Around 25 residents visited his district office in Douglaston, Queens, and asked to speak with the congressman. The protesters were turned away by a member of his staff, who said Mr Santos was in the building but would not speak to a “mob”.
“It’s incredibly cowardly to hide behind his staff. It’s part of his job to meet with us,” Emily Raphael, who was at the protest, told The Independent.
“He’s trying to paint us as some wild-eyed protesters. You could not find a less threatening group of people if you tried,” she said, adding that it was “mostly PTA moms in attendance.”
Police set up a small barricade around the door to the office, which still has the name of Mr Santos’ Democratic predecessor Tom Suozzi on the awning.
The residents are part of a local pressure group called Concerned Residents of NY03 — the New York district that Mr Santos represents — who have held protests at home and in Washington DC calling for his resignation.
In recent weeks, the group has turned its attention to the Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who has the power to call a vote to expel Mr Santos if he wishes.
“We question the motives of the national GOP in allowing Santos to run, in seating him, and in not moving rapidly to oust him. The timeline shows that Speaker McCarthy and Rep. Stefanik knew a year before the election that Santos was a fraud, and had at least five months to replace him with a credible candidate,” Concerned Residents of NY03 said in a statement.
Mr Santos was elected in November 2022, defeating Democrat Robert Zimmerman by a margin of 54 per cent to 46 per cent. Soon after that victory, it emerged that Mr Santos had lied about much of his personal history and work experience.
Mr McCarthy has so far refused to hold a vote to expel Mr Santos, but the GOP leader said he would likely face a probe by the House Ethics Committee. The Washington Post also reported that the Justice Department is likely investigating Mr Santos.
Since Mr Santos was sworn into office in January, revelations about his past have continued to emerge. The most recent report found that Mr Santos was charged with writing bad checks to purchase puppies from Amish farmers in 2017.
Mr Santos, 34, has apologised for what he described as “résumé embellishment,” but has refused to resign.
The Independent contacted Mr Santos’s office for comment.
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