The hidden side of politics

House Ethics chairman introduces resolution to expel George Santos following searing report

Reported by Washington Times:

House Ethics Chairman Michael Guest on Friday introduced a resolution to expel embattled Rep. George Santos after the committee’s searing report on the lawmaker.

The latest expulsion judgment would be the third attempt at booting Mr. Santos from Congress following a string of indictments and a report released Thursday from the House Ethics Committee that said “substantial evidence” showed the New York Republican misused campaign funds, filed false reports on his donations and engaged in other forms of fraud.

“The evidence uncovered in the Ethics Committee’s Investigative Subcommittee investigation is more than sufficient to warrant punishment and the most appropriate punishment is expulsion,” said Mr. Guest, Mississippi Republican. “So, separate from the committee process and my role as chairman, I have filed an expulsion resolution.”

A resolution to expel a lawmaker requires a two-thirds majority to advance in the House. The move by New York lawmakers this month to oust Mr. Santos failed when Republicans joined with Democrats to save him.

The lawmakers argued that Mr. Santos had not been convicted of any crimes. Meanwhile, House Republican leadership disliked the move because it would whittle away at the GOP’s thin four-vote majority.

But the committee’s report has changed the attitude of some lawmakers who voted against the previous expulsion resolution. So far, seven Republicans, including Mr. Guest, have flipped from opposing to supporting an ouster.

SEE ALSO: N.Y. Gov. Hochul says House has a ‘moral responsibility’ to oust Rep. George Santos

Only five members have been forcibly ousted in Congress’ history. Two were convicted of crimes; the other three supported the Confederacy and its rebellion against the U.S.

Mr. Santos faces a federal indictment alleging he committed fraud and misused political donations.

The Ethics Committee’s report suggested that there was fraud beyond what was contained in the federal charges against Mr. Santos and pressed that the lawmaker should be referred to the Justice Department.

The committee began the legwork of looking into Mr. Santos in February. The resolution indicated that the panel met nine times, authorizing 37 subpoenas and 43 requests for information that produced more than 172,000 pages of documents on the lawmaker.

The report released Thursday indicated that Mr. Santos siphoned campaign funds into his personal accounts for luxury purchases and dabbling in OnlyFans.

Specifically, the committee found that Mr. Santos, who has denied wrongdoing, committed the following:

• 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 with an LLC known as RedStone Strategies.

• Engaged in knowing and willful violations of the Ethics in Government Act related to the Financial Disclosure statements that lawmakers file with the House.

The release of the report led Mr. Santos to announce he would not seek reelection. 

“What the ‘ethics committee’ did [Thursday] was not part of due process,” Mr. Santos said on X. “What they did was poison the jury pool on my ongoing investigation with the DOJ. This was a dirty biased act and one that tramples all over my rights.”

• Thomas Howell contributed to this story.

Source:Washington Times