Embattled New York Congressman George Santos has so far refused to bow to pressure to step aside after fabricating major parts of his resume.
New York Republicans called on Mr Santos to resign on Wednesday, with Nassau County Republican Party chairman Joseph Cairo telling a press conference, “He’s disgraced the House of Representatives and we do not consider him one of our congresspeople.”
Mr Santos remained defiant, but on Thursday, he told reporters that he would step down if “142 people ask for me to resign”.
The significance of the number seemed random, but Mr Santos told Semafor reporter Kadia Goba that he was referring to the roughly 142,000 votes he received in New York’s 3rd Congressional District.
Still, the calls for him to resign continued to pour in on Thursday.
“I’m a constituent, so count me in among the 142 people telling @Santos4Congress to resign,” said Joshua Sauberman, who ran for the Democratic nomination for the 3rd District seat.
The anti-Trump Lincoln Project asked Twitter for 142 calls for Mr Santos to resign, which was quickly surpassed.
And a Change.org petition calling for Mr Santos to step down has surpassed 200 signatures.
Mr Santos is under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors in New York after admitting that he “embellished” several claims about his background, education and employment history.
Voters elected him in New York’s 3rd District in November’s midterm elections, but Mr Santos has been the subject of revelations about his claims ever since.
This included alleged lies about where he went to prep school and university, companies that he claimed to work for, a false claim he was Jewish and even that his mother died during the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Mr Santos, who is also being investigated by the Nassau County district attorney, himself later tweeted that his mother died in December 2016 and not September 2001.
A campaign finance watchdog organisation has now also filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against him CBS News reported.
The Campaign Legal Center filed the complaint and accused the Republican freshman of illegally using campaign cash to pay for personal expenses such as rent for an apartment.
The complaint also alleges that Mr Santos submitted false information about the source of his campaign contributions and his expenses.
The Campaign Legal Center said in its complaint that Mr Santos “purported to loan his campaign $705,000 during the 2022 election. But it is far from clear how he could have done so with his own funds, because financial disclosure reports indicate that Santos had only $55,000 to his name in 2020.”
“The concealed true source behind $705,000 in contributions to Santos’s campaign could be a corporation or foreign national — both of which are categorically barred from contributing to federal candidates,” the complaint also adds.
The complaint does not mean that the FEC is actively investigating Mr Santos and it can choose whether to probe his campaign.