(Jan. 19) With every hour that goes by, it becomes more baffling that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy refuses to preemptively discipline scandal-plagued Rep. George Santos (R-NY).

Despite massive evidence that the newly elected Santos is an astonishingly flagrant serial fabulist, McCarthy has ratified the appointment of Santos to two House committees. McCarthy also has refused to join calls for Santos to resign voluntarily from Congress, which would save Congress the time and effort of a formal ethics committee inquiry that is all but certain to result in Santos’ eventual expulsion anyway.

Granted, Santos need not comply with a request for his resignation, and he has the right to demand an inquiry process. Yet when the evidence of his material dishonesty (and perhaps worse) is so overwhelming, neither formal nor informal precedent argues that McCarthy can’t or shouldn’t publicly pressure Santos or refuse to reward him with committee spots. Just four years and four days ago, McCarthy wisely removed Iowa’s Rep. Steve King from all his committee spots because of repeated racist remarks. If he could do it to King without an ethics review, he ought to do the same to Santos.

Santos’s case isn’t one of run-of-the-mill politicians’ fibs. Instead, the level of his dishonesty is so stupendous as to shock any conscience worthy of the name. Without the lies, there can be no doubt that Santos would not have been elected in his highly competitive Empire State district.

To review: Santos has admitted he lied about graduating from two colleges that he never even attended and that he played football at one of them. He lied about attending an exclusive prep school. He lied about working for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. He lied about founding a charity group called Friends of Pets United. He lied that he was Jewish and that his grandparents barely escaped the Holocaust. He lied that four of his employees died in a nightclub tragedy, that he owns more than a dozen properties (he owns none), and that his mother died in the Twin Towers on 9/11, along with other claims….. [The full column is at this link.]


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