George Santos Bows Out: No Reelection Bid Post-Ethics Report

Nick Jones Avatar
George Santos, in a somber mood, following the Ethics Committee's report

In a shocking turn of events, Republican Representative George Santos has officially declared that he will not seek reelection to the House next year. This announcement comes in the wake of the Ethics Committee’s long-awaited report release on Thursday, which has concluded that there is “substantial evidence” suggesting that the New York congressman had misused campaign funds for personal purposes.

The Ethics Committee’s findings go beyond the already pending criminal allegations against Santos, revealing additional “uncharged and unlawful conduct.” These findings are set to be immediately referred to the Justice Department for further investigation.

According to the committee’s report, Santos is accused of engaging in “knowing and willful violations” concerning financial disclosure statements filed with the House. Furthermore, he is alleged to have “knowingly caused his campaign committee to file false or incomplete reports with the Federal Election Commission.” The committee’s conclusion is unequivocal: Santos “sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit.”

In response to the release of the report, Santos made the unexpected decision not to seek reelection. However, he remained defiant and denounced the investigation, characterizing it as a “biased report.”

In a statement, Santos expressed his displeasure, saying, “It is 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.” He added, “I will, however, NOT be seeking re-election for a second term in 2024 as my family deserves better than to be under the gun from the press all the time.”

Santos announced that he will hold a press conference outside the Capitol on November 30, coinciding with Congress’s return from the Thanksgiving recess and likely following the House’s vote on whether to expel him. Expulsion is a rare occurrence and requires a two-thirds majority vote in the House to succeed. While a previous resolution to expel Santos failed earlier this month, it garnered some Republican support. Proponents of expulsion now believe that the Ethics Committee’s report will sway more members to back the effort.

“Running for office was never a dream or goal, but when the opportunity to do so came, I felt the time to serve my country was now,” Santos said in a post on Thursday evening. Reflecting on his political journey, he stated, “Looking back today, I know one thing, politics is indeed dirty, dirty from the very bottom up.”

The Ethics Committee’s report did not mince words, asserting that Santos’s conduct warrants “public condemnation, is beneath the dignity of the office, and has brought severe discredit upon the House.” Additionally, the panel noted that Santos “did not fully cooperate” with the investigation, as he declined a voluntary interview and did not submit a written response to the allegations.

Despite not issuing a subpoena to Santos due to concerns about his potential Fifth Amendment invocation and the perceived low evidentiary value of his testimony, the committee’s report represents yet another setback for the beleaguered New York Republican. Santos is currently facing 23 federal charges, including allegations related to fraud in connection with Covid-19 unemployment benefits, misuse of campaign funds, and false reporting of his personal finances on House disclosure reports.

A spokesperson for Speaker Mike Johnson acknowledged the report’s “very troubling findings” in a statement. While not explicitly calling for Santos’s resignation, Johnson urged lawmakers, including Santos, “to consider the best interests of the institution as this matter is addressed further.”

House Ethics Committee Chairman Michael Guest, a Mississippi Republican, is set to make a motion to expel Santos as early as Friday during the pro forma session. This strategic move aims to depoliticize the expulsion process and provide cover for other members to support it. With two other Ethics Committee members also expressing support for expulsion, the effort appears to have gained significant momentum.

Rep. Susan Wild, the leading Democrat on the panel, had previously voted “present” on expulsion efforts but no longer considers herself neutral now that their investigative work is complete. Additionally, Rep. Andrew Garbarino, a New York Republican and committee member who had refrained from supporting expulsion until now, has reversed his stance, stating, “There is significant evidence that he exploited his position for personal gain. He is undeserving of public office.”

In early November, a Republican-led effort to expel Santos failed in the House, with concerns raised about expelling a member facing ongoing legal battles without a criminal conviction. Ahead of the vote, Santos invoked his “presumption of innocence.”

The Ethics Committee’s report provides substantial evidence of Santos’s alleged misuse of campaign funds for personal expenses, including extravagant travel, hotels, ride-sharing services, and meals that lacked any apparent political or campaign purpose. The report cites instances such as charges for taxi and hotel expenses in Las Vegas while Santos claimed to be on his honeymoon and a $3,332.81 Airbnb expenditure listed as a “Hotel stay.” There were also expenses related to spa and cosmetic services, including a $1,400 charge at Virtual Skin Spa and a $1,500 purchase at Mirza Aesthetics, described as “Botox” in expense spreadsheets.

Notably, the Ethics panel found no substantial evidence to support a sexual misconduct allegation against Santos. This allegation had been brought forward by an individual seeking employment in his congressional office. The panel “was unable to substantiate this allegation,” as detailed in the report. It further raised concerns about the credibility of the individual, noting inconsistencies in their testimony and their admission to contacting the FBI with the allegation in pursuit of compensation.

With the release of this report, calls for Santos’s resignation are likely to intensify, coming from both Republicans and Democrats. His legal troubles, coupled with a history of fabrications and falsehoods regarding his resume and biography, have contributed to growing pressure on him to step down.

In an earlier interview, Santos acknowledged mistakes in handling key issues outlined in the criminal indictments against him while defending himself. He attributed these errors to “stupidity” and “insecurity” but downplayed their significance, asserting that his constituents did not base their votes on his biography.

The release of the Ethics Committee’s report paints a grim picture for George Santos’s political future, as the allegations of misconduct and misuse of campaign funds continue to haunt him. As the House prepares to vote on his potential expulsion, the outcome remains uncertain but carries significant implications for the embattled congressman.

In the face of damning allegations and a scathing report from the Ethics Committee, George Santos, a Republican representative from New York, has chosen not to seek reelection in the upcoming year. The committee’s findings, which highlight substantial evidence of campaign fund misuse and unethical conduct, have dealt a severe blow to Santos’s political career.

Despite defiantly denouncing the investigation as biased, Santos’s decision not to seek reelection indicates the gravity of the situation. He is set to hold a press conference after Congress’s Thanksgiving recess, likely following a House vote on his potential expulsion, which, while rare, has gained momentum with key committee members and lawmakers supporting it.

The Ethics Committee’s report details a pattern of misconduct, including financial violations, false reporting, and the alleged exploitation of his House candidacy for personal gain. These revelations have led to widespread condemnation and calls for Santos’s resignation.

While the report did not substantiate a sexual misconduct allegation against Santos, it raised questions about the credibility of the individual making the accusation. Santos’s legal challenges and a history of fabrications have further eroded his standing in Congress.

As the House grapples with the decision on whether to expel Santos, the congressman’s future remains uncertain. However, this episode underscores the importance of ethics and accountability in public office, as well as the potential consequences of misusing campaign funds for personal purposes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Author Profile

John Doe

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam.


There’s no content to show here yet.