New York Rep. George Santos will recuse himself from all committee work, he said Tuesday in a House Republican Conference meeting.
The Republican Steering Committee sat Santos on the Small Business and Science, Space and Technology committees, despite calls from Democrats and some Republicans that he not be seated or that he resign from Congress. Santos has admitted to fabricating large portions of his biography and is currently facing criminal and campaign finance investigations.
Santos will not serve on the committees until “everything clears up,” he told his colleagues, according to multiple outlets. (RELATED: Rep. George Santos Denies Report He Performed As Drag Queen In Brazil)
🚨BREAKING — GEORGE SANTOS tells House Republicans he will recuse himself from sitting on committees.
Just happened in closed GOP meeting.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 31, 2023
The Federal Election Commission is currently investigating Santos for not accurately submitting campaign finance forms. His treasurer has denied being employed by the campaign, and several listed donors have denied giving to Santos or do not exist. Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly is investigating Santos, as is the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. In Brazil, Santos is facing fraud charges over a checkbook that he allegedly stole and used in 2008.
Santos has admitted to lying about major elements of his backstory, including graduating from college and working at Goldman Sachs. He has also falsely claimed that some of his relatives fled the Holocaust and that his mother died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“The decision to not serve on committees is in his and our best interest,” Republican New York Rep. Marc Molinaro told Politico. “As I said, I think he should resign and focus on his defense. But, I do welcome this decision.”
House Republicans are currently considering whether or not to allow Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar to sit on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Speaker Kevin McCarthy has expressed a desire to remove her from the panel over repeated anti-Semitic remarks, in response to Democrats’ previous removal of GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona.
However, some Republican representatives have balked at voting Omar off the Foreign Affairs Committee. Reps. Nancy Mace of South Carolina, Victoria Spartz of Indiana and Ken Buck of Colorado have already said they do not support stripping Omar of her spot. Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz remains undecided.
“I am undecided as of tonight as to whether or not I would vote to remove Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee, because it’s one thing to do dangerous things to the country with intelligence. It’s quite another to say, ‘I don’t like your viewpoint, and thus I want to remove you,'” Gaetz said Tuesday.
On Jan. 24, McCarthy removed Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell of California from the House Intelligence Committee, citing Schiff’s handling of investigations into former President Donald Trump and Swalwell’s contact with a Chinese spy.