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US Rep. Santos files paperwork for possible re-election bid


NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Representative George Santos filed paperwork Tuesday indicating his intention to run for re-election, even as he faces calls to resign amid ongoing criminal and ethics investigations into lies he told during his tenure.

The filing with the Federal Elections Commission doesn’t necessarily mean Santos is running for a second term, but it allows his campaign committees to raise money, some of which could be used to pay future legal bills. Money he raises can also be used to pay back more than $700,000 he claimed to have lent to his campaign.

The New York Republican has admitted to lying about 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 to be a quick-acre fortune despite recent financial troubles, including evictions and owing thousands of dollars in rent.

Santos, 34, has referred to the fabrications as innocent embellishments to his CV.

Press him to resign surfaced almost immediately after the New York Times exposed inconsistencies in its public record. Fellow New York Republicans have demanded that he resign because his lies betrayed voters and his own party.

Santos is also dogged by ongoing 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 an attorney who said she helped the Republican with the case. However, those allegations were later dropped, the lawyer said.

As a young man, he faced charges – still unsolved – in Brazil alleging that he had used a fraudulent check to buy clothes.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.