The Shady Side Of George Santos

The following article includes brief references to homophobia, racism, addiction, and domestic abuse allegations.

In November 2022, New Yorkers elected an untested Republican to Congress. On paper, George Santos — who represented the state's third congressional district until December 2023, but more on that below — appeared to be a solid choice for the party. He had no previous political experience, but had plenty of success in business, having worked on Wall Street, ran his family's organization, and acted as an NYC landlord. He also held a firm stance when it came to major hot-button political issues: he supported the police, advocated for reduced dependence on other countries, and was all for lowering taxes. His proximity to Donald Trump's circle sealed the deal for many voters — George Santos was exactly the kind of fresh, new energy they were looking to bring to the party, and they were happy to have the young leader fighting for them in D.C.

Unfortunately, Santos isn't exactly who he painted himself to be. In the weeks after he was elected, but before he was sworn into office, The North Shore Leader and The New York Times published articles questioning and debunking dozens of claims Santos had previously made. It turns out, the short-lived congressman's far from the golden boy Republicans believed him to be. 

Below, we're diving into the shady side of George Santos, setting the record straight on some of the most outrageous lies he's told, and taking a closer look at some of the more questionable aspects of his life. Buckle up, because this is about to be one wild ride.

Is George Santos Jewish or 'Jew-ish'?

One of the first major fibs George Santos was called out on was his ever-changing heritage. An older version of his campaign website outright claimed he had Jewish lineage, reading, "His mother ... was born in Brazil to Belgian immigrants that fled the devastation of World War II Europe." His actions on the campaign trail also seemed to indicate that he was in touch with that aspect of his identity, as he attended Hanukah parties and went to meetings of the Republican Jewish Coalition. However, as The New York Times exposé first revealed, he actually isn't Jewish at all.

Forward, an independent Jewish newspaper, confirmed The Times' findings. The outlet scoured genealogy websites and immigration records and found nothing to corroborate Santos' story. Instead, they discovered that both of Santos' maternal grandparents, as well as his mother, Rosa Caruso Horta Devolder, had been born in Brazil. Additionally, they found that there was no mention of Jewish customs or major religious holidays on her social media accounts, but there were plenty of references to Catholic religious traditions.

In an interview with the New York Post, Santos attempted to backtrack on his earlier claims, saying, "I never claimed to be Jewish. I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was 'Jew-ish.'" Despite the obvious discrepancy between what he told the Post and what was initially printed on his website, there is still no viable evidence that anyone on either side of Santos' family has Jewish heritage or has been a practicing Jew.

His uncorroborated 9/11 survivor claims

The Jewish heritage question wasn't the only drama George Santos dragged his unexpecting mother into. Santos claimed in a post shared on X, formerly Twitter, in 2021 that his mother, Rosa Caruso Horta Devolder, died as a result of the Twin Towers terrorist attacks, writing, "9/11 claimed my mother's life." 

Over the years, the future congressman told the story of his mother's life over and over, claiming (via The Seattle Times) she worked her way up to becoming "the first female executive at a major financial institution," a role that feasibly could have placed in her an office in the towers. The only thing about the story that ever changed was the ending — occasionally he would claim she lost her life that day, other times he'd say she made it out alive but eventually died of complications (typically cancer brought on by the fumes).

Unfortunately for Santos, victims' advocacy organizations told Rolling Stone that there are no employment records that would place Devolder near the towers on that fateful day. Additionally, she never entered a victims' compensation claim or joined any of the numerous lawsuits surrounding the attacks. A researcher for The Seattle Times also found immigration documents in which Devolder herself said she had been out of the United States and living in Brazil since June 1999. According to that outlet, she never even worked in finance and wouldn't have even been in a position to be in the FiDi at all that day. Instead, she was employed as a housecleaner and home aid in the city's outer boroughs.

