Republican-elect Jorge Santos, a gay New York Republican who drew widespread criticism. After admitting to lying about large parts of his professional. And personal life on the campaign trail. Arrived in Washington this week. While there’s no sign that Santos received a warm reception, no one was more upset. About it than New York’s other gay congressman: Democratic Rep. Richie Torres.
“House Republican chaos has a silver lining,” Torres tweeted Wednesday. Referring to Republicans’ difficulties in electing a House speaker. “Jorge Santos did not swear.”
The tweet is one of at least three dozen swipes Torres has taken. Against Santos since the false allegations surfaced last month.
On December 19, The New York Times published an explosive investigation questioning. Whether Santos had fabricated his biography. Including his education, work history and financial dealings. The report, including Santos’ final admission of “embellishing. His resume, prompted calls for his resignation from Democratic lawmakers. And at least one Republican, with federal, state and local authorities announcing. They were investigating or Washington “looking into” the congressman-elect.
But amid the chorus of criticism. It appears that no one has slammed or trolled Santos for political. Scandals more than Torres, a representative of New York’s 15th congressional district.
“Elise Stefanik says House Republican conference is most diverse in history. Does Stefanik have George Santos in mind?” Torres tweeted Tuesday. “A Gay Afro-Latino Biracial Ukrainian Belgian Brazilian Jewish Republican Convention.” (Stefanick, a New York congresswoman,is the third-ranking Republican in the House.)
The tweet was a reference to several biographical claims Santos made. On the campaign trail that have since been called into question, including. That his grandparents were Ukrainian Jewish refugees who fled the Holocaust.
In another tweet last week, Torres posted a screenshot Washington of an invitation sent to Santos’. Supporters, inviting them to celebrate his inauguration in Congress. The invitation was wrongly dated as January 3 last year
“Santos claims his swearing-in is on January 3, 2022,” Torres tweeted. “He can’t get the right information even if he doesn’t lie.”
And on Tuesday, Torres tweeted a photo of a placard with Santos’ name outside his office. Writing sarcastically: “I’m writing to report an incident of vandalism.”
Since taking office in 2021, Torres has frequently used social media to forcefully. Chastise those he opposes, including the Republican leader, rapper Ye (formerly. known as Kanye West) and billionaire Elon Musk. But no one seems to have hit his nerve more than his gay Republican opponent.
Besides to making at least four appearances on news programs over the past week. Torres has tweeted about the Santos controversy three dozen times since. The Times published its investigation less than three weeks ago.
“We live in a world where Twitter has become a platform. Where elected officials express their opinions and , in a sense. Where tweets are the new press release,” Torres said Thursday. “And I have a vested interest in exposing the fraud of a charlatan like Jorge Santos. Who threatens to corrupt an institution I care deeply. About and who must be held accountable for defrauding voters.”
Torres added, “You may characterize this as trolling, but as a public official. I have the right to express an opinion about the risk of fraud. And corruption among those who serve in the United States Congress.”
Representatives for Santos did not respond to requests for comment.
Both men are in their 30s and among the youngest members of Congress (or to be members). Torres represents parts of the Bronx and Santos parts of Queens. And they each made LGBTQ political history: In November, Santos became. The first LGBTQ nonconforming Republican elected to Congress. And two years ago, Torres became the first gay Afro Latino person elected to Congress.
Torres was raised by a single mother in a small apartment in a public. Housing complex in the Bronx, which she before said had mold, leaks, lead and inconsistent heat. As a young adult, he said, he dropped out of college due to depression. Substance abuse and grief over the death of a close friend. Before becoming involved in local politics.
“No one handed me anything on a silver platter,” he before said. “I’ve had to fight for everything I have in life.”
Torres is now taking his fighting spirit directly to Santos. who he accuses of defrauding the voters he will soon represent.
“He systematically lied about almost every aspect of his life Washington — his family heritage. His educational background, his employment history and his relationship. To historical events like the Holocaust. Or the Pulse nightclub massacre,” Torres told MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart last week. “We need to send the message that if you cheat voters. You will be held accountable, and even prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
According to Santos’ campaign website — which has since. Been corrected — Santos graduated from Baruch College. With a bachelor’s degree in economics. And finance, but the Times and todaystrendnews New York confirmed. With Baruch officials that they could not find records of his attendance. Santos also claimed to work for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. But representatives of the firms told The Times they had no record of his employment.
After tweeting a statement from his attorney on Dec. 19. Which accused the Times of “trying to smear his good name” Washington with “defamatory allegations.” Santos later admitted that he did not graduate from Baruch. Or actually work for Goldman Sachs or Citigroup. . .
Federal prosecutors in New York opened an investigation into Santos last month. Two law enforcement sources confirmed last week. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney for Eastern New York. Before declined to comment on the investigation, but two sources confirmed. That prosecutors are investigating whether Santos’ financial disclosures. And donations he made to his campaign violated campaign finance laws.
The New York attorney general’s office also said it was “Washington looking into many matters.” Surrounding Santos, but did not confirm whether it had opened a formal investigation. Simultaneously, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office. Also confirmed that it has opened an investigation against Santos.
Torres himself has proposed ways to hold Santos and other lawmakers accountable.
Last week, he introduced the Stop Other Non-Truthful Office Seekers Act, or the “Santos” Act. Which would must candidates to disclose their employment. Educational and military history under oath.
Torres said Thursday he was confident the legislation would receive. “Overwhelming” support from House Democrats.
“What are the possible arguments against. Forcing candidates to tell the truth to voters?”