The House Ethics Committee issued a report on Thursday, concluding that there is “substantial evidence” of campaign finance and government ethics violations by Rep. George Santos, a freshman Republican from New York. The committee’s findings were unanimous, and they have referred the collected evidence to the Department of Justice for further review. However, no immediate action has been taken against Santos.
In a scathing statement, the committee declared, “Santos’ conduct warrants public condemnation, is beneath the dignity of the office, and has brought severe discredit upon the House.”
Santos, who is currently facing a 23-count federal indictment, including charges of money laundering and theft of public funds, responded to the committee’s report by announcing that he will no longer seek reelection in New York’s 3rd District. Despite this decision, he remained defiant, describing the committee’s report as a “disgusting politicized smear” and vowing to continue advocating for his “conservative values” during his remaining time in Congress.
Rep. George Santos’s political journey has been marked by controversy since his unexpected victory in a Democratic-leaning swing district on suburban Long Island. Here are some key moments in his tumultuous career:
- August 17, 2020: Santos wins the Republican nomination for Congress in New York’s 3rd District.
- November 3, 2020: Santos loses to Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi.
- January 6, 2021: Santos speaks at then-President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., falsely claiming that his election was stolen.
- June 10, 2021: Santos announces his second congressional bid, embellishing his educational and professional background.
- September 6, 2022: Santos reports a massive increase in his net worth in his personal financial disclosure report.
- November 8, 2022: Santos wins the race to represent New York’s 3rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- November 19, 2022: Santos makes questionable remarks about his Jewish heritage.
- November 21, 2022: Santos falsely claims to have lost employees in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, in 2016.
- December 19, 2022: The New York Times exposes Santos’s fabricated résumé and employment history, leading to widespread scrutiny.
- December 21, 2022: The Forward refutes Santos’s claims about his grandparents fleeing the Holocaust and his Jewish ancestry.
- December 26, 2022: Santos admits to embellishing his résumé but denies committing any crimes.
- January 2, 2023: Brazilian law enforcement authorities intend to revive fraud charges against Santos.
- January 9, 2023: The Campaign Legal Center files a complaint against Santos for alleged misuse of campaign funds and false information about campaign contributions.
- January 10, 2023: Reps. Dan Goldman and Ritchie Torres file a complaint with the House Ethics Committee regarding Santos’s financial disclosure.
- January 11, 2023: Calls for Santos’s resignation emerge, but he refuses to step down.
- January 18, 2023: Immigration records contradict Santos’s claim about his mother’s whereabouts on September 11, 2001, and accusations of stealing funds raised for a service dog surface.
- February 9, 2023: Santos faces allegations of sexual harassment by a prospective staffer.
- March 2, 2023: The House Ethics Committee initiates an investigation into Santos’s campaign finances and the allegations of sexual misconduct.
- May 9, 2023: Santos is charged with multiple federal counts, including wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and making false statements to the House of Representatives. He pleads not guilty.
- May 17, 2023: The House rejects a Democratic bill seeking to expel Santos from Congress, deferring the matter to the Ethics Committee.
- October 5, 2023: Former Santos campaign treasurer Nancy Marks pleads guilty to conspiracy related to inflating campaign finance reports.
- October 10, 2023: Santos faces additional federal charges for alleged theft of campaign donors’ credit card information and unauthorized purchases.
- November 1, 2023: The House votes against expelling Santos, with strong support from Democrats and opposition from the GOP.
- November 14, 2023: A former Santos campaign staffer pleads guilty to wire fraud for impersonating House Speaker Kevin McCarthy when soliciting contributions for Santos.
- November 16, 2023: The House Ethics Committee releases its investigation report, prompting Santos to withdraw from his campaign for reelection.