George Santos struck out on his education record

There have to be some basic things about George Santos' biography, like where he went to school, that are true, right? Wrong. Santos has claimed that he attended Horace Mann (an elite and expensive private school in Upper Manhattan), Baruch College, and NYU. All three institutions have said they have no record of him being enrolled in their programs. First up, an old version of the representative's About Me section of his website reads, "He began Horace Mann preparatory school in the Bronx, however, did not graduate from Horace Mann due to financial difficulties for his family." A representative for the school told CNN, "We've searched the records and there is no evidence that George Santos (or any alias) attended Horace Mann." Strike one.

Then there was Baruch College. In a resumé Santos gave the Nassau County Republican Committee, obtained by The New York Times, he wrote that he graduated from Baruch in 2010 with a 3.98 GPA. He'd later walk this claim back entirely telling the New York Post, "I didn't graduate from any institution of higher learning. I'm embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume." Strike two.

Finally, and most offensively for some, Santos once bragged on the "Police Off the Cuff" podcast (via Business Insider) that he graduated from NYU with his M.B.A. and absolutely no student debt. In the interview, he implied that folks who held student debt or who were asking for debt relief were just lazy. Easy to say when you've apparently never been in that position yourself. Strike three.

The politician wasn't actually a wolf of Wall Street

If George Santos' resumé is to be believed, he held a number of significant positions at major financial firms after "graduating" with his bachelor's and master's degrees. According to the document, Santos first worked at Citigroup before moving to Met Global Inc., then Goldman Sachs, and finally LinkBridge Investors. In the media, he always painted himself as a high-achieving and boundary-pushing employee, noting on his website that he was "one of the youngest vice presidents in the industry" and telling Nassau Community College's 90.3 WHPC podcast he berated his then-employer for their position on renewable energy while sitting on a panel at private equity conference run by Anthony Scaramucci.

In reality, Santos wasn't a high-achieving, boundary-pushing employee — he wasn't even employed at many of the firms he listed. In December 2022, the politician admitted to the New York Post that he had "never worked directly" for Citigroup or Goldman Sachs but had only tangentially been involved with them through his work at LinkBridge (where, The New York Times reports, one of his primary duties was arranging conferences, not managing investments). As for that public takedown of Goldman Sachs at the conference? It never happened, according to Scaramucci, who spoke to CNN.

So how was Santos making all his money pre-LinkBridge? That remains up for debate (and we'll come back to it later), but Patch was able to confirm he worked at a Dish Network location in Queens as a bilingual customer service representative for at least a couple of years around 2011 and 2012.

Meet landlord George Santos

While he was busy "working" for these major financial institutions, George Santos claimed he was also adding to his wealth via a side hustle — renting and maintaining family-owned properties as a New York City landlord. In a 2021 tweet, the future congressman claimed his family owned 13 properties around the city, and expressed frustration at not being able to collect rent on many of them thanks to coronavirus-related policies. Interestingly, Business Insider was unable to find any mention of NYC properties in the disclosure forms for Santos' campaign.

Even more interestingly, Santos seems to have maintained a pattern of being a bad tenant himself. The outlet reports that he was evicted twice — once in 2015 after owing $2,250 in unpaid rent and once in 2017 after owing $10,000 in unpaid rent. Another former landlord told the New York Post that Santos and his sister had allegedly "done a lot of damage" to their Queens rental when they abruptly moved out in 2022.

So what about the possibility of Santos owning property outside of New York City? He once claimed that his family owned a house in Nantucket, the popular vacation spot of many political powerhouses and moneyed East Coasters. That's a little harder to prove, as many of the homes on the island are owned through shell companies, but given his history of tall tales, and the fact that no properties are registered to either a Santos or a Devolder, we're inclined to say that this particular claim may be false, as well.

Is he charitable or a charity case?

According to George Santos, he wasn't just raking in the cash as a Wall Street tycoon and prolific landlord, he was also giving it away left and right. At multiple points in his campaign, the politician made a point of highlighting his charitable work. The aforementioned old About Me section of his website listed four different ways in which he either currently was or previously had been involved in local charitable operations and national non-profits. But there was one endeavor he always spoke about more than all the rest — Friends of Pets United.

