His tenure in Congress begins under a cloud of controversy that rivals anything experienced by a new member of the House in recent memory, including peddlers of conspiracy theories who have taken roost in the lower chamber in the age of Donald Trump.
Mr Santos has admitted to a series of lies about his background. He has copped to making up stories about attending two different New York colleges as well as claiming to have worked for two major companies which say they’ve never heard of him. He also has yet to explain how his business came into millions of dollars in a short time before being shut down last year.
But the freshman Republican has vowed to weather the storm of criticism and serve the people of New York’s third congressional district, who are not likely to have another shot at choosing their representation in the House for another two years.
Mr Santos could theoretically face an investigation by the House Ethics Committee in the coming days, but the panel is now controlled by Republicans and therefore is unlikely to expel a GOP member amid a single-digit majority in the lower chamber.
Potentially more serious, however, is the investigation launched by Nassau County’s district attorney into Mr Santos; the Republican DA who instigated the probe called his series of lies “stunning”.
“The residents of Nassau County and other parts of the third district must have an honest and accountable representative in Congress,” Anne Donnelly said. “If a crime was committed in this county, we will prosecute it.”
Kevin McCarthy, who was finally confirmed as the new House Speaker late on Friday night, has yet to comment on Mr Santos’s long list of fabrications or whether he should face consequences.