rep. Steve King (R-IA) made racist comments in 2019, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) who was removed over alleged support for violence against Democrats.

“I don’t condone what he said, what he’s done. I don’t think anybody does,” Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX), chair of the Small Business Committee, told CNN. “But that’s not my role. He was elected.”

Santos has yet to be charged with any crime. He is being investigated by federal, state and local prosecutors, as well as the Federal Ethics Committee and the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, for possible criminal activities, after the New York Times reported in December about the “embellished” personal and financial history he used to get elected.

House Republicans say Santos will be dealt with “internally.”

Rep. Nick LaLota (R-NY) has called for the resignation of Santos, a fellow Republican freshman in Congress. He joined New York State and Long Island Republicans who called for Santos to step down from office last week.

LaLota wants the GOP-led House Ethics Committee to investigate allegations against Santos, and has called on them to freeze money in Santos’ campaign finance account.

He offered to “take to the lead” to give federal agencies more authority to do so.

Also in Congress:

  • LaLota, a U.S. Navy veteran and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, won seats on the House Armed Services Committee and the Homeland Security Committee.
  • Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) won a seat on the House Financial Services Committee and remains on the Homeland Security Committee for his second term.
  • Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY) won seats on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Homeland Security Committee.
A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.