After Scathing Ethics Report, Santos Won't Seek Reelection

House ethics panel finds 'substantial evidence' he broke federal laws
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2023 10:01 AM CST
Updated Nov 16, 2023 10:56 AM CST
House Ethics Panel Delivers Scathing Blow to Santos
Rep. George Santos, R-NY.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
UPDATE Nov 16, 2023 10:56 AM CST

George Santos says he won't be running for reelection to Congress in the wake of a devastating House Ethics panel report. Not that he's contrite: In a long post on X, Santos called the report a "disgusting politicized smear," per the Washington Post. Near the end of it, he announced he wouldn't run to retain his seat in 2024, "as my family deserves better than to be under the gun from the press all the time."

Nov 16, 2023 10:01 AM CST

The House Ethics Committee took a long look at George Santos and delivered a scathing assessment on Thursday, one that might cost him his seat as a congressman. The bipartisan panel found "substantial evidence" that the truth-challenged New York representative broke federal laws, reports the Hill. The committee referred its findings to the Justice Department. "At nearly every opportunity, he placed his desire for private gain above his duty to uphold the Constitution, federal law, and ethical principles," the report reads, per Politico. "Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit."

Two specific examples: Santos used campaign funds to pay for Botox treatments and to travel to Atlantic City with his husband, according to the investigation. The panel recommended that Santos be censured. Committee Chair Michael Guest, a Mississippi Republican, said it would have taken "several more months" of investigation to recommend stronger action, such as expulsion, and the panel wanted to get the report out quickly. The committee said Santos "knowingly caused his campaign committee to file false or incomplete reports with the Federal Election Commission; used campaign funds for personal purposes; and engaged in violations of the Ethics in Government Act as it relates to financial disclosure statements filed with the House," per the AP.

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Santos, who separately faces a 23-count federal indictment that accuses him of stealing the identities of his campaign donors and more, has previously survived two attempts to expel him from Congress. However, the most recent vote earlier this month fell short in part because some members of Congress wanted to wait for the ethics report. Now that it has arrived, both the Hill and Politico see a third vote to expel on the horizon. (More George Santos stories.)

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