Rep. George Santos, the recently elected GOP congressman from New York who has admitted to lying about parts of his resume, defended himself and his record on Tuesday as two House Democrats filed an ethics complaint against him.
New York Democratic Reps. Ritchie Torres and Daniel Goldman announced on Tuesday that they are filing a formal complaint with the House Ethics Committee requesting an investigation related to Santos’s financial disclosure reports.
Santos on Tuesday insisted that he’s “done nothing unethical” and brushed off any concern about the ethics complaint.
“They’re free to do whatever they want to do,” he said about Democratic colleagues announcing they are filing a complaint against him. “I’ve done nothing unethical.”
In a letter, Torres and Goldman write that they are requesting an investigation of Santos “for violations of the Ethics in Government Act by failing to file timely, accurate, and complete financial disclosure reports as required by law.”
The House Ethics Committee declined to comment on the matter to CNN.
CNN has also reached out to the congressman’s office to request for comment on the ethics complaint.
CNN reported last month that federal prosecutors in New York are investigating Santos’s finances. Separately, CNN has reported that Santos’s campaign finances show dozens of expenses just below the FEC’s threshold to keep receipts.
Santos has faced growing criticism from congressional Democrats, and some Republicans, after he admitted to fabricating sections of his resume – including his past work experience and education.
CNN’s KFile uncovered even more falsehoods from Santos, including claims he was forced to leave a New York City private school when his family’s real estate assets took a downturn and stating he represented Goldman Sachs at a top financial conference.
In a separate matter, CNN reported that law enforcement officials in Brazil will reinstate fraud charges against Santos. Prosecutors said they will seek a “formal response” from Santos related to a stolen checkbook in 2008, after police suspended an investigation into him because they were unable to find him for nearly a decade.
Santos admitted to stealing a man’s checkbook that was in his mother’s possession to purchase clothing and shoes in 2008, according to documents obtained by CNN.
When asked by CNN what the best outcome would be to this complaint, Torres said on Tuesday, “The best outcome is accountability. We have to send a message that if you defraud the voters, you’re going to be held accountable.”
Goldman added this investigation “calls on the House to police its own. Because if we are to have credibility, if we are to have integrity, if this body is to gain the trust of the American people, then we need to ensure that its members are following the ethics rules of this body that we are all required to uphold.”
Goldman confirmed House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries is aware of the complaint.
“I think what you will find among all of the Democrats in our caucus is complete disbelief that George Santos is still a member of Congress,” he said.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said Tuesday that GOP leadership plans to address Santos “internally.”
In response to Santos saying he has done nothing “unethical,” Torres said, “If that’s true, the investigation will exonerate him. He has nothing to fear from the truth.”
When pressed about how he lied about his resume, Santos once again on Tuesday said he’d address the falsehoods at a later date.
“Look, I’ve already said I’ll be addressing the media in a short time. So I would appreciate you guys give that time and we’ll be talking to all of you guys soon.”
When pressed for when that later date would be, Santos would only repeat, “Soon.”
He also said he’s made no preferences for committee assignments, saying “I’ll take whatever I get. I’m not a picky person. I came here to serve the people.”
CNN’s Manu Raju, Kristin Wilson, Daniella Diaz, Kyle Blaine, Jack Forrest and AnneClaire Stapelton contributed to this report.