The real Congressmen of New York

Untangling the web of George Santos

In a divided United States House of Representatives, a bipartisan agreement is typically something significant, especially when it comes to removing a representative from the house. So, in a vote of 331–114, George Santos was expelled from the house and removed from his representative seat in New York’s third congressional district. This marks Santos as the first representative to be removed without legally being convicted of a crime. Although Santos is currently facing 23 felony charges, including credit card fraud, making false statements within the house, and various fraudulent schemes. However, these legal charges are not the only trouble Santos is facing. Within his personal life, there seems to be an overarching theme of lying. From his personal life to his career, Santos is in a world of trying to set his story straight.

Santos, born George Anthony Devolder Santos in 1988 in New York, has familial ties to Brazil which span back to his grandparents. When speaking about his maternal grandparents, Santos claims that they survived the Holocaust and fled to Brazil. After this statement, Santos re-iterated his previous claim but remarked that saying “survived” instead of “fled” was a poor choice of words on his part. Yet, Santos’ claims also seem to be unsubstantiated by immigration records, which say his grandparents were born in Brazil. When the holes in his story were brought to his attention by The New York Post, Santos said that he “never claimed to be Jewish” but rather, “Jew-ish” due to his connection to Judaism through his grandparents. This is not the only suspicious claim Santos has made about his maternal family. On Twitter, now X, Santos stated in 2021 that “9/11 claimed [his] mother’s life.” This claim was further elaborated by Santos as he explained that on the day of the attacks, his mother was working in the South Tower and managed to escape harm. Although the attacks themselves may not have claimed the life of his mother, Santos stated that due to the toxic dust in New York City after the attacks, his family correlated her passing in 2016 to this previous exposure. Yet, much like the claims made about his grandparents, immigration records show that Santos’ mother was not in the United States between 1999–2003 and did not work in the World Trade Centre, but as a housekeeper. As both claims stem from some of the greatest tragedies in American and world history, it comes as a shock to many why Santos made personal claims surrounding them, in addition to what effect they had on his campaign.

In his personal reputation, Santos tries to frame himself as a new type of politician. He is openly gay and Latino, and made history when elected to the House of Representatives as being the first openly queer person to win a seat. However, not even elements of his personal self are concrete. From claims of previous work experience in the financial sector, including big connections to Wall Street, such as Santos’ claiming to have worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. However, there are no records of Santos ever having been employed by either company. When confronted, Santos argued that resume embellishing is common within society and a part of reality. This argument also extends to Santos’ educational history, with Santos having previously stated that he attended NYU and had turned down an offer to Harvard Business School. In an interview, Santos admitted to having embellished this part of his life as well, to achieve societal expectations, as he could not afford to attend these institutions.

Gabriel Theriault – Argosy Illustrator


As 2024 continues, Santos faces legal battles in addition to reconciling with a terrible reputation, stained by lies and bizarre claims. It is not only the law that will potentially punish Santos, but those who elected him, as Santos faces being barred from politics for the rest of his career.

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