Nassau DA Donnelly opens investigation into George Santos
Anne Donnelly, the Republican district attorney for Nassau County, has opened an investigation into GOP Rep.-elect George Santos after he admitted lying about his work experience and education background.
Santos, 34, admitted Monday to fabricating key parts of his resume that he had announced on the campaign trail, including that he did not graduate from Baruch College, work for Citigroup or Goldman Sachs, or own any properties.
Santos' admission came one week after a New York Times report found holes in the record he touted during his campaign for New York's 3rd Congressional District.
Donnelly, a longtime Nassau prosecutor who took office at the beginning of the year, told Newsday in a statement:
“The numerous fabrications and inconsistencies associated with Congressman-Elect Santos are nothing short of stunning. The residents of Nassau County and other parts of the third district must have an honest and accountable representative in Congress. No one is above the law and if a crime was committed in this county, we will prosecute it."
Brendan Brosh, a district attorney spokesman, told Newsday: “We are looking into the matter.”
The office declined to comment further.
Santos did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
Long Island Republican leaders, including incoming Rep. Nick LaLota (R-Amityville) and Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, on Tuesday called for the House Ethics Committee to investigate Santos. LaLota is part of the freshman class of legislators set to be sworn in with Santos on Tuesday.
Last week, New York State Attorney General Letitia James' office said it was reviewing the matter.
Santos began addressing the reports Monday and Tuesday in interviews with conservative news outlets, including the New York Post, Fox News, and grocery store magnate John Catsimatidis' show on WABC Radio.
On Tuesday, Santos said on Fox News: "I'm not a fraud. I'm not a fake. I didn't materialize from thin air. I worked damn hard to get where I got my entire life. I made some mistakes, and I own up to them, and now I want to move past them so I can deliver for the American people."
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has not responded to requests for comment.
Blakeman, Nassau GOP chairman Joseph Cairo and North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena, a Republican, all condemned Santos’ response to the Times story on Tuesday.
They took issue with his claim that his maternal grandparents were Jewish and fled Ukraine, settled in Belgium, and later went to Brazil to escape religious persecution during the Holocaust.
The Jewish Insider, which relied on a genealogist, and CNN reported that Santos' grandparents appear to have been born in Brazil.
Santos told news outlets this week that he was actually "Jew-ish," but not "Jewish."
Santos told the Post Monday that he had "never claimed to be Jewish."
But according to The Forward, a news outlet for a Jewish American audience, Santos said he was a "proud American Jew" in a position paper he shared with Jewish organizations.
Republican Jewish Coalition CEO Matt Brooks in a statement Tuesday said Santos "deceived us and misrepresented his heritage. In public comments and to us personally, he previously claimed to be Jewish. He has begun his tenure in Congress on a very wrong note. He will not be welcome at any future RJC event."