George Santos claimed victory last month in a historic race for New York's 3rd Congressional District: it was the first time in the nation's history that two openly LGBTQ congressional candidates were going head-to-head.
In January, the Republican is expected to be welcomed into the new Congress alongside other first-time representatives, but a new look at his qualifications raises some serious questions.
A startling New York Times report suggests huge chunks of the Republican's resume he shared with the public can not be corroborated. Representatives from employers Santos claims he worked for and universities he said he studied at say they have no record of him.
In the run-up to the November election, Santos reportedly claimed to have attended New York University and graduated from Baruch College "with a bachelor's degree in economics and finance." News 4 received statements from both schools saying a search of academic records could not confirm his attendance or completion of graduation requirements.
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Professional work reportedly led Santos to Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, where he became "a seasoned Wall Street financier and investor," according to the Republican's campaign website.
"I’m unable to confirm Mr. Santos’ employment with Citi," a company representative told News 4.
A similar statement was issued from Goldman Sachs, which said it had "no record of his employment."
In response to the allegations in the report, a statement released through the congressman-elect's attorney said that Santos "represents the kind of progress that the Left is so threatened by - a gay, Latino, first generation American and Republican who won a Biden district."
"After four years in the public eye, and on the verge of being sworn in as a member of the Republican led 118th Congress, the New York Times launches this shotgun blast of attacks," the attorney's statement read. "It is no surprise that Congressman-elect Santos has enemies at the New York Times who are attempting to smear his good name with these defamatory allegations."
A spokesperson for the New York Times said that the "deeply-researched and thoroughly fact-checked reporting speaks for itself. We stand behind its publication unreservedly."
Rival political groups have started calling for the Republican to step down in the wake of the reporting Santos made up key qualifications in his race to the House.
"George Santos lied to voters and is unfit to serve in any public office, much less Congress. If the law doesn’t force him out of office, we’re confident the voters of NY-3 will," the New York Working Families Party said in a statement.
Republican officials from Long Island have asked for the opportunity for Santos to clear his name.
"While issues that have been raised in a December 19th New York Times article are serious, I believe that George Santos deserves an opportunity to address the claims detailed in the article, which have been repeated by other news sources," Nassau County Republican Committee Chairman Joseph Cairo, Jr., said.
"Every person deserves an opportunity to 'clear' his/her name in the face of accusations. I am committed to this principle, and I look forward to the Congressman-Elect’s responses to the news reports," Cairo added.