Republican told to quit US House over lies

Embattled US representative George Santos has no plans to heed fellow New York Republicans' calls to step down, a plea they made due to what they called "lie after lie after lie" about his career and history.

Top House of Representatives Republican Kevin McCarthy said he had no intention of pressuring Santos, part of his narrow 222-212 majority, despite the public plea by more than a dozen top Republicans, many of them from Santos' suburban New York City district.

The New York Republicans made their plea at a news conference two days after a non-partisan watchdog accused Santos of breaking campaign finance laws in a filing with the Federal Election Commission.

"It's just lie after lie after lie. It became a pattern," said Joseph Cairo Jr, the party chairman in Nassau County, on Wednesday.

Santos rejected those calls in remarks to reporters at the Capitol and elaborated on his plans on Twitter.

"I was elected to serve the people of #NY03 not the party & politicians, I remain committed to doing that and regret to hear that local officials refuse to work with my office," he wrote, referring to the congressional district he represents.

McCarthy on Wednesday told reporters that voters, not lawmakers, should choose who represents them.

"In America today, you're innocent until proven guilty," he said.

Santos, who represents much of Nassau County, as well as a small slice of New York City, won his November race over Democrat Robert Zimmerman by a margin of 7.5 percentage points.

But his victory was quickly overshadowed by media reports indicating that the persona he presented to voters was largely a work of fiction. He then admitted fabricating much of his resume.

Among other claims, Santos said he had degrees from New York University and Baruch College, despite no records of him attending. He claimed to have worked at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, which is also untrue.

He also falsely said he was Jewish and that his grandparents escaped the Nazis during World War II.

"For him to make up this story that his parents were Holocaust survivors is beyond the pale," Nassau County executive Bruce Blakeman said. "He is a stain on the House of Representatives."

Santos has been referred to the House ethics committee. The local district attorney has said her office is investigating him.