Embattled Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) announced Thursday he would not seek reelection, following a bombshell report by the House Ethics Committee which determined the freshman representative misused campaign funds on trips to Atlantic City, Botox treatments, and purchases at OnlyFans.
The 55-page report accuses Santos of seeking “to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit.”
In a post on X, Santos accused the report of being biased and the committee of going “to extraordinary lengths to smear myself and my legal team about me not being forthcoming.”
“It is a disgusting politicized smear that shows the depths of how low our federal government has sunk,” he said. “Everyone who participated in this grave miscarriage of Justice should all be ashamed of themselves.”
Santos added that he “will continue on my mission to serve my constituents up until I am allowed” but has decided not to seek reelection “as my family deserves better than to be under the gun from the press all the time.”
The lawmaker has been embroiled in controversy after it was discovered he fabricated key details about his education and employment history and lied about a number of other things, including that he founded an animal charity and that he lost four employees in the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016.
Santos currently faces a 23-count federal indictment related to wire fraud, campaign fund misusage, and lying to Congress. He has pleaded not guilty.
The Ethics Committee “has unanimously voted to adopt the [Investigative Subcommittee’s] report, and with it, refer the substantial evidence of potential violations of federal criminal law to the Department of Justice for such further action as it deems appropriate,” reads a letter from the committee’s top leaders.
“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,” it added.
Politico reported that the subcommittee found that Santos put $1,500 on a campaign debit card for “Botox,” more than $2,000 on trips to Atlantic City, more than $3,000 on an Airbnb while vacationing in the Hamptons, $6,000 worth of luxury goods at Ferragamo stores, $800 at a casino, and more.
“After the $50,000 from RedStone was deposited into Representative Santos’ personal accounts, the funds were used to, among other things: pay down personal credit card bills and other debt; make a $4,127.80 purchase at Hermes; and for smaller purchases at OnlyFans; Sephora; and for meals and parking,” the subcommittee report states.
RedStone is a self-described independent expenditure group that supported Santos and said it raised more than $800,000, though the Federal Election Commission has no record of the group.
It appears Santos may have found himself in another lie, because in March, Santos denied having an OnlyFans account, stating he discovered what the pay-for-content platform was “about three weeks ago when it was brought up in a discussion in my office.”
He survived an expulsion effort earlier this month, but will likely face a renewed ouster push following the report. A number of lawmakers indicated they could vote in favor of expelling depending on the Ethics Committee’s findings.
House Ethics Chairman Michael Guest plans to file a motion tomorrow to expel Santos.