On his website, Santos said that the 501(c) had rescued 2,400 dogs, 280 cats, and had TNR'd (trapped, neutered, and released) an additional 3000 cats. However, The New York Times found no record with the IRS of a registered charity under that name. As if that wasn't enough, it seems that trivial fact didn't stop Santos from telling folks in his community the non-profit existed and then proceeding to embezzle from it.

In early 2023, a veteran came forward and told Patch that Santos had promised to help save his dying service dog, Sapphire. The men started a GoFundMe to pay for a necessary surgery for the animal, but then Santos, the veteran claimed, abruptly shuttered the campaign as soon as it hit $3,000 and disappeared with the money. As a result, Sapphire was unable to get the life-saving medical treatment and died in 2016. For his part, Santos told The Hill the man's allegations were "shocking" and "insane."

George Santos was accused of fraud abroad

The GoFundMe incident isn't the only time George Santos has been accused of taking money that isn't his. While conducting research for their exposé, The New York Times discovered that the politician was also facing criminal charges in Brazil related to check fraud. Here's the story. After graduating high school, Santos spent some time living in Brazil with his mother. In 2008, when he was 19, he stole a checkbook from a man his mother (who was then working as a nurse) was caring for. Using the checks, he bought a number of items for himself, including a pair of sneakers. Two years after his fraudulent shopping spree, Santos confessed to the crime, and official charges were filed. 

But here's where things get tricky. According to Brazilian courts, the case never went to trial because they apparently lost track of Santos. Whether that's because he fled the country and moved back to New York or because he simply slipped through the cracks of their justice system is unclear, but either way, he's never been convicted of a crime, merely accused. However, now that they're aware of where he is, Brazilian prosecutors told CNN they have every intention of re-opening the case and filing charges against him once again.

Of course, Santos has maintained his innocence, telling the New York Post, "I am not a criminal here — not here, or in Brazil or any jurisdiction in the world. Absolutely not. That didn't happen."

His suspiciously swift rise from pauper to prince

Back to the money. The North Shore Leader, the first outlet to bring up questions about George Santos' stories, noted that he seemingly went from pauper to prince in the span of two years. According to the outlet, when he filed personal financial disclosures in 2020, he apparently had no assets over $5,000. His income that year was only $50,000 — a respectable number, to be sure, but not large enough to increase his fortune to $11 million by 2022. Which is exactly how much the most recent personal financial disclosures said he was worth.

Santos himself has pointed to the Devolder Organization as the primary source of his fortune. A "family-run" business, Devolder "is in the capital introduction business, including 'deal building' and 'specialty consulting' for 'high net-worth individuals,'" according to Semafor. Part of the work also seems to include re-selling luxury goods, like yachts and private planes, to wealthy clients. Suspiciously, however, the business has been opened and shuttered a number of times, Santos has refused to make public any documents related to his company, and he has never disclosed clients whose business has exceeded $5,000, which is against New York state law.

Many people think it's more likely that some of Santos' wealth, if he actually has any, came from Harbor City Capital. Santos had acted as the Florida firm's New York Regional Director for years before the business was accused of being a massive Ponzi scheme. Santos has denied any knowledge of the company's wrong-doings, but many remain suspicious given his sudden financial solvency.

George Santos was allegedly a campaign cheat

There aren't just questions about George Santos' personal wealth, but also about his campaign finances. For starters, his 2022 campaign finance form originally included a $600,000 personal loan, which implied it was money taken from his personal accounts and not money given to him by donors. However, he later admitted to The Daily Beast that the cash wasn't actually a personal loan ... but failed to shed any light on the true source. Additionally, a significant portion of the money he raised was raised through a mysterious, unregistered fund called RedStone Strategies. Because the fund, which Santos had demonstrable ties to, isn't registered, there's no record of its donors, contributions, or spending. Meaning, as The New York Times wrote, there was no way to know if every cent of the money went towards campaign finances as it should have.

