Surprise, surprise. After a nine-month investigation, the House Ethics Committee has found New York's Congressliar George Santos guilty of possible "violations of federal criminal law."
"[T]he evidence uncovered by the Investigative Subcommittee (ISC) revealed that Representative George Santos cannot be trusted," said the Committee's 56-page report, released today. "At nearly every opportunity, he placed his desire for private gain above his duty to uphold the Constitution, federal law, and ethical principles."
The 35-year-old Republican lawmaker "knowingly caused his campaign committee to file false or incomplete reports with the Federal Election Commission" and "used campaign funds for personal purposes." The report says that Santos used campaign funds to "pay down personal credit card bills and other debt; make a $4,127.80 purchase at Hermes; and for smaller purchases at Only Fans; Sephora; and for meals and for parking," among other things.
The committee, who said Santos "warrants public condemnation, is beneath the dignity of the office, and has brought severe discredit upon the House," according to the New York Times, voted unanimously to send its report to the Department of Justice.
From The Hill:
The report says the first-term congressman "sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidate for his own personal benefit," writing that he "blatantly stole from his campaign" and "deceived donors into providing what they thought were contributions to his campaign but were in fact payments for his personal benefit." …
"He used his connections to high value donors and other political campaigns to obtain additional funds for himself through fraudulent or otherwise questionable business dealings," adding that he "sustained all of this through a constant series of lies to his constituents, donors, and staff about his background and experience."
Despite Santos repeatedly saying in public that he would like to prove his innocence, the committee said Santos declined to submit a signed statement responding to the allegations in the report, declined to voluntarily provide documents and information to the investigators, and declined to provide a statement under oath.
Nonetheless, the committee said it "compiled a voluminous record consisting of over 170,000 pages of documents and testimony from dozens of witnesses, including financial statements, contemporaneous communications, and other materials."
And from The New York Times:
House investigators found evidence that Mr. Santos used campaign funds for personal purposes, defrauded donors, and filed false or incomplete campaign finance and financial disclosure reports, according to a 56-page report released on Thursday. …
And while the panel refrained from recommending any punitive measures, there were already indications that the report could be the catalyst for a third effort to remove Mr. Santos from office. Numerous representatives have previously said that they would support his expulsion if the committee found criminal wrongdoing or a severe breach of ethics.
Mr. Santos, 35, a Republican representing parts of Long Island and Queens, already faces a 23-count federal indictment that includes accusations that he stole from his donors and falsified election campaign filings. Mr. Santos has resisted calls for his resignation, and has pleaded not guilty.