The Republican chairman of the House Ethics Committee on Friday filed a resolution to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) from Congress, calling it “the most appropriate punishment” after the panel found that he illegally spent thousands of dollars in campaign funds on luxury treats for himself.
“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,” Rep. Michael Guest (R-Miss.) said in a statement. “So, separate from the Committee process and my role as Chairman, I have filed an expulsion resolution.”
Guest’s action comes a day after the ethics committee issued a brutal eight-page report laying out how Santos used campaign dollars for personal services and products like Botox treatments, Hermès designer products and access to a site primarily used by sex workers called OnlyFans. The report also revealed that the New York congressman reported fake loans to his political committees to spur donors to give him more money ― and then diverted that additional money to himself.
“Representative Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit,” reads the report. “He blatantly stole from his campaign.”
The GOP congressman is already under a 23-count federal indictment for conspiracy, wire fraud and other alleged crimes.
Santos dismissed the committee’s investigation on Thursday, tweeting that it ”was not part of due process” and called it “a dirty biased act and one that tramples all over my rights.”
But he also announced that he won’t run for reelection in 2024, and it’s certainly possible that he resigns before then. In the same tweet condemning the committee, he weirdly announced that he plans to hold a press conference on Nov. 30 and gave no reason.
“Press conference November 30th at 8am on The Capitol steps, I encourage ALL members of the press to attend,” Santos tweeted.
House Republicans and Democrats have previously introduced resolutions to expel Santos, and they didn’t go anywhere. What’s different this time is that this one is coming from the top Republican on the ethics panel, and it’s after the committee did its own bipartisan investigation and unanimously concluded that Santos broke the law.
Guest said that given Santos’ blatant violations, he opted to file an expulsion resolution versus the more typical committee protocol of recommending to the full House for some kind of punishment against Santos.
“Given the intense public scrutiny surrounding Representative Santos and the ongoing activity at the DOJ, including indictments, the Ethics Committee decided to finish its work without going through a lengthier process that provides for the Committee to make a recommendation of punishment to the House,” he said in his statement.
The House is in recess until after Thanksgiving. It’s up to Republican leadership to decide if they want to vote on the expulsion resolution when they return.