Rep. George Santos (R-NY) will not seek reelection in New York’s third congressional district after a scathing ethics committee report.
“The Committee concurs with the ISC’s determination that Representative Santos’ conduct warrants public condemnation, is beneath the dignity of the office, and has brought severe discredit upon the House,” said Reps. Michael Guest (R-MS) and Susan Wild (D-PA) in a joint statement as the chairman and senior Democrat on the committee.
Not long after the report was released, Santos defended himself and blasted the committee in a tweet, but never actually claimed to be innocent of the charges. He opted instead to mention the southern border, national debt, and President Biden’s alleged legal problems.
If there was a single ounce of ETHICS in the “Ethics committee”, they would have not released this biased report. 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…
— George Santos (@MrSantosNY) November 16, 2023
In light of the ethics report and legal issues that Santos faces, he is not considering stepping down from his position early. He may, however, not have a choice.
The Republican chairman of the ethics committee, Michael Guest, introduced a resolution to expel Santos from Congress. In light of the allegations Santos faces, it may be difficult to find anyone willing to fight that resolution.
It is significant to note that the ethics report was researched and led by Santos’ own party and that there is no certainty that a Republican would take his place. A special election could take place early in 2024 to fill the seat temporarily, though Republicans have dominated the district for years.
There were numerous transgressions brought up by the committee against Santos ranging from stealing money to deceiving donors and almost anything in between. In all, he faces nearly two dozen federal charges. Santos has pleaded not guilty to each of them.
With all of the charges and allegations against him, Santos remains noticeably unapologetic. He was given every opportunity to submit to investigators and to voluntarily testify or provide statements under oath. According to the report, he refused to do so throughout the investigation.
There was already a failed Republican attempt to expel Santos in early November. Many lawmakers expressed concern over the idea of expelling a sitting congressman in the face of an ongoing legal battle.
After investigators compiled more than 170,000 pages of documents and testimony that resulted in a 56-page report, his expulsion is much more likely to happen after Thanksgiving.