Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., is facing a resolution to expel him from the House just a day after the House Ethics Committee found substantial evidence of fraudulent behavior and referred Santos to the DOJ for possible additional federal charges. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 17 (UPI) -- House Ethics Committee Chair Michael Guest Friday filed an expulsion resolution against Rep. George Santos.
The effort to expel Santos, R-N.Y., came on the heels of a blistering Ethics Committee report that referred evidence of new criminal charges against Santos to the Department of Justice. Santos already faces 23 federal criminal charges.
"The evidence uncovered in the Ethics Committee's Investigative Subcommittee investigation is more than sufficient to warrant punishment and the most appropriate punishment, is expulsion," Guest, R-Miss., said in a statement. "So, separate from the Committee process and my role as Chairman, I have filed an expulsion resolution."
Guest said he's offering the expulsion resolution because it's a quicker way of ousting Santos from the House than having the committee make a recommendation of punishment to the House.
Guest will be able to call the expulsion resolution to the House floor after the Thanksgiving break in the third attempt to expel Santos from the House.
The new evidence against Santos from the committee's investigation found that he embezzled money from his campaign for personal use and deceived donors.
Two previous attempts to expel Santos, by Democrats and also by five New York House Republicans, failed when Republicans voted to keep Santos in the House.
But now in the wake of the Ethics Committee finding and new DOJ referral support is growing to expel Santos, with former no votes like Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., now saying they will vote yes.
The Ethics Committee found that Santos knowingly broke the law and at nearly every opportunity he put "his desire for private gain above his duty to uphold the Constitution, federal law and ethical principles."
Among Santos' alleged crimes, according to the committee's investigation subcommittee, was his claim that he loaned his campaign $800,000 and his political action committees $27,000.
"The ISC determined that there is substantial evidence that most of the reported personal loans were not actually made or properly disclosed to the FEC," the ISC report said. "Representative Santos was also improperly repaid for loans that were not made."
According to the report Santos illegally spent his campaign donors' money on botox treatments, other cosmetic procedures and spa services, personal travel and lodging, and the adult-content site Onlyfans among other things.
The committee's investigation report said Santos often boasted of significant wealth and claimed to have access to a family "trust."
"In contrast, Representative Santos was frequently in debt, had an abysmal credit score, and relied on an ever-growing wallet of high-interest credit cards to fund his luxury spending habits," the ISC report said. "He occasionally deposited large amounts of cash that he has never accounted for, moved money between his various bank accounts in a highly suspicious manner, and made over $240,000 cash withdrawals for unknown purposes."