The House ethics panel issued a scathing report repudiating the behavior of freshman Rep. George Santos (R-NY).
The rebuke depicts Santos as an untruthful thief who “leveraged every aspect” of his 2022 campaign for personal gain.
The House Committee on Ethics accused Santos of “blatantly stealing” from campaign funds and “deceiving donors.”
The Committee concluded that Santos “cannot be trusted” and that his behavior “is criminal.”
An indictment preceded the 10-member Committee’s nine-month investigative report. The Committee did not make any specific recommendations but forwarded their findings to the Department of Justice.
Santos, 35, has been defiant in the face of allegations, vowing not to step down from Congress regardless of the Committee’s findings. Santos, however, has indicated he will not run for reelection.
In recent weeks, Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS) successfully led an effort to expel him from office. Santos survived the effort, perhaps with the help of Democrats who desire the seat to remain vulnerable in the coming 2024 election.
Guest will reportedly revive efforts to expel Santos via a motion this Friday, according to the Washington Examiner.
An excerpt from the report reads:
The Committee concurs with the ISC’s determination that Representative Santos’ conduct warrants public condemnation, is beneath the dignity of the office, and has brought severe discredit upon the House.
Representative Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit. He blatantly stole from his campaign.
He 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.
He used his connections to high-value donors and other political campaigns to obtain additional funds for himself through fraudulent or otherwise questionable business dealings.
And he sustained all of this through a constant series of lies to his constituents, donors, and staff about his background and experience.
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