A former campaign worker for embattled Rep. George Santos, who is facing bipartisan calls to resign after admitting he fabricated large parts of his resume, said he sees the Long Island Republican being “perp walked” in the future.
“Lying on your resume is one thing,” the former aide told Talking Points Memo on Wednesday. “But I think George is going to be perp walked out of a building because of this financial mess.”
The veteran Republican political operative quit team Santos after an examination of the campaign’s books raised suspicion that “things were not on the up and up.”
“I thought that the lack of a financial disclosure, the messiness of the books, and the reporting were not great,” said the operative, who asked not to be identified because of professional concerns.
The person said there were “weird, weird things” on the books, including items that appeared to be “personal spending,” and they feared the campaign was burning through cash at too high of a rate to be sustainable.
“I don’t know why we were at Il Bacco all the time. It didn’t seem like we needed to be doing that,” the operative said, referring to a restaurant in Queens where Santos said his campaign dropped exactly $199.99 on seven separate occasions — including twice in one day in November 2021.
That spending formed part of the basis of a Federal Election Commission complaint filed Monday by the Campaign Legal Center, which claims Santos, 34, misused campaign funds on travel, luxury hotels and expensive meals.
The CLC noted that the $199.99 expenditures were a penny below the $200 threshold that would have required itemization by the FEC.
Toby Gotesman, who worked briefly for the Santos campaign as a fundraising consultant, told Talking Points Memo that she noticed that “something wasn’t right and I couldn’t put my finger on it.”
She said Santos often boasted about buying a $10,000 Hermes bag that she considered much too extravagant for a politician.
Her suspicions were confirmed, she said, when the New York Times reported in December that large portions of Santos’ resume were apparently made up, including his work history, educational background and family history.
“You know how your first instinct of a red flag is always what comes back to bite you in the ass later?” Gotesman told the outlet.
Santos, who was elected Nov. 8, later admitted to The Post that he lied, but argued that the scandal wouldn’t prevent him from serving out his two-year term.
“I am not a criminal,” Santos told The Post. “This [controversy] will not deter me from having good legislative success. I will be effective. I will be good.”
On Wednesday, top Republicans in Nassau County demanded that he step down, saying he ran a campaign of “deceits, lies and fabrications” and in doing so “disgraced the House of Representatives.”
Two New York Democrats – Reps. Ritchie Torres of the Bronx and Daniel Goldman, who represents parts of Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan – filed a complaint Tuesday with the House Ethics Committee.
They allege that Santos failed “to file timely, accurate, and complete financial disclosure reports as required by law.”
The freshman lawmaker, who has been dogged by reporters on Capitol Hill, remains defiant.
”I will not,” Santos said twice Wednesday when asked if he would step down.
Santos, who was sworn in early Saturday morning and has been pursued by reporters on Capitol Hill since, also is the subject of three criminal investigations.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has said he will not push Santos to resign.
“The voters elected him to serve. If there is a concern and he has to go through the Ethics, we’ll let him move through that, but right now, the voters have a voice in the decision … so he will continue to serve,” McCarthy told NBC News on Wednesday.
But he said he would not appoint Santos to any of the top House committees.