WASHINGTON — The House Ethics Committee released Thursday A much awaited report Its months-long investigation into Rep. George Santos concluded there was “substantial evidence” that the New York Republican “violated federal criminal laws,” including using campaign funds for personal purposes and filing false campaign reports.
The ethics subcommittee investigating Santos found “a complex web of illegal activity involving Representative Santos’ campaign, personal and business finances,” the scathing report said. “Representative Santos attempted to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own financial gain.”
“He blatantly stole from his campaign. He tricked donors into thinking they were donations to his campaign, but were actually payments for his personal benefit. He reported fictitious loans to donors and party groups to induce donors. His campaign — and then returned campaign money to himself as purported ‘repayment’ of those fictitious loans. took,” the report continues.
The report contends that Santos “used his connections to high-value donors and other political campaigns.” “He sustained all this through persistent lies to his constituents, donors and staff about his background and experience,” it said.
The ethics committee said it would forward its findings, including “unchargeable” conduct, to the Justice Department. No recommendation to the council.
The DOJ has already charged Santos with multiple federal counts, including identity theft, money laundering and theft of public funds. He is due to stand trial in September and has pleaded not guilty.
Meanwhile, Santos rejected calls for his resignation, saying his political future should be left to New York voters. The ethics committee said Santos was uncooperative with the investigation and gave only limited answers that included “false statements” and “lies.”
Rep. Robert Garcia, D-Calif., said Thursday that he plans to reintroduce a resolution with privilege to expel Santos from Congress when the House returns to Washington on Nov. 28.
Garcia, who introduced a similar resolution earlier this year, said in a statement that the ethics report “makes it clear that the GOP’s decision to wait 9 months is not only irresponsible, but dangerous,” and that Santos has “no place.” In Congress.”
The House is bound to act on Garcia’s resolution because it is privileged. Santos survived another attempt to oust him earlier this month.
Ethics investigators said they decided not to prosecute Santos, saying that doing so could delay their investigation and that Santos’ testimony “would have little probative value based on his admitted garnishment.”
Reps. Dave Joyce, R-Ohio, and Susan Wild, D-Pa. The subcommittee investigating Santos met nine times, authorized 37 subpoenas and 43 voluntary requests and received more than 172,000 pages of documents.