Finally, a glimpse at his FEC documents revealed that Santos had dozens of expenditures that came in at $199.99, just a single penny below the figure at which the FEC requires candidates to keep receipts. These charges rang up at restaurants, drugstores, and ride-sharing services, and could imply that Santos was irresponsibly spending money (aka spending it for personal reasons not at all related to his campaign) and attempting to hide it from officials. A campaign finance expert told CNN, "If in fact he did misuse campaign funds, this was a blatant effort to evade detection." 

This all meant that if Santos violated campaign finance laws, he could wind up facing charges — and well, much more on this below.

His double standards regarding the LGBTQ+ community

If George Santos' campaign money turned out to have been ill-gotten and ill-spent, it wouldn't be the first time his actions contrasted with his so-called morality. Santos has long been open about his identity as a gay man, telling USA Today, "​​I am openly gay, have never had an issue with my sexual identity in the past decade, and I can tell you and assure you, I will always be an advocate for LGBTQ folks." Meanwhile, he's been incredibly vocal about his support for Ron DeSantis' controversial "Don't Say Gay" bill, even posting a minute-long video touting the so-called benefits of the bill on his Facebook page.

Additionally, reports from outlets like CNN and Reuters revealed that Santos performed as a drag queen in Brazil on multiple occasions. Pictures and video footage obtained by the news sites show the Republican dressed in a red dress and fully done up, and fellow performers recalled working alongside him when he went by the name Kitara Ravache. 

The issue many Americans have with Santos' stint as a drag queen isn't that he's been a part of these scenes — his private life is his to do with as he chooses, and his performances aren't hurting anyone — but that he's participated in these circles while attempting to limit his fellow citizens' freedoms to do the same. There's just something so shady about claiming to support a group of people, and even openly participating in their culture, while also working to ensure they remain marginalized with fewer rights than their counterparts.

George Santos is kind of a trauma tourist

If you haven't picked up on it yet, George Santos seemingly loves inserting himself in devastating situations if it can get him a bit more sympathy or notoriety. Aside from claiming his mother was present for the 9/11 attacks, Santos has also claimed involvement in two other recent tragedies.

Speaking with WNYC, Santos claimed to have lost four employees in the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting. He's never specified which company these individuals were employed at, but The New York Times exposé found that none of the 49 victims appeared to have worked at any of the same companies Santos claimed to have been employed. Additionally, a victims' advocate told Click Orlando that, to her knowledge, no one employer lost more than two employees in the attack, which placed further doubt on Santos' claim.

Next, Santos alleged in a now-deleted interview to have been one of the first people in New York City to get COVID-19. In a clip of the conversation preserved on X, he said that after he finally tested negative on March 26, 2022, doctors were saying it was a miracle he survived, as the immunodeficiency, acute bronchitis, and brain tumor he was also suffering from made his immune system much weaker than the average persons. However, The Daily Beast reported that there seemed to be some inaccuracies in Santos' story, including the fact that he was making public appearances during the time he claimed he was hospitalized, and that he never really discussed his experience until then-President Donald Trump tested positive in October 2020.

The ex-congressman and that racism controversy

In January 2023, George Santos was accused of flashing a white power sign during a House Speaker vote. The sideways "OK" hand signal he casually made with his left hand may seem inconspicuous when taken at face value, but the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center both note that many white supremacist groups have taken to using it as a way to easily demonstrate their social and political views.

Of course, it's impossible to determine whether or not Santos used the signal knowingly and intentionally or whether it was a genuine accident, and we do want to assume a degree of innocence. However, that's made more difficult when we learn things like the fact that Santos was present at a December 2022 gala that was attended by known white supremacists and right-wing conspiracy theorists. At a minimum, it seems as if he should have known what the gesture meant and probably should have steered clear of making it at all. 

