WASHINGTON (TND) — Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., has dominated headlines recently after making several false claims about his background, and now congressional leadership says he could be removed from office.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters at a Tuesday press conference that Santos would be removed from Congress if the House Ethics Committee determines Santos violated the law.
If for some way when we go through Ethics, and he has broken the law, then we will remove him," McCarthy can be heard saying in recorded video of the press conference.
However, McCarthy added that he continues to support Santos, as he was elected to his position.
You know why I’m standing by him? Because his constituents voted for him," McCarthy told reporters. "I do not have the power, simply because I disagree with somebody on what they have said, that I will remove them from elected office.
That statement echoes what McCarthy has previously said about Santos, even when a growing list of Republicans were calling for Santos to resign.
McCarthy said at the time that he tries to "stick by the Constitution" and that "voters elected him [Santos] to serve."
Santos has already admitted to lying about his college education, job experience and campaign financial disclosures, but he's pushed back against claims that he's a "drag queen" or that he "let a dog die."
While the claim about the dog may still be up in the air, Santos's argument that he is not a "drag queen" faces fresh pushback thanks to a video of the newly-elected representative apparently dressed in drag at a 2005 Pride parade in Brazil.
Santos has already pushed back against the claims of him being a drag queen, calling the allegation a "recent obsession from the media" that is "categorically false."
The embattled Republican lawmaker has repeatedly said that he will not step down from his position, despite calls from both political parties for him to do so.
He has said that he will only resign if "those same 142,000 people [that voted for me] tell me they don't want me."
The House Ethics Committee continues to investigate Santos, and Republican leaders in New York have already called for Santos's immediate resignation.
Santos has been given seats on two low-level committees: the Committee on Small Business and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, according to CNN.