A few weeks after the midterm congressional elections in the United States, a newly elected Republican representative’s alleged lies about his own résumé caused a sensation. George Santos, who won a seat in the New York State House of Representatives in November, admitted in two interviews on Monday that he had significantly falsified his resume. Contrary to what was claimed, he never worked for the banks Goldman Sachs and Citigroup – and never earned a university degree.

In addition, Santos told the New York Post that, contrary to what was claimed during the election campaign, he was not Jewish, but Catholic. He literally told the newspaper: “I’m Catholic. Because I learned that my maternal family has Jewish roots, I said I was ‘Jewish’.”

Santos apologized for what he himself said had “embellished” his resume. However, Santos rejected calls from the Democratic Party to give up his seat in Congress. “I’m not a criminal,” he told the New York Post.

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Republican Santos had helped his party secure a narrow majority of 222 to 212 seats in the House of Representatives with his victory against his Democratic challenger Robert Zimmerman in the Democrat stronghold of New York in the midterm elections. In the Senate, the other chamber of Congress, the Democrats retained their majority. The new members of Congress will take office at the beginning of January.

Research by the “New York Times” published before Christmas raised doubts about Santos’ statements about his studies and professional career made during the election campaign. In response to the article, Santos initially published a statement from his attorney, in which he accused the New York Times of “slandering” Santos’ “good name” with “slanderous allegations.”

Several members of the Democratic Party have urged Kevin McCarthy, the current Republican minority leader in the House of Representatives, to put Santos’ expulsion to a vote if he doesn’t resign of his own accord. The House Ethics Committee must investigate how Santos “earned his money,” said Democratic MP Ritchie Torres, who, like Santos, is from New York.

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