George Santos scandal inspires new legislation on Long Island

Chanteé Lans Image
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Congressman George Santos' campaign finance under scrutiny
Local Nassau County officials proposed a bill to prevent politicians and potential candidates from lying. Chantee Lans reports.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Calls continue to grow for embattled Congressman George Santos to resign as the freshman representative is once again thrusted in the center of controversy.

Lawmakers announced a proposed bill package Wednesday that would require political candidates to do a background check and make it a misdemeanor for lying about income, employment, education history and address.

"I'm announcing the initiative called the G.E.O.R.G.E Package," said former Dist. 3 Congressional candidate Josh Lafazan. "Get Egregious Officials Removed from Government Elections, which stands for George."

It would also bar any candidate with an open foreign arrest warrant.

Meanwhile, new campaign disclosures suggest that at least $625,000 in campaign loans Santos previously reported as self-funded might not be self-funded after all.

Amendments filed Tuesday show a $500,000 loan from March 2022 and a $125,000 loan from October no longer include a box checked that there were personal funds from the candidate.

ALSO READ | The saga of Rep. George Santos: Inside his many fabrications, exaggerations, and embellishments

The amended filings do not disclose the original source of those loans, the due date or interest rate - which experts say could violate campaign finance laws.

On Tuesday, Santos rejected a White House invitation to a freshmen-class reception, saying he had a prior commitment.

Meanwhile, his recent interview with a Brazilian podcast has resurfaced in which Santos, speaking in Portuguese, claims he was the target of an assassination attempt.

He also described a mugging in New York City.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was asked Tuesday night why Santos is still seated on two committees, even after McCarthy kicked longtime Democratic congressmen Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell off the House Intelligence Committee.

"The Intel Committee is different, you know why?" McCarthy said. "Because what happens in the Intel Committee - you don't know. What happens in the Intel Committee -- all of the secrets going on in the world other members of Congress don't know."

McCarthy said he will hold Santos to the same standard he holds anyone else elected. But if it's found that Santos broke the law, he says Santos will be removed.

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