Regardless of intention, this is just one more seemingly shady thing about the now-disgraced congressman that led to plenty of backlash online. But for his part, Santos has yet to address the controversy, as of this writing.

George Santos compared himself to Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks became a symbolic icon of the civil rights movement by famously challenging racial segregation, arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. George Santos felt that he'd experienced similar persecution and fashioned himself as be a latter-day incarnation of Parks — because he'd suffered the indignity of being told by Senator Mitt Romney that he shouldn't be sitting in the front row during President Joe Biden's State of the Union address in February 2023. 

Santos made the comparison when he appeared on Mike Crispi's "Unafraid" podcast that July, taking aim at the Utah senator and failed presidential candidate. "Mitt Romney ... goes to the State of the Union of the United States wearing a Ukraine lapel pin, tells me — a Latino gay man — that I shouldn't sit in the front, that I should be in the back," Santos griped. "Well guess what? Rosa Parks didn't sit in the back, and neither am I going to sit in the back. That's just the reality of how it works."

Comparing himself to Parks earned Santos a scathing rebuke from Anna M. Kaplan, a Democratic former New York state senator who was among those gunning for his seat in Congress: "George Santos is an absolute disgrace who continues to embarrass New Yorkers," she said, as reported by The Guardian

He tried to pass an anti-vaccine bill named after Nicki Minaj

During his time in Congress, George Santos introduced 40 bills — none of which actually became a law. One of those, oddly, was named for Taylor Swift, the Securing Women's Independence For Today Act of 2023.

Arguably his strangest bill, though, was named for a different music star, the Medical Information Nuanced Accountability Judgement Act of 2023, aka the MINAJ Act. Named after Nicki Minaj, this proposed bill targeted vaccine mandates. "Medical freedom is an absolute right," Santos said in a press release announcing his bill. "I urge my colleagues to join me in this mission to block tyrannical and draconian measures from being utilized by the Federal Government." During an appearance on CBS News' "The Point" that May, Santos explained why he named his bill after the "Anaconda" rapper. "Well, she was very pro-choice on the vaccine situation and didn't like the mandates of the COVID-19 vaccine," he said, while also elaborating on why his proposed legislation was inspired by pop stars. "I'm trying to bring more engagement into public policy," he explained. "Isn't that a good thing, though?" 

What Santos hadn't noted, however, was that Minaj's notoriety about vaccines came about after she'd tweeted an unverified claim that a friend of her cousin in Trinidad experienced "swollen" testicles and "became impotent" after being vaccinated. While the MINAJ Act went nowhere, Minaj herself was supportive of the effort, with TMZ reporting that she'd liked a tweet reporting on the bill. 

George Santos was hit with federal conspiracy charges

In May 2023, George Santos was hit with federal felony charges. According to the indictment, the soon-to-be former New York congressman's allegedly shady financial dealings resulted in charges of fraud, money laundering, and various other crimes. Santos was defiant and insisted he would not resign. "I will prove myself innocent," he said, as reported by CBS News. "... I'm going to fight the witch hunt, [and] I'm going to take care of clearing my name." He entered a plea of not guilty.

That October, the Department of Justice added more charges to that indictment, including claims that he'd fraudulently used the credit cards of donors to make personal purchases. In fact, Santos was accused of repeatedly using the credit card of one particular donor — without the knowledge of said donor — to rack up $15,800 of purchases on the card. Santos then allegedly ventured into identity theft by attempting to charge more than $40,000 using the personal information of that same donor and others, with some of that cash winding up in Santos' own bank account. He pleaded not guilty to the new charges, as well; all told, he was now facing 23 federal charges.

Despite the mountains of evidence in government prosecutors' possession, Santos remained on brand while continuing to proclaim his innocence and insisting he had no motive to defraud his donors. "Why would I want to hurt the same people who went out of their way to get me here?" he said, per CBS News.

