George Santos tells House Republicans he wants to leave his committees until issues are resolved


Rep. George Santos told Tuesday’s closed-door GOP conference that he wants to leave his two committees until his issues are resolved, three members told CNN.

The New York Republican, who faced calls for his resignation over false statements — including about his work experience, educational history and identity — serves on the Science, Space and Technology Committee and the Small Business Committee. Federal prosecutors are also investigating Santos’ finances, and he continues to face countless questions about his personal finances.

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Watch Santos’ tense conversation with a CNN reporter about campaign funds

He was first elected last fall.

Santos later told reporters that the choice to step down from his commission posts was his.

“No one is telling me to do anything,” Santos said. “I made this decision on my own, which I felt was best represented in the interest of the constituents.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters that Santos “will have a voice here in Congress and until he answers all these questions, then he can be a member of the committees.”

“I met with George Santos yesterday and I think it was an appropriate decision, until he can clear everything up, to step down from the committee right now,” McCarthy told reporters.

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green of Georgia told CNN that Santos’ decision to “abstain” from the committees was his own. She said he told the conference he would step down from the committees as the GOP tries to oust Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota from the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Democrats cited the growing misrepresentations and scrutiny Santos faced as an example of hypocrisy for Republicans who ousted Omar and two other House Democrats — California Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swawell — from the committees. While Schiff and Swawell were able to be unilaterally kicked out of the House Intelligence Committee by McCarthy, Omar’s position on House foreign affairs would need a House vote, which Republican leaders have yet to force.

“He just felt that there was really so much drama surrounding the situation and especially what we were doing to work to remove Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee,” Green told CNN.

She added: “But Mr. Santos’ statement there simply says that he spoke with Chairman McCarthy and made that decision on his own.”

Small Business Committee Chairman Roger Williams, R-Texas, said he thought Santos “probably made the right decision” to step down from his committee duties until questions about his past and financial irregularities were resolved.

Leaving his office late last week on Capitol Hill, Santos told a reporter he would hold a news conference “soon” to “discuss everything.”

“We will give you all the answers to everything you ask,” he said.

In recent days, Santos has faced a series of questions about his campaign finance, including inquiries about donors as well as campaign disbursements, including dozens of expenses that his campaign reported at exactly $199.99, one cent below the threshold above which campaign must keep receipts.

The campaign’s legal center filed a complaint with the FEC that described his payments as “strange and seemingly impossible.” It noted that one of the $199.99 costs was supposedly for a “hotel stay” at the luxury W Hotel South Beach in Florida in October 2021, where the lowest-priced room would normally cost more than $700 dollar.

Last week, Santos also filed multiple amended reports with the FEC that only added to the confusion about the source of loans he said he made to his campaign.

In some documents, the campaign did not check boxes indicating that two six-figure loans came from the candidate’s personal funds.

Santos also faces questions about who serves as his campaign treasurer.

His longtime treasurer, Nancy Marks, sent letters to the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday saying she had officially resigned from the post on January 25.

The campaign filed on Jan. 25 appointing a Wisconsin-based consultant, Thomas Detweiler, as treasurer.

But Datwyler’s attorney told CNN that Datwyler declined the post and was listed as treasurer without his permission. Attorney Derek Ross said Detweiler told the agency Friday that his name should be removed from Santos’ documents.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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