By Kendall McElroy
As of Tuesday, May 10th, New York Representative George Santos has been arrested. After many controversies over the years, Santos’ has finally become entangled in his web of lies and has been indicted. He was accused of various counts of fraud, including wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making false claims to Congress. Unlike many of Santos’ other close calls, the allegations brought against him as of recent are significantly more dubious, possibly leading to significant jail time.
To delve further into the specifics of the allegations brought against Santos, one of the most prominent crimes he committed was using federal campaign funds to pay for his personal expenses. Moreover, Santos has been accused of fudging his finances as well as his credentials to obtain a home loan. On top of all that, Santos was accused of lying about his business holding and marital status to obtain lower interests rates on said loan. These changes alone carry penalties of over 20 years in prison.
George Santos’ downfall follows a months-long investigation by the FBI and the U.S Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Officials have been open about the fact that building a case against Santos has been no easy feat, and building a strong enough case to bring an arrest to Rep. Santos was a long time coming. Now that he resides in custody, officials feel confident that the evidence stacked against him will lead to a conviction.
However, with the rising distrust of public officials, this case could have wide reaching political implications. Santos’ corruption has left a stain on the credibility of Republican public officials. The lack of transparency between the government and the public only leads to the breakdown of communication and cooperation between the public and those in office, breeding an environment of impunity. Corruption of elected officials further acts to continue promoting abuse of power, and Santos only serves to contribute to this cycle of abuse.