A House Ethics Committee report released Thursday found “substantial evidence of potential violations of federal criminal law” by Rep. George Santos.
The bipartisan, six-member committee concluded in their report that Santos (R-NY) “cannot be trusted” and “warrants public condemnation, is beneath the dignity of the office, and has brought severe discredit upon the House,” the New York Post reported.
The report found that Santos allegedly moved funds from his campaign donations to his personal checking accounts. The funds were apparently used for purchases such as Botox, OnlyFans, luxury items at Hermès, and a vacation in the Hamptons, per Rolling Stone.
Soon after the report was released, Santos announced that he would not run for re-election in 2024, releasing a statement that he had been unfairly targeted.
“I am humbled yet again and reminded that I am human and I have flaws, but I will not stand by as I am stoned by those who have flaws themselves,” Santos posted on social media.
“I will continue on my mission to serve my constituents up until I am allowed. I will however NOT be seeking re-election for a second term in 2024 as my family deserves better than to be under the gun from the press all the time.”
The report concluded Santos “knowingly caused his campaign committee to file false or incomplete reports with the Federal Election Commission; used campaign funds for personal purposes; engaged in fraudulent conduct in connection with RedStone Strategies LLC; and engaged in knowing and willful violations of the Ethics in Government Act as it relates to his Financial Disclosure (FD) Statements filed with the House.”
RedStone Strategies is a Florida-based company where Santos served as “managing director.” Santos allegedly told a campaign staffer last year to wire $6,000 to RedStone “for ads that we were supposed to pay and I forgot,” according to the report. $6,000 was then wired to Santos’ checking account and used to pay off credit card balances. The account had a $136.93 balance prior to the transfer.
“In light of the ongoing criminal investigation into Representative Santos, and the ISC’s findings of additional uncharged and unlawful conduct by Representative Santos, the ISC recommended that the Committee immediately refer these allegations to the Department of Justice,” the report reads.
Santos is already facing a 23-count indictment on charges such as embezzlement and lying to Congress.
The Long Island congressman won his seat in the midterm elections last year. Later, it was revealed he misled the public on the campaign trail about his education, employment, and family history, per the Intelligencer.