UPDATE: Following the release earlier this morning (Thursday, Nov. 16) of the House Ethics Committee’s report concluding that there is “substantial evidence” that he violated federal criminal laws, New York gay Republican George Santos has announced that he will not run for re-election. Santos write on X, that the committee’s investigation was “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’ve come to expect vitriol like this from political opposition but not from the hallowed halls of public service.”
He said he wasn’t running for re-election to save his family from being “under the gun from the press all the time.”
ORIGINAL POST: The House Ethics Committee today (Thursday, Nov. 16) released its report concluding there is “substantial evidence” that gay Republican Rep. George Santos has “violated federal criminal laws,” including using campaign funds for personal purposes and filing false campaign reports.
The release of the report comes less than a month after the most recent effort to expel Santos from Congress failed to get the two-thirds majority necessary to pass. However, many of those who voted against that effort on Nov. 1 said they wanted to see the results of the House Ethics Committee’s investigation into Santos.
The New York lawmaker faces a 23-count indictment accusing him of an array of corruption, including 10 felony counts that federal prosecutors added last month. Santos’ campaign fundraiser Samuel Miele, who had previously identified himself as the chief of staff for former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of wire fraud earlier this week (Tuesday, Nov. 14). And Santos former campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, pleaded guilty last month to a series of charges, including conspiring with a congressional candidate to commit wire fraud.
Santos has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
According to the report released today, the Ethics subcommittee found “a complex web of unlawful activity involving Rep. Santos’ campaign, personal and business finances … Rep. Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit.”
The report also says Santos, “blatantly stole from his campaign” and “deceived donors into providing what they thought were contributions to his campaign but were in fact payments for his personal benefit. He reported fictitious loans to his political committees to induce donors and party committees to make further contributions to his campaign, and then diverted more campaign money to himself as purported ‘repayments’ of those fictitious loans.”
The report also alleges that Santos “used his connections to high-value donors and other political campaigns” to enrich himself, and that he did it all “through a constant series of lies to his constituents, donors and staff about his background and experience.”
The Ethics Committee said is referring its findings to the Justice Department but did not make a recommendation to the House.
— Tammye Nash