Embattled Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) allegedly spent campaign funds on a host of products and services to maintain his appearance, according to a House ethics committee report released Thursday.
“He blatantly stole from his campaign,” the report says, alleging that Santos inappropriately spent money raised for his House campaign on beauty treatments, makeup and designer items, and to pay down his personal credit card debt.
The report concluded that Santos “cannot be trusted,” and recommended him to the Department of Justice for prosecution.
Santos is already under federal indictment for conspiracy, wire fraud and other alleged crimes related to misusing money for his campaign and lying in reports. But the new ethics committee report adds another layer to his problems.
Santos announced Thursday that in light of the report, he will not run for reelection next year. And the House might still move to expel him before his term is up.
Santos called the report “biased” and accused the committee of going to “extraordinary lengths” to smear him, without addressing any of the specific things he is accused of buying.
The things Santos allegedly spent campaign funds on suggest a picture of lavish spending habits and expensive taste — and are likely items he would not have been able to purchase as frequently, or perhaps at all, even as a House member with a salary of nearly $174,000 a year.
The committee alleges that Santos spent thousands of dollars on Botox, an injectable treatment often used for cosmetic purposes to prevent wrinkles, as well as for medical purposes. The report also cites unspecified spa treatments and charges at Sephora.
“Several other expenditures related to spa services and/or cosmetic procedures could not be verified as having a campaign nexus,” the report says.
Santos allegedly spent $2,900 at spas in transactions that were denoted as “Botox” in spreadsheets produced by Nancy Marks, the congressman’s former treasurer. Marks pleaded guilty in October to a fraud conspiracy charge for embellishing Santos’ campaign finance reports.
He also sent over $1,000 via PayPal to an esthetician associated with a spa in Rhinebeck, New York, but the report doesn’t specify what service that was for.
This isn’t the first time that Santos and Botox have appeared in the same story: He once reportedly condescended to a former aide about the staffer traveling to Colombia to get the procedure for cheap.
“Stop going to Colombia for your diluted Botox,” Santos said in leaked audio obtained by Talking Points Memo in February.
Santos is apparently a fan of Hermès, the luxury designer known for its accessories whose products can be worth upward of $100,000.
The lawmaker didn’t go that far, but he did spend $4,000 in campaign funds at the retailer, the report alleges.
Santos is a frequent flaunter of luxury brands, including Ray-Ban, Ferragamo and Cartier. A former roommate accused him of stealing a Burberry scarf and wearing it to, of all things, a 2021 “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C.
The report does not specify the amount, but it notes that Santos appears to have used a “small” portion of funds to purchase subscriptions on OnlyFans, a website where people can pay creators directly for content. Many creators use the platform to sell porn and adult content.
Elsewhere in the report, Santos is accused of failing to pay a campaign staffer for eight months.
Plus One Thing He Apparently Didn’t Buy…
The report goes deep into Santos’ interactions with staffers, addressing some of the lies he told them during his brief time as a candidate and lawmaker.
“At no point does Representative Santos appear to have owned a Maserati, despite telling campaign staff otherwise,” the report states.