His campaign treasurer flipped on him with her guilty plea

As the feds investigated George Santos' alleged financial shenanigans, he received an update about Nancy Marks, the treasurer of his campaign. At the crux of the investigation was a spurious claim that Santos and Marks had made to the Federal Election Commission, that he'd personally loaned his campaign $500,000. 

Marks entered a guilty plea in October 2023, admitting that she'd fraudulently told the FEC that Santos had loaned the half-mil to his campaign, without which it wouldn't have been able to meet the threshold required to receive funding and support from the Republican party. While Santos wasn't specifically named in Marks' case, her guilty plea to conspiracy to defraud charges was seen as indicative that she'd cut a deal and would likely be testifying against him at his federal fraud trial (slated for September 2024). 

"Any way you look at it, the Marks plea is bad news for George Santos," attorney Brett Kappel told CBS News. In fact, regardless of whether or not Marks became a witness for the government, the admissions she'd made by pleading guilty would still prove to be damning for Santos. "By the nature of the plea, she is implicating him," explained George Washington University law professor Randall Eliason. "One way or another, the government is going to use that information in his case."

George Santos yelled at a protestor while holding a mystery baby

In October 2023, reporter Matt Rice tweeted a photo of George Santos walking through the halls of the U.S. Capitol building holding a baby. "When asked if it was his baby, he said 'not yet,'" wrote Rice.

A subsequent tweet from reporter Reese Gorman featured video of Santos being confronted by a pro-Palestinian protestor named Shabd Singh — who had reportedly tracked him down in a hallway while he was still holding that mystery baby. In that video, Santos is seen screaming at the top of his lungs as he angrily accused the activist of being "a terrorist sympathizer," and continued by telling the guy, "You are human scum!" Singh, who is Jewish-American, was arrested on a simple assault charge. He later told reporters that he'd been questioning Santos and calling for a ceasefire while criticizing Israel's bombing of Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas War, saying, "You cannot weaponize Jewish pain to continue the mass murder of [Palestinian] civilians."

Still, more video came in a third tweet, from reporter Nolan D. McCaskill, in which Santos appears fully enraged, yelling, "And the next time he tries to accost me with a child in my hand, I want him out of here!" Trailed by reporters, Santos continued to allege, "He is an animal ... he is a f***ing terrorist sympathizer!" He then delivered an angry screed before storming away, declaring, "Nobody defending Hamas has any business in this building ... it is a disgrace that we allow people to parade that kind of thought in here."

He barely survived a vote to expel him from Congress

By May 2023, efforts to kick George Santos out of Congress escalated. They were led by Santos' fellow New York Republicans, who considered him an embarrassment and a threat to their own political futures. Attempts to pressure Santos into resigning, however, went nowhere when he refused to step down. A Democrat-led effort to oust him was blocked by Republicans; instead, complaints about Santos were referred to the House Ethics Committee.

By early November, however, efforts to expel Santos had reignited, with those New York Republicans seeking a vote to give Santos the boot. "As Republican Members from the New York delegation, we fully support Santos' expulsion, and ask all of our colleagues to join us in voting yes," they wrote, as reported by CNN. This time, a vote was held. Prior to that vote, Santos took to the House floor to offer some remarks. "I stand firmly in my innocence and my passion to represent the people of New York's 3rd District, if the voters would have me," he said. 

Santos' luck held when enough Republicans voted against the resolution — in order to preserve the GOP's slim majority in Congress — that the two-thirds majority required to oust him wasn't met. After narrowly surviving that vote, Santos tweeted a photo of himself, wearing a crown. "If you come for me, you best not miss," he wrote in the since-deleted post.

A House Ethics Committee report was bad news for George Santos

Once the House Ethics Committee completed its investigation into George Santos, their findings were damning. The committee released a statement about what they'd learned in November 2023, which seemingly eviscerated Santos for all manner of alleged illegal and fraudulent activity. The statement also announced that its findings had been handed over to the Department of Justice, which would likely result in even more federal charges filed against him. 

