NEW YORK — US Rep. George Santos filed paperwork Tuesday indicating his intent to run for reelection, even as he faces calls to resign amid ongoing criminal and ethics investigations into lies he told while running for office, including fabricating his Jewish heritage.
The filing with the Federal Election Commission does not necessarily mean that Santos will run for a second term, but it allows his campaign committees to continue raising money, some of which could be used to pay future legal bills. Money he raises could also be used to repay more than $700,000 that he claimed to have loaned his campaign.
The New York Republican has admitted to lying about having Jewish ancestry, a Wall Street background, college degrees and a history as a star volleyball player. But serious questions about his finances have also surfaced — including the source of what he claimed was a quickly amassed fortune despite recent financial problems, including evictions and owing thousands of dollars in back rent.
Santos, 34, has referred to the fabrications as harmless embellishments of his resume.
Pressure on him to resign surfaced almost immediately after the New York Times uncovered inconsistencies in his public record. Fellow New York Republicans have demanded that he resign, saying he had betrayed voters and his own party with his lies.
Santos has also been dogged by lingering legal questions.
In 2017, he was charged with criminal theft in Pennsylvania in connection with bad checks apparently used to buy puppies from dog breeders, according to a lawyer who said she helped the Republican with the case. Those charges, however, were later expunged, according to the lawyer.
As a young man, he faced charges in Brazil — still unresolved — alleging that he used a fraudulent check to buy apparel.