More Troubles for Rep. George Santos As House Ethics Report Implicates Him in Criminal Activity

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The news breaking Thursday is not good for the embattled Congressman from New York, as the House Ethics Committee issued a report that cites "overwhelming" evidence of criminal activity by George Santos (R-NY). The report has been sent to the Justice Department, with the conclusion that Santos cannot be trusted, after extensive investigation over the past few months. 

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 But a renewed effort to expel him from the House was quickly launched. The House could vote on his expulsion as soon as it returns from the Thanksgiving holiday later this month. The panel said that Santos knowingly caused his campaign committee to file false or incomplete reports with the Federal Election Commission; used campaign funds for personal purposes; and engaged in violations of the Ethics in Government Act as it relates to financial disclosure statements filed with the House.

This current, renewed effort to expel Santos comes merely two weeks after he successfully avoided a previous expulsion attempt by House Republicans, and oddly enough, he was saved by House Democrats who voted to keep him. 

[...] Republican-led resolution to expel him from Congress failed to pass. 

Rep. Anthony D'Esposito on Thursday formally filed the expulsion resolution as privileged -- which forced the House to move quickly on Santos' possible removal. D'Esposito was joined by Reps. Mike Lawler, Nick LaLota, Marc Molinaro and Brandon Williams.

The resolution needed a two-thirds majority to succeed, but fell well short. The final vote was 179 to 213 with 19 members voting present.

Congressman Santos issued the following statement in a post on X, including in his statement that he did not intend to run for re-election in 2024, citing his family as the reason why he won't run again. 

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In the report, the Ethics Committee also stated that Santos was not cooperative with the investigation at all and that he purposefully evaded questioning and requests for information. They further allege that the information that Santos gave to the Committee “included material misstatements that further advanced falsehoods he made during his 2022 campaign.” The report also said that they did not take steps that would have led to a sanctions hearing by the Committee but instead urged the House Members to "take any action they deem appropriate and necessary" against Santos. 

The report further alleges that Santos received money from a group named "Redstone," which was an individual expenditure committee to "exclusively" support Santos's campaign to pay down personal credit card bills and, among other things, make purchases on the adult content site, "Only Fans."

After the $50,000 from RedStone was deposited into Representative Santos’ personal accounts, the funds were used to, among other things: pay down personal credit card bills and other debt; make a $4,127.80 purchase at Hermes; and for smaller purchases at Only Fans; Sephora; and for meals and for parking.  The ISC did not find evidence showing that the contributions received from Contributors 1 and 2 were used to support Representative Santos’ candidacy. 

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This most recent report by the Ethics Committee is just another legal bombshell for Santos, as he was recently indicted on 10 new counts in October relating to his previous indictment, back in May of this year. The charges against Santos are related to his initial campaign for Congress, alleging that he committed multiple counts of fraud, theft of credit card info, and lying to the FEC. 

The sole purpose of the scheme was to submit false documents in order to receive more money and benefits from a national Republican Party campaign committee that financially assists campaigns like his. In order to qualify for the program, Santos and Marks had to prove that their campaign had received or raised a minimum of $250,000 in a single quarter. To accomplish this, they both submitted false documents that showed ten family members of Santos had donated a total of $250,000 to the FEC. The indictments allege that Santos and Marks knew at the time that the documents were false yet submitted them anyway in order to receive additional financial support from the Republican party. 

In addition to the FEC violations, Santos and Marks allegedly devised a plan to steal the personal identity and financial information from his existing donors on multiple occasions, then fraudulently charge their credit cards without their knowledge in an attempt to receive even more money to the campaign. This was done over a period between December 2021 and April 2022. 

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Congressman Santos's last court date was October 27th, where he pleaded not guilty to all counts. US District Judge Joanna Seybert set a trial date for September 9, 2024. He faces a potential total of 22 years in federal prison if convicted. 

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