WASHINGTON (TND) — Embattled Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., who has been caught lying about various aspects of his life yet remains in his seat despite calls for his resignation, has officially filed the necessary paperwork with federal regulators to formally declare his candidacy for reelection in 2024.
The New York Republican's filing comes after the Federal Election Commission (FEC) demanded last month that Santos formally declare his intention to run for reelection after he crossed a fundraising threshold, according to CNN.
CNN’s Melanie Zanona reportedly asked Santos last week if he'd run for his office again, to which he only replied "maybe." It was pointed out that the formal declaration from Santos reportedly does not mean that he must run for reelection.
Santos has already admitted to lying about his college education, job experience and campaign finance disclosures, but he's pushed back against claims that he's a "drag queen" or that he "let a dog die."
The flurry of revelations about Santos spurred calls for his resignation from critics, including some in his own party. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said that Santos "shouldn’t be in Congress" and that "hopefully" the ongoing Ethics Committee investigation into the New York congressman will result in his removal.
The embattled Republican lawmaker has repeatedly said that he will not step down from his position, despite calls from both political parties for him to do so. He has said that he will only resign if "those same 142,000 people [that voted for me] tell me they don't want me."
The House Ethics Committee continues to investigate Santos, and Republican leaders in New York have already called for Santos's immediate resignation.
Santos has already told GOP colleagues that he will be temporarily stepping down from his two congressional committees, a move he made after meeting with Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who called the move an "appropriate decision."
The embattled GOP representative was given seats on two low-level committees: the Committee on Small Business and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, according to CNN.
During an interview with One America News (OAN) at the very beginning of February, Santos claimed that he's "learned" his "lesson," and that he will prioritize being more truthful as he moves forward.
I’ve learned my lesson and I can guarantee you that from now on anything, everything is always going to be aboveboard," Santos told show host Caitlin Sinclair. "It’s largely always been aboveboard... I’m just gonna go the extra step now to double-check, cross-reference everything."
In a later interview with British broadcaster Piers Morgan, Santos admitted that while he's a "terrible liar," he didn't think people really noticed as he was able to get away with lying during his 2020 congressional run.
To run for Congress of the United States and to just tell blatant lies about even your academic record... I’m just struck, not necessarily that a politician would lie, but that you would think no one would find out," Morgan said to Santos on the episode of "Piers Morgan Uncensored."
Santos responded by saying that when he "ran in 2020 for the same exact seat for Congress" he "got away with it then."
I’ve been a terrible liar on those subjects," Santos admitted to Morgan before explaining that "What I tried to convey to the American people is I made mistakes of allowing the pressures of what I thought and needed to be done in order to this wasn’t about tricking anybody... It wasn’t about tricking the people, this was about getting accepted by the party here locally."
That's possibly important to note as Santos's formal statement of candidacy for the 2024 race says that he does not anticipate spending his own personal funds on his reelection campaign.
Many questions surround how Santos was able to report a personal loan of $705,000 for his successful 2022 campaign, CNN reports, adding that Santos only reported a salary of $55,000 during his failed 2020 bid for Congress.