Rep. George Santos stepping down from House committees

Embattled Rep. George Santos on Tuesday asked House Republicans to recuse him from two committees as he deals with scrutiny over his past and his campaign finances.

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In a statement obtained by CNN, the New York Republican acknowledged that he asked to be “temporarily recused” from service on the House Small Business and the Science, Space and Technology committees.

“With the ongoing attention surrounding both my personal and campaign financial investigations, I have submitted a request to Speaker (Kevin) McCarthy that I be temporarily recused from my committee assignments until I am cleared,” he said.

Santos told colleagues that he would step down from his committee assignments during a closed-door meeting Tuesday of House Republicans, The Washington Post reported. An unidentified lawmaker told the newspaper that Santos said his decision was made because “he’s a distraction.”

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb. confirmed Santos’ decision, according to Reuters.

“He just said he recused himself for a while and then he’ll come back,” he said.

The announcement came one day after Santos met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif, the Wall Street Journal reported. On Tuesday, Santos thanked McCarthy “for meeting with me to discuss the matter and allowing me to take time to properly clear my name before returning to my committees.”

Last month, Santos admitted to lying about parts of his education and work history. He claimed to have graduated from New York’s Baruch College in 2010 and said that he worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, according to The New York Times. Neither the school nor the companies could confirm his statements, the newspaper reported.

In an interview with the New York Post, Santos acknowledged that he embellished his resume, though he insisted that the fabrications would not impact his ability to get things done in the House.

“I campaigned talking about the people’s concerns, not my resume,” Santos told the Post. “I intend to deliver on the promises I made during the campaign — fighting crime, fighting to lower inflation, improving education. ... I came to DC to bring results on those issues and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Santos, who was sworn into office in January, has resisted calls for his resignation.

Federal and local prosecutors are investigating whether Santos’ fabrications were criminal, according to the Times and The Associated Press.

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