Embattled freshman Rep. George Santos (R-NY) is confronting growing demands to resign after an ethics investigation uncovered “substantial reason to believe” he broke federal law. The House Ethics Committee released a scathing report Thursday finding Santos likely misused campaign finances for personal benefit and failed to disclose his background and finances.
Specifically, the report revealed Santos spent over $700,000 in campaign donations on personal extravagances, including payments for his own rent and lavish clothing from Bergdorf Goodman. Investigators also found evidence of illegal straw donations used to fund his 2022 run for Congress in New York’s 3rd District.
In their announcement, the bipartisan Ethics Committee stated Santos may have criminally violated campaign finance statutes. “The extent and severity of that deception is astonishing,” the report asserts. The Committee will now fully investigate whether laws were broken.
The ethics report immediately intensified calls for Rep. Santos to resign from Congress. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY), whose district borders Santos’, became the first Republican colleague to demand his resignation. “Congressman Santos has no place in Congress,” D’Esposito tweeted.
Other Republicans quickly piled on, including House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA). “There are serious questions that will have to be answered,” Scalise admitted when pressed by reporters. Conservative advocacy group America First Legal also rescinded their endorsement, with President Stephen Miller slamming Santos as “a con man who has no place in elected office.”
The chorus urging Rep. Santos’ resignation grew louder Thursday night when the Nassau County Republican Committee in New York voted unanimously to call on Santos to resign immediately. “He has no place in the Nassau County Republican Committee, nor should he serve in public service, nor as an elected official,” the county party stated.
The House Ethics Committee came out with a scathing report on George Santos and his misuse of campaign funds. The MAGA GOP is not sending its best, and it’s high time he was removed from office. @TaraSetmayer and @TheRickWilson give their thoughts on Santos’s embarrassing saga pic.twitter.com/3BWuNCTwvY
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) November 17, 2023
The blistering Ethics Committee findings and abandonment from his own party indicate Rep. Santos may be forced out unless he heeds the mounting calls to spare voters further embarrassment and resign. Lying about his background to voters and illegally diverting campaign funds for personal extravagance have breached the public trust beyond repair for many Republicans. Now Rep. Santos faces an ultimatum: resign or be shunned from the political party that took a chance on his false pretenses.