The Nassau County Republican Committee convened a press conference in New York on Wednesday to demand the immediate resignation of disgraced gay freshman GOP Rep. George Santos.
“He has no place in the Nassau County Republican Committee nor in elected office,” said Joseph Cairo, chair of the county’s GOP political committee. “We do not consider him one of our congresspeople.”
“I join with you and my colleagues in saying Santos does not have the ability to serve in the House and should resign,” said U.S. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-N.Y.), addressing the audience virtually from Washington.
Cairo and other speakers noted the multiple investigations of Santos reportedly underway by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, and the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Santos’ office did not return requests for comment regarding Wednesday’s press conference. Shortly after the event, however, he told ABC News Congressional Correspondent Rachel Scott that he would not resign.
Santos then published a brief statement on Twitter: “I was elected to serve the people of #NY03 not the party and politicians, I remain committed to doing that and regret to hear that local officials refuse to work with my office to deliver results to keep our community safe and lower the cost of living. I will NOT resign!”
About 150 protesters gathered around Santos’ in-district office on Sunday to demand his resignation, including Robert Zimmerman, his Democratic challenger in the 2022 midterm elections.
On Monday, a nonpartisan government watchdog group, the Campaign Legal Center, filed a complaint against Santos and his campaign with the Federal Election Commission, while Democratic U.S. Reps. Ritchie Torres and Daniel Goldman of New York filed a complaint with the House Committee on Ethics Tuesday.
When House Republicans passed a rules package over the weekend that severely weakens the ability of the House Ethics Committee to investigate members of Congress, Santos called the move “fantastic.”
Several speakers on Wednesday admonished Santos for lying about his grandparents having survived the Holocaust, noting how hurtful that was for so many of his constituents who have personal and familial ties to the genocide.
Others lamented the ceaseless news coverage that has revealed more and more information about lies and misrepresentations Santos has made.
Hempstead, N.Y., Town Supervisor Don Clavin said, “You see a unified voice here. [Santos has] unified the county in their opposition to him. He’s a national joke, he’s an international joke, but this joke has got to go. Not tomorrow, not next week, today.”
“Our vetting process has to go much deeper,” Cairo said, adding that he was personally deceived by Santos, who claimed to have been a volleyball star at Baruch College — an institution where, the New York Times revealed several weeks ago, Santos was never enrolled.
Cairo said he has not spoken about Santos with Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, “but all of our elected officials have spoken today and we’re calling for his resignation and we’ll pass that along to the Speaker.”
Charles Moran, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, America’s largest LGBTQ conservative group, shared a statement with the Washington Blade:
“We are closely following the evolving story on George Santos and are listening to our local Log Cabin membership, the GOP leadership in New York’s 3rd Congressional District, and ultimately, the voters themselves.
“It has been widely reported that House GOP leadership will also be holding their own internal conversations about George’s continuing responsibilities in Congress, and we look forward to hearing their response.”