The statement concluded that the committee's investigation had uncovered "substantial evidence" that he willingly led his campaign committee to file reports with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that were either fake or incomplete. The committee also claimed that he used money from his campaign for his personal use, had engaged in fraud, and violated federal ethics statutes by filing bogus statements with Congress.

Santos responded with a scorched-earth tweet that blasted the committee, accusing them of executing a political hit job against him. "If there was a single ounce of ETHICS in the 'Ethics committee,' they would have not released this biased report. The Committee went to extraordinary lengths to smear myself and my legal team about me not being forthcoming," he wrote. "... It is a disgusting politicized smear that shows the depths of how low our federal government has sunk. Everyone who participated in this grave miscarriage of Justice should all be ashamed of themselves."

George Santos allegedly blew campaign funds on Botox and OnlyFans

There are very specific rules for how a Congressional candidate can spend campaign funds. George Santos, however, has allegedly never been big on following rules. That was evident when The New York Times reported on some very spicy details of what the investigation by the House Ethics Committee had uncovered about Santos' spending in November 2023. 

According to The Times, immediately after Santos was elected, he apparently went on an opulent shopping spree worthy of a "Real Housewives" star — funded entirely by money raised for his campaign. Spending campaign funds on personal stuff is a big no-no in Congress, and Santos not only allegedly disregarded the rules, but distinguished himself by the over-the-top nature of his purchases.  

The Times reported that Santos was wired $20,000 from his campaign account and proceeded to spend a cool $6,000 or so on luxury clothing at Ferragamo. He then withdrew $800 at a casino to play a little roulette. Santos was also said to have dropped $4,127 at Hermès, in addition to spending a few grand in campaign cash to pay for some Botox treatments. He even reportedly used some of that money to pay for OnlyFans — although the newspaper didn't reveal whose racy accounts he was frequenting. The icing on the cake was when Santos allegedly used campaign funds to pay his own rent, and then withdrew $1,000 from an ATM, presumably so he'd have a little walking-around cash on hand.

He smeared a colleague by slamming his son's drug addiction

George Santos doesn't take kindly to being the butt of a joke, as he demonstrated in early November 2023. After Santos narrowly avoided being kicked out of Congress, Arkansas Congressman Steve Womack — who, like Santos, is a Republican — jokingly tweeted, "Last night the House saw its shadow. Unfortunately, this means two more weeks of Santos."

Santos responded with fury. He replied to Womack's tweet with a message going after Womack's son. "Your son is a felon," Santos wrote. "He has been in and out of the prison system for years. He is a drug dealer, poisoning people on the streets with meth. ... Instead of being home, taking care of your son, you're sitting pretty in the swamp." Santos' since-removed tweet linked to an Arkansas news site reporting on the politician's son, James Phillip Womack, entering a guilty plea on drug and gun charges. "There's not a more helpless feeling than to see your adult children struggle with addiction and its horrific consequences," the elder Womack said in the article, referencing his son's years-long struggles with substance misuse. 

After deleting his tweet, Santos issued a new one — apologizing for his original tweet. "Today I had a misguided moment of rage and lashed out against a colleague's family member after he was critical of me," he wrote in part. "I've always held the standard that our families are off limits and I crossed that line."

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

SNL has had a field day with George Santos

Making fun of politicians has become de rigueur for "Saturday Night Live," and George Santos quickly became the gift that kept on giving. "SNL" cast member Bowen Yang had previously portrayed Santos on the show a few times but hit his nadir during a November 2023 episode when he reprised his Santos impression on "Weekend Update." In addition to getting caught in myriad lies — not unlike the real-life Santos — Yang's Santos hilariously quipped, "Well then, girl, 'expul' me!" when co-host Colin Jost brought up calls for Santos' expulsion from Congress following the House Ethics Committee's report.

