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(Photo courtesy of Francis Chung | AP)

George Santos drops reelection bid following Ethics Committee review

The House Ethics Committee released a report on Thursday declaring that Rep. George Santos “cannot be trusted,” following a months-long investigation.

The report stated the Ethics Committee had found “overwhelming evidence of his misconduct,” extending beyond the crimes Santos is currently charged with.

“Representative Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit,” the report reads. “He deceived donors into providing what they thought were contributions to his campaign but were in fact payments for his personal benefit.”

It also notes Santos’ public comments about cooperating with the investigation were completely contrary to his actual behavior, a “consistent failure to meaningfully cooperate” with the Investigative Subcommittee (ISC). He provided no information requested by the ISC, and did not provide a statement under oath when asked to do so.

Santos took to social media to accuse the report of being “politicized smear” intended to tarnish his reputation, but added he would not seek reelection in 2024.

The 56-page ISC report details numerous incidents of misreported campaign funds and donations, as well as several expenditures of campaign funds for personal uses – among them over $2,000 spent at resorts in Atlantic City, $1,400 at a spa in Jericho, NY, and an unreported $1,500 expense labeled as “Botox.”

The report further cites witnesses who told the ISC that Santos would frequently boast about his wealth and a trust managed by a family firm. “In contrast,” the report states, “Representative Santos was frequently in debt, had an abysmal credit score, and relied on an ever-growing wallet of high-interest credit cards to fund his luxury spending habits.” It notes his claimed background in finance was fictional, and he regularly moved money between bank accounts in a “highly suspicious manner.”

The ISC recommended that Santos be publicly condemned, and for all members of the House to take action to police his conduct – which could mean a vote on his expulsion later this month, after the Thanksgiving holiday, as a renewed push to expel him has been launched in the House. 

Santos survived an expulsion vote earlier this month, but the Ethics Committee investigation could become the nail in the coffin, as representatives from both parties seek to distance themselves from him.

“This report is fully damning,” Rep. Jeff Jackson, D-N.C., tweeted on X. “I will vote to expel him.” Jackson had previously voted against expelling Santos.


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