GREAT NECK, N.Y. -- A chorus of calls is growing louder for Congressman-elect George Santos to respond to scathing allegations in a New York Times investigation that says the Republican from Queens fabricated much of his resumé.
There's mounting pressure on Santos to respond or step down.
At the Whitestone address where Santos is registered to vote, there were calls for his resignation. Constituents say they feel duped after a New York Times investigation alleged much of his bio is fiction.
"He is sending the message that you can lie, fabricate and in general just be dishonest and still be elected to the United States Congress," said Plainview resident Aidan Davis.
"It's just completely abhorrent," said youth activist Kieran Kelly.
The Republican voted in Whitestone in November, but a landlord says Santos moved out in August.
Mail the landlord Nancy Pothos said she put in the outside trash bears his name, including an election win certificate.
Pothos said he lived there for two years.
Critics say his address on filings is part of the web of lies.
The Times cited Wall Street firms and colleges he lists, which have no record of him, missing financial disclosures, criminal charges in Brazil and evictions.
"Politicians have lied. No one is surprised. But the scale the moral depravity, the sophistication of this web of lies is truly unprecedented," said Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan.
from the 34-year-old who campaigned as a wealthy financier.
"Not one allegation was refuted. When you're backed up against the corner, you either admit to what you've done or you deflect, and he's deflecting," Lafazan said.
"My entire career has been about working with people, giving back to people," Santos said
Santos' attorney calls the story a "shotgun blast of attacks. It is no surprise that Congressman-elect Santos has enemies at the New York Times who are attempting to smear his good name with these defamatory allegations."
The 3rd Congressional District is abuzz with concern.
"His answer is 'the Times is my enemy.' Yeah, but what about what they said? If you graduated, here is my diploma, end of story," said Richard Cole.
"They're taking about a possible investigation and I think it's warranted," said Frank Antroco.
Nassau County's Republican leader offers the benefit of the doubt. "George Santos should have a reasonable amount of time to respond," to the claims.
Others wonder how both sides didn't do their homework better.
"Opposition research is a key part of any campaign, and you do it on both your candidate and your opponent. If they didn't know about this then, it is shocking on both sides." said Republican political consultant Michael Dawidziak.
The director of the non-partisan Common Cause says the House should not seat Santos until serious allegations are investigated and called upon the attorney general and U.S. attorney to investigate the "litany of deceptions."
New York University says they have no record of someone with Santos' name and date of birth having attended the school. Baruch College said it had no record of Santos with the birthdate and graduation date he claimed.
"The behavior of Santos is deplorable, and he must be held accountable," said Whitestone resident Sheila Harmon.
"If the man based his whole campaign on false claims, it's not right. It has to be dealt with," said Robert Sunshine of Syosset.
"We must call on Democrats and Republicans of good conscience to to speak up and speak out. We are also calling on the House ethics committees to launch an investigation, and we're calling on the AG's office to look at campaign wrongdoing when it comes to campaign funding violations," Lafazan said.
There are several avenues in which an ethics investigation could take place with the House of Representatives, but none likely to affect Santos' ability to take office next month.
Some suggest the alleged lies could amount to crimes. Congressman-elect Dan Goldman of Manhattan, a former federal prosecutor, is calling for an investigation into conspiracy by interfering with a federal election and filing false statements to the election commission.
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