FILE - Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., speaks to reporters outside the Capitol, in Washington, May 17, 2023. The House Ethics panel says it has found “substantial evidence” of lawbreaking by Republican Rep. George Santos of New York and has referred its findings to the Justice Department. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Mississippi Congressman Michael Guest, chairman of the House Ethics Committee, says New York Congressman George Santos is unfit to serve and is seeking his expulsion following an investigation by the committee.
Mississippi Congressman Michael Guest (R-MS 3) has filed an expulsion resolution against New York Congressman George Santos saying he is not fit to serve in the chamber.
Guest, the House Ethics Committee Chairman, along with Ranking Member, Congresswoman Susan Wild, submitted a report to the House of Representatives in the Matter of Allegations Relating to Santos.
According to the report issued at the completion of its investigation into Santos, the Investigative Subcommittee (ISC) unanimously concluded that there was substantial evidence that Representative George Santos:
- Knowingly caused his campaign committee to file false or incomplete reports with the Federal Election Commission
- Used campaign funds for personal purposes
- Engaged in fraudulent conduct in connection with RedStone Strategies LLC
- Engaged in knowing and willful violations of the Ethics in Government Act as it relates to his Financial Disclosure (FD) Statements filed with the House.
“In light of the ongoing criminal investigation into Representative Santos, and the ISC’s findings of additional uncharged and unlawful conduct by Representative Santos, the ISC recommended that the Committee immediately refer these allegations to the Department of Justice,” the House Ethics Committee release stated on Thursday.
The Ethics Committee unanimously voted to adopt the ISC’s report, and with it, refer the substantial evidence of potential violations of federal criminal law to the Department of Justice for such further action as it deems appropriate.
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.
Congressman Guest issued a statement on Friday on the matter, saying the evidence is more than sufficient to warrant expulsion of Santos.
“Given the intense public scrutiny surrounding Representative Santos and the ongoing activity at the DOJ, including indictments, the Ethics Committee decided to finish its work without going through a lengthier process that provides for the Committee to make a recommendation of punishment to the House,” Ethics Committee Chairman Guest said. “The evidence uncovered in the Ethics Committee’s Investigative Subcommittee investigation is more than sufficient to warrant punishment and the most appropriate punishment, is expulsion. So, separate from the Committee process and my role as Chairman, I have filed an expulsion resolution.”
Santos responded to the report, calling it a “disgusting politicized smear” on X, formerly Twitter.
“The committee went to extraordinary lengths to smear myself and my legal team about me not being forthcoming (My legal bills suggest otherwise). It is a disgusting politicized smear that shows the depths of how low our federal government has sunk,” Santos stated on X. “Everyone who participated in this grave miscarriage of justice should all be ashamed of themselves.”
Santos has been preparing to seek re-election despite the investigation, yet this week he announced he would not be running in 2024.
Only five members of the U.S. House have ever been expelled from Congress. The last expulsion came in 2002 after former Ohio Congressman James Traficant was convicted of 10 corruption-related felonies.
A vote on the expulsion resolution could come after the Thanksgiving break.