March 31, 2023

Rep. George Santos (R-NY) insisted on Tuesday that it was his own decision to step away from his committee assignments.

“Nobody tells me to do anything. I made the decision on my own that I thought best represented the interest of the voters,” Santos told ABC News’ Rachel Scott.

Santos reportedly told House Republicans in a closed door meeting Tuesday morning that he plans to recuse himself from the two committees he was assigned to —  House Small Business Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee — until his various issues are resolved.

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

This comes a day after Santos had a meeting with Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). Although both lawmakers had declined to say what the meeting was about on Monday, the sudden recusal raises questions about whether McCarthy asked Santos to step down from his committee assignments as he faces more and more investigations into his campaign finances and “embellished” background and resume. 

“I want to personally thank Speaker 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,” Santos wrote in his statement.

McCarthy also shot down that speculation and confirmed Santos’ sentiment to reporters, saying they had a discussion on Monday and Santos asked him if he could be off committees until everything is cleared up. 

The Speaker added, “I think it was an appropriate decision.”

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