WASHINGTON — The House Ethics Committee on Thursday released its expected damning report of its findings in the monthslong investigation into Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), saying there is “substantial evidence” he “violated federal criminal laws,” including using campaign funds for personal purposes.
According to the report, the committee found “a complex web of unlawful activity involving Representative Santos’ campaign, personal, and business finances” and added, “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,” the report says.
The Ethics Committee says it will be referring its findings, including “uncharged” conduct, to the Justice Department but stopped short of making a recommendation to the House of Representatives.
Santos is expected to go to trial in September 2024 after The Department of Justice brought charges on multiple federal counts, including identity theft, money laundering, and theft of public funds.
Santos has rejected calls for his resignation but said he would not be running for re-election in 2024 following the release of the report.
“I will remain steadfast in fighting for my rights and for defending my name in the face of adversity,” he said on X Thursday. “I am humbled yet again and reminded that I am human and I have flaws, but I will not stand by as I am stoned by those who have flaws themselves.”
Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) said he plans to submit a privileged resolution to expel Santos from Congress when the House returns to Washington on Nov. 28.
“George Santos should end this farce and resign immediately,” said Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.). “If he refuses, he must be removed from Congress. His conduct is not only unbecoming and embarrassing, it is criminal.”