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- Members of George Santos’ own party have called on him to step aside.
- Santos turned himself into federal authorities on Wednesday and has been charged with 13 criminal counts.
- A fellow GOP representative from Long Island called Santos “a complete embarrassment.”
A number of House GOP lawmakers are calling for George Santos’ to resign after the New York representative was charged with 13 criminal counts on Wednesday.
And those calls are coming not just from Santos’ own party, but from his fellow Long Island representatives, like New York Rep. Nick LaLota.
“I think he needs to go right away, and I hope that he resigns,” LaLota, a Republican representing New York’s 1st congressional district, told CNN. “He’s a complete embarrassment. The nation’s focusing on solutions that matter, not George Santos.”
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, another Republican from New York, told Axios before the charges were filed on Wednesday, “The sooner [Santos] leaves, the sooner we can win the seat with someone who isn’t a liar.”
And more GOP representatives from across the country are speaking out against Santos.
“I’m surprised he’s still here,” Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke, a Republican, told CNN. “I think the Ethics Committee better move on it… We owe American people answers.”
Rep. Tony Gonzales, a Texas Republican, also tweeted that Santos should be “immediately expelled from Congress” and said a special election should be “initiated at the soonest possible date.”
Rep. French Hill, an Arkansas Republican, told CNN reporter Melanie Zanona before the charges were filed against Santos: “I do believe that if a member of Congress is charged with a federal crime they should resign.”
Senator Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican, has also weighed in, saying, “I think we’re seeing that the wheels of justice may grind slow, but they grind fine and he will have his day in court, but it certainly appears that things are not going well for Mr. Santos,” according to The New York Times.
But the most important Republican — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who needs Santos’ seat to stay Republican to maintain the GOP’s slim margin of control — has backed him.
On Tuesday before the charges were announced, McCarthy said Santos can remain in power until he is convicted.
“That is my policies and principles on this,” he said.
George Santos turned himself into federal authorities on Wednesday and has been charged with 13 crimes, including money laundering, theft of public funds, and wire fraud.
He faces up to 20 years in prison on the most serious charge.