'Unwitting fool' George Santos could be denied access to classified info — here's why
Gregory Santos (Photo by Wadfe Vandervort for AFP)

Congressman-elect George Santos may pose a potential security concern if he's seated in Congress despite lying about his background.

The New York Republican has admitted to fabricating much of his background and is currently under federal investigation into his finances, but those discrepancies may prevent him from accessing classified information that lawmakers and their staffers may need to perform their duties, reported The Daily Beast.

"The voters of New York’s 3rd Congressional District have made Rep.-elect Santos eligible for access to classified information, but that’s not the end of it," the website reported. "The national security community must now decide what to do with a person evidencing security concerns under Guideline E, Personal Conduct; Guideline F, Financial Considerations; Guideline I, Psychological Conditions; and Guideline J, Criminal Conduct of the Director of National Intelligence’s (DNI) Adjudicative Guidelines (SEAD-4)."

Whoever becomes the next speaker of the House will determine what access Santos would have to classified materials by means of committee assignments, but individual members of the intelligence committee could still lawfully provide secret information to the congressman, if they wanted.

"The House Ethics Committee must now wade into this swamp," The Daily Beast reported. "Once Santos is sworn in next week as a member of the 118th Congress, he will fall under the jurisdiction of the House Ethics Committee. At that point, the Ethics Committee should review his actions during the campaign."

House rules lay out a process for all committees that receive and review classified information, but there are technical security terms for "enemies of the state" and "unwitting fools" that could apply to Santos.

"If Santos’ false statements were the product of a pathology, an illness, he needs to be assessed under Guideline I, Psychological Condition," the website reported. "The Enemies of the State look for unwitting fools (another technical security term). If suffering from a mental health condition enables a state of perpetual lying, Santos’ access may be limited to less classified information. He can mitigate such a diagnosis with a treatment plan, evidence of treatment, and an evaluator’s bill of health stating he has a favorable prognosis."