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George Santos, the controversial freshman Congressman from New York, announced Thursday he will not seek re-election to a second term.
The decision comes as the House Ethics Committee released a damning report alleging Santos used campaign funds for personal use. That personal use allegedly included a more than $4,000 purchase from the luxury brand Hemes, as well as payments for Botox injections and OnlyFans subscriptions.
The committee also said it found “substantial evidence” that Rep. Santos “caused his campaign committee to file false or incomplete reports with the Federal Election Commission”.
According to the report, evidence suggests Santos engaged in “fraudulent activity” and violated the Ethics in Government Act.
“Representative Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit,” the report states. “He blatantly stole from his campaign. He deceived donors into providing what they thought were contributions to his campaign but were in fact payments for his personal benefit.”
Santos, the committee reports, refused to testify or provide written statements. When the committee reached out to the congressman requesting he provide key documents and information, “he did not do so”.
The report calls Santos’ “lack of candor” during the Committee’s investigation “particularly troubling”.
The Committee says it is referring the evidence to the US Department of Justice for potential legal action. It also urges House members to condemn Santos’ actions and “take any action they deem appropriate and necessary”.
The report calls the congressman’s conduct “beneath the dignity of the office and to have brought severe discredit upon the House.”
George Santos has been under fire since he won his House seat in an upset victory last November. Streams of stories outlining Santos’ lies to votes, donors and staff members mounted during his first year in office.
Santos denies wrongdoing, Republican leader calls for his expulsion.
The congressman is currently facing 23 felony fraud and money laundering charges brought on by the State of New York. He has plead not guilty to all charges and on Thursday called the Republican-led committee’s report “a disgusting political smear”.
“If there was a single ounce of ETHICS in the “Ethics committee”, they would have not released this biased report,” Santos wrote on Twitter (X).
“Everyone who participated in this grave miscarriage of Justice should all be ashamed of themselves,” he said.
Santos went on in the tweet to call for “the states to rise up” and hold a “constitutional convention” before saying he will not run for Congress again.
CNN reports that Representative Michael Guest, the Republican Chair of the Ethics Committee, will make an official motion for the House to vote to expel Santos from Congress as early as Friday.