George Santos says he will recuse himself from House committees to avoid 'being a distraction'
Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) said Tuesday he will recuse himself from sitting on his assigned committees amid ongoing ethics issues and criminal investigations.
Santos made the announcement in a closed-door meeting with House Republicans, sources said, telling colleagues he would not sit on the House Small Business Committee or the Science, Space, and Technology Committee. While Santos himself refused to comment on the meeting, two GOP House members, Roger Williams (Texas) and Mike Lawler (N.Y.) told Axios that Santos had indeed pledged to step down from his assignments.
Santos reportedly told those in the room he was recusing himself "to prevent from being a distraction."
A spokesperson for Santos later confirmed his decision to NBC News.
"[Santos] has reserved to see it until he has cleared up both campaign and personal financial investigations," the spokesperson said.
The freshman congressman has admitted to fabricating numerous portions of his background and education. This includes lying about where he went to college, lying about his religious and ethnic background, and lying about his work experience at Wall Street firms.
Despite this, the newly led Republican House, helmed by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) previously doled out the pair of committee assignments to Santos.
Santos is also facing criminal investigations in New York over alleged campaign finance violations.
His decision to remove himself from the committees comes as a new poll, released Tuesday by Newsday-Siena College, found 78 percent of voters in Santos' district thought he should resign from Congress. Many Republicans have also said the same.
Anthony D'Esposito (R-N.Y.), who serves in Santos' neighboring district, told The New York Times Santos "did not have the ability" to represent the people of his state. He has been joined by many other lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.