The US House Ethics Committee published Thursday a report that found “substantial evidence” that Representative George Santos (R-NY) violated federal criminal law. Specifically, the report finds that Santos filed false or incomplete campaign reports, used campaign funds for personal purposes, engaged in fraudulent conduct, and violated the Ethics in Government Act. Santos now faces another expulsion vote, after he survived a previous vote in early November.
The committee’s findings rely heavily on a 56-page report assembled by the Investigative Subcommittee (ISC) that presented evidence of Santos’ alleged wrongdoing. Central to the ISC report is Santos’ propensity for dishonesty and his tendency to misrepresent information. The ISC concluded by recommending that the Ethics Committee should immediately refer these allegations to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and publicly condemn Santos’ conduct. A statement from Chairman of the Committee on Ethics Michael Guest (R-MS) confirmed the Committee’s decision to adopt the ISC’s report and recommendations.
Following the release of the report, Santos announced that he will not seek re-election in 2024. According to his post on X:
[The report] is a disgusting politicized smear that shows the depths of how low our federal government has sunk. Everyone who participated in this grave miscarriage of Justice should all be ashamed of themselves…I am humbled yet again and reminded that I am human and I have flaws, but I will not stand by as I am stoned by those who have flaws themselves. I will continue on my mission to serve my constituents up until I am allowed. I will however NOT be seeking re-election for a second term in 2024 as my family deserves better than to be under the gun from the press all the time.
The questions lodged against Santos’ character are not unprecedented. In October, Santos was accused of nine counts of wire fraud, four counts of making false statements, three counts of unlawful money transfers amounting to over $10,000, two counts of falsifying records or documents, two counts of aggravated identity theft, access device fraud, theft of public money and conspiracy to commit offense against the US. Santos pleaded not guilty to all of the criminal charges. Also, earlier this month, he was subject to expulsion vote from the House, though he was not ultimately expelled.