Several freshmen members who were elected to Congress erroneously shared press releases on their official websites that said they were sworn in on Tuesday by the House Speaker, but no such swearing-in ceremonies happened after the chamber failed to elect a candidate.
“U.S. Representative George Santos was sworn in as a Member of the United States House of Representatives by the Speaker of the House on January 3rd, 2023,” a post read on the website of Rep.-elect George Santos, R-New York, and other new freshman members. “Representative George Santos was added to the rolls of the House upon executing the oath of office.”The erroneous posts were made just hours after House members voted three times — each failing — to choose Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Hakeem Jefferies, D-N.Y., Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, or another candidate during their first session Tuesday.
A Speaker must be the first act of a new session of Congress. With 20 Republicans defecting from backing McCarthy, no candidate received the 218-vote threshold to be the next Speaker.MATT GAETZ CHALLENGES KEVIN MCCARTHY’S USE OF HOUSE SPEAKER OFFICE AFTER FAILED ELECTION VOTES
Despite the failed votes, the press releases were posted on several official House.gov websites. They have since been revised.“The 118th class of new Members stands ready for the new Congress,” Santos’ new press release reads.
It erroneously adds: “The newest Members of Congress are sworn in on January 3rd, 2023 when the First Session of the 118th United States Congress convenes.”
No ceremonies were held on Tuesday, Jan. 3, but members have a chance to officially be sworn in on Wednesday, Jan. 4, when the House convenes again to elect a Speaker.
The press releases about members being sworn in were pre-written and made available for members-elect on their house.gov sites through House administrative services.
It is not immediately clear if the post was added automatically or if the staff was notified when they were posted.
The false information created a particularly eye-catching issue for Santos.
Prior to his successful campaign to flip his Long Island congressional district for Republicans in November, Santos admitted to speaking falsely about both his work experience and his education.
He is subsequently embroiled in multiple local, federal and international investigations regarding these allegations of fraud and fabricating his past.
During his congressional campaign, he falsely claimed to have graduated from college with degrees in finance and worked for Goldman Sachs and Citibank. He also apparently lied about owning several mansions.
Last week, Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly announced an investigation into Santos.
“The numerous fabrications and inconsistencies associated with Congressman-Elect Santos are nothing short of stunning,” Donnelly said in a statement. “The residents of Nassau County and other parts of the third district must have an honest and accountable representative in Congress. No one is above the law and if a crime was committed in this county, we will prosecute it.”
Some Republicans said Santos should “consider” resigning while multiple House Democrats demanded Santos resign over the revelations.
Santos is also facing scrutiny from the FEC over his campaign spending.
Santos has admitted to “résumé embellishment” — to which he said he was “sorry” — but has denied any criminal wrongdoing.
During the first session of Congress, as new members socialized and mingled, Santos was spotted sitting alone toward the back of the chamber by himself, using his phone.
Fox News Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.