Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) speaks with reporters after a vote on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, in Washington, DC.
Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post | Getty Images
The Republican chairman of the House Ethics Committee on Friday filed a resolution to expel Rep. George Santos from Congress in the wake of a damning report alleging the scandal-plagued GOP freshman committed campaign fraud and theft.
Ethics Chairman Michael Guest, R-Miss., said that the evidence uncovered through the committee’s investigation of Santos “is more than sufficient to warrant punishment.”
“The most appropriate punishment, is expulsion,” Guest said in a statement. “So, separate from the Committee process and my role as Chairman, I have filed an expulsion resolution.”
That resolution will not come to a vote until sometime after the House returns from its Thanksgiving recess on Nov. 28.
Santos has already declared he will no longer seek reelection in 2024, even as he slammed the ethics report as a “politicized smear.” On Thursday night, he announced a press conference Nov. 30 on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
The embattled New York lawmaker has survived two prior attempts to oust him over his lies and alleged campaign finance crimes. The House, in which Republicans hold a razor-thin majority, requires the support of two-thirds of the chamber in order to expel a member.
But on the heels of Thursday’s ethics report, many of Santos’ GOP colleagues who previously voted to keep him in Congress declared that they would now support an effort to throw him out.
The 56-page report found that Santos, 35, “sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit.”
Santos “blatantly stole from his campaign,” deceiving donors and submitting fake campaign loans while sustaining a “series of lies” about his background and experience, the report alleged.
Santos allegedly used money intended for his campaign to “enrich himself,” including by spending more than $4,000 at luxury clothing store Hermes and making purchases on adult cam site OnlyFans.
“I did not vote in the past to expel George because I didn’t believe there was due process,” Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., said Thursday on MSNBC, but “I think he’s been given the fair due process now.”
The Ethics panel voted to refer the report’s findings to the Department of Justice.
Santos has been trapped under a cloud of scandal for the entirety of his brief tenure in Congress. After winning his race for the district covering parts of Queens and Nassau counties, Santos admitted lying about his business and education background.
He has denied various other allegations of wrongdoing. But he has since been hit with a raft of charges in New York federal court, where is accused of crimes including identity theft, wire fraud and falsifying records. Santos has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.
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