Rep. George Santos announced he won’t seek reelection in 2024 following a House Ethics Committee report indicating substantial evidence of criminal activities, including misuse of campaign funds and filing false reports. The report accused him of using his campaign for personal gain and deceiving donors.
The Ethics Committee’s report described Santos’ activities as a “complex web of unlawful activity,” involving fraudulent use of campaign, personal, and business finances. It detailed how Santos allegedly stole campaign funds, reported fictitious loans, and used his connections for personal enrichment, sustained by continuous lies about his background.
The report also highlighted Santos’ financial struggles, including debts, poor credit score, and reliance on high-interest credit cards for luxury spending. It mentioned unexplained large cash deposits and withdrawals.
Santos’ campaign expenditures raised suspicions, with funds spent on luxury brands, personal vacations, Botox treatments, and OnlyFans, a site often hosting adult content.
The Ethics Committee is referring its findings to the Justice Department but did not recommend specific House actions. Ethics Chairman Michael Guest, R-Miss., and other Democrats plan to file resolutions to expel Santos from Congress.
Santos faces multiple federal charges, including identity theft and money laundering, with a trial set for September. He has pleaded not guilty.
Former campaign fundraiser Sam Miele pleaded guilty to wire fraud, admitting to unauthorized credit card charges for Santos’ campaign contributions. Nancy Marks, Santos’ former campaign treasurer, also pleaded guilty to charges implicating Santos in falsifying campaign forms.
Despite these developments, Santos has refused to resign, maintaining his innocence. The Ethics Committee noted Santos’ lack of cooperation and misleading responses during their investigation. Santos survived a previous expulsion effort, with the House voting against his removal. New York Republicans, including Reps. Mike Lawler and Anthony D’Esposito, have called for his resignation or expulsion. The Ethics investigators chose not to subpoena Santos to avoid delaying their probe.