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Embattled Republican Rep. George Santos of New York announced on Thursday he won’t seek reelection following the release of a highly damning House Ethics Committee finding involving potential criminal behavior.
According to Fox News, the chairman of the committee said he planned to move to expel Santos, accusing him of having “used campaign funds for personal purposes” and “engaged in fraudulent conduct,” among other allegations.
“Chairman Guest feels that the evidence uncovered in the Committee’s investigation is more than sufficient to warrant punishment and that the most appropriate punishment is expulsion,” Republican Mississippi Rep. Michael Guest’s personal office told Fox News on Thursday.
“So, separate from the committee process and his role as chairman, he plans to file an expulsion resolution during tomorrow’s 9:00 a.m. pro forma session.”
The outlet noted further:
Guest filing the resolution on Friday tees up an expected vote on whether to boot Santos from the House sometime after lawmakers return from the Thanksgiving break on Nov. 28.
A 56-page deep dive into the allegations against Santos by the panel’s investigative subcommittee detailed campaign funds being spent at spas and luxury stores, among other questionable places.
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; and knew and willfully violated the Ethics in Government Act as it related to his Financial Disclosure (FD) Statements filed with the House.” This was agreed upon by the bipartisan subcommittee.
The panel found that includes $50,000 in campaign donations wired to the congressman’s personal account on Oct. 21, 2022, that was allegedly used, among other things, to “pay down personal credit card bills and other debt; make a $4,127.80 purchase at Hermes; and for smaller purchases at OnlyFans; Sephora; and for meals and for parking.”
That includes $50,000 in campaign donations that were wired to Santos’ personal account on Oct. 21, 2022, and allegedly used to, among other things, “pay down personal credit card bills and other debt; make a $4,127.80 purchase at Hermes; and for smaller purchases at OnlyFans; Sephora; and for meals and for parking.”
BREAKING: New York Republican Congressman George Santos announces that he will NOT run for re-election in 2024. pic.twitter.com/1HGvwE4XBd
— Proud Elephant 🇺🇸🦅 (@ProudElephantUS) November 16, 2023
The GOP lawmaker also reportedly spent more than $2,200 at Atlantic City, N.J., resorts between July 23, 2022, and July 24, 2022, though a staffer told the subcommittee that “he was not aware of any events in Atlantic City and did not attend any campaign events in Atlantic City.”
“Likewise, in the same month, the campaign spent $1,400 at Virtual Skin Spa in Jericho, New York, a full-service medical spa based in Long Island that performs cosmetic procedures such as Botox, micro-needling, and facials,” the report added.
Following the release of the report, Santos took to the X platform to rebuke it and to announce he wouldn’t seek reelection next year, putting the GOP’s already slim majority in jeopardy.
“If there was a single ounce of ETHICS in the ‘Ethics committee’, they would have not released this biased report,” he wrote. “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. Everyone who participated in this grave miscarriage of Justice should all be ashamed of themselves,” he continued before saying the country needs an “Article V Constitutional Convention.”
“I’ve come to expect vitriol like this from political opposition but not from the hallowed halls of public service. I will remain steadfast in fighting for my rights and for defending my name in the face of adversity. I am humbled yet again and reminded that I am human and I have flaws, but I will not stand by as I am stoned by those who have flaws themselves,” he added.
“I will continue on my mission to serve my constituents up until I am allowed. 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,” he announced.
“Public service life was never a goal or a dream, but I stepped up to the occasion when I felt my country needed it most. I will 100% continue to maintain my commitment to my conservative values in my remaining time in Congress,” Santos said.