Washington — Afrom the House Ethics Committee on its investigation into GOP Rep. George Santos of New York detailed what congressional investigators stated was “substantial evidence” that the embattled congressman tapped into marketing campaign funds to cowl his personal private bills.
The purchases — at luxurious retailers, spas, resorts and extra — made by Santos whereas mounting bids for Congress in 2020 and 2022, the primary of which was unsuccessful, had been uncovered through the course of a evaluation performed by a four-member investigative subcommittee of the ethics panel into allegations of wrongdoing by the freshman congressman.
The lawmakers’ findings had been made public by the Ethics Committee on Thursday, promptingof Santos from Republicans and Democrats alike, and including momentum behind an effort to expel the New York Republican from Congress.
Republican Rep. Michael Guest of Mississippi, the Ethics Committee chairman, filed a decision in search of Santos’ removing from the House on Friday and stated in an announcement that his expulsion is “the most appropriate punishment.” Any motion on the measure is not going to come till after Thanksgiving, because the House will subsequent maintain votes on Nov. 28.
Guest and Rep. Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, the highest Democrat on the panel, stated in an announcement following the report’s launch that Santos’ “conduct warrants public condemnation, is beneath the dignity of the office, and has brought severe discredit upon the House.”
Congressional investigators stated that through the course of their probe, they discovered “substantial evidence” that Santos violated federal regulation and uncovered a “complex web of unlawful activity” involving his marketing campaign, private and enterprise funds.
Santos allegedly used a Florida-based firm affiliated with him, RedStone Strategies, LLC, to funnel marketing campaign donations into his private checking account, and used a marketing campaign debit card for purchases that did not seem to have a “campaign nexus,” the ethics panel stated.
The record of what Santos allegedly purchased with marketing campaign donations
According to marketing campaign information, financial institution information and different paperwork launched by the Ethics Committee, the record of private bills coated by donors to his 2020 and 2022 campaigns embrace:
- $4,127 on the luxurious retailer Hermès;
- $2,281 at resorts in Atlantic City;
- “Smaller purchases” at OnlyFans, the subscription-based web site the place folks usually promote grownup content material, and the make-up retailer Sephora;
- $1,500 at Mirza Aesthetics, labeled “Botox;”
- $1,400 at Virtual Skin Spa, labeled “Botox;”
- $3,332 for an AirBnB in early July 2022, when Santos was “off at [the] Hampton’s for the weekend,” in accordance with his marketing campaign’s calendar;
- $6,000 at Ferragamo shops;
- $800 money withdrawal from an ATM at a on line casino in Maryland;
- $1,000 money withdrawal from an ATM close to Santos’ condo in New York;
- A lease cost
Santos has accused the Ethics Committee of releasing a “biased report” and continues to defend himself from the allegations of wrongdoing. But Santos stated he wouldn’t be in search of reelection in 2024, writing on social media website that his “family deserves better than to be under the gun from the press all the time.”
“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,” he wrote on X. “Everyone who participated in this grave miscarriage of justice should all be ashamed of themselves.”