Yang reprised Santos in a subsequent episode, bidding a musical farewell to Congress in the cold open. In the sketch, Yang-as-Santos whined, "Since the day I was elected, it's been a witch hunt. But if I'm guilty of anything, it's for loving too much-slash-fraud!" He then sat in front of a piano to perform a song parodying Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," revamped as "Scandal in the Wind." 

Yang discussed his multiple appearances as Santos when he guested on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" in January 2023, opining on the inherent challenge of impersonating someone so seemingly slippery and hard to pin down. "You can't get a hold on him," said Yang. "You're like, 'Who is this guy?' And even the way he talks ... he's either freshly had the lip filler in, and he's not enunciating the words right, or he's just talking about how he 'slayed' Harvard and Yale in volleyball. You're like, 'What is this guy's deal?'" 

A Republican congressman accused George Santos of ripping him off

Rep. Max Miller of Ohio wrote an email to other members of Congress to share even more allegations about their scandal-plagued colleague, George Santos. In the letter — which was obtained by NPR in December 2023 — Miller alleged that Santos' campaign had charged his credit card, in addition to the card of his mother, for campaign contributions that they hadn't authorized, and that those payments exceeded the legal limits set by the FEC. "Neither my Mother nor I approved these charges or were aware of them," Miller wrote. 

Sorting out the matter, Miller continued, cost "tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees," for which he held Santos personally responsible. In addition, he claimed to have viewed a list that contained the names of approximately 400 other people who were similarly scammed by Santos' campaign. Some of those, he noted, were also members of Congress. 

According to NBC News, Miller and Santos exchanged words on the House floor. "You, sir, are a crook," Miller told Santos, who reportedly dredged up allegations of physical abuse lodged against him by ex-girlfriend Stephanie Grisham in response; Miller has denied those allegations. 

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

The disgraced congressman threatened to dish dirt on his colleagues

With the threat of expulsion from Congress hanging over his head in late November 2023, George Santos called a press conference to maintain his innocence and accuse his colleagues of being mean to him. "This is bullying," he said of efforts to kick him out of Congress, reported CBS News. "It's all theater. It's theater for the cameras. It's theater for the microphones, and theater for the American people."

He also threatened to reveal all matter of unsavory information on fellow members of Congress, per The Hill. "That is going to be the undoing of a lot of members," Santos said, adding, "This will haunt them in the future."

In a lengthy interview with journalist Monica Matthews days prior, Santos had already begun dishing dirt, accusing colleagues of getting drunk with lobbyists, committing adultery, and being too hungover to cast votes in the House. "Within the ranks of the United States Congress, there's felons galore, there's people with all sorts of sheisty backgrounds," he said.

George Santos was finally expelled from Congress

In mid-November 2023, House Ethics chairman Michael Guest — a Republican — introduced a resolution to expel George Santos from Congress. About two weeks later, Democratic Rep. Robert Garcia introduced a similar resolution. A vote was held on December 1, and this time, Santos' luck ran out. When the votes were tallied, the resolution passed 311 to 114, which included 105 Republicans casting votes for Santos to get the boot. Santos left with the notoriety of being only the sixth person to be expelled from Congress in America's history. 

When he made his exit after that vote, did Santos maintain his composure and conduct himself with the dignity expected by a member of Congress? Of course he didn't. "Why would I want to stay here? To hell with this place," he angrily told reporters as he left, reported CNN. Santos also offered a pithy response to any member of the fifth estate who dared to question him: "As unofficially already no longer a member of Congress, I no longer have to answer a single question from you guys."

So what's next for Santos? Days after his expulsion, at least one of his future job prospects was revealed when The Hill reported that he'd joined Cameo, the website where celebrities record video messages to fans who pay for them, with Santos charging $400 for a personal message and billing himself as a "former congressional 'Icon.'" Meanwhile, HBO Films already announced a movie based on Mark Chiusano's book "The Fabulist: The Lying, Hustling, Grifting, Stealing, and Very American Legend of George Santos."