Molinaro, Lawler join the call for Santos to resign
Phillip Pantuso and Lana Bellamy are reporting for the Times Union U.S. Reps. Marcus Molinaro and Mike Lawler January 12, joined other members of the state GOP congressional delegation now calling on U.S. Rep. George Santos to resign. Freshman Hudson Valley representative Molinaro said Santos should not continue to serve in the 118th Congress. He said in a statement, “George Santos’ dishonesty has eroded his ability to represent his neighbors and serve in Congress. I don’t see how he can continue.” When asked for clarification, Molinaro's communication director Dan Kranz, texted: “Yes that statement means he thinks he should resign.” Molinaro failed to respond directly when asked about a $1,000 campaign contribution accepted by his campaign from then-candidate Santos. In a statement from his office, Lawler, Molinaro's 17th congressional district colleague, also said Santos should step down. “It is clear that George Santos has lost the confidence and support of his party, his constituents, and his colleagues. With the extent and severity of the allegations against him, his inability to take full responsibility for his conduct, and the numerous investigations underway, I believe he is unable to fulfill his duties and should resign.” Six of the 11 Republicans in New York’s congressional delegation are now calling on Santos to quit: Lawler, Molinaro, former state GOP Chair Nick Langworthy, Nick LaLota, Brandon Williams and Anthony D’Esposito. However, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, the House Republican Conference chair, who represents the 21st District in the North Country, has said nothing about Santos since the first New York Times story in December raising doubts about the biographical claims of the Long Island congressperson. Stefanik’s office did not respond to multiple requests on Jan. 12 for comment about Santos. During his run for Congress, Santos’ campaign donated $12,000 to at least a dozen Republican candidates, seven of whom won their races. Three of the New York Republicans who received political contributions from Santos, U.S. Rep. D’Esposito, Nassau County Comptroller Elaine Phillips and Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney, have returned the cash or pledged to do so. A fourth, Suffolk County Legislator Anthony Piccirillo, said he would donate the money. Santos has said he will not resign and will only leave office if voted out. Read the full story in the Times Union.