House Democrats File Ethics Complaint Against Santos

January 10, 2023

Two House Democrats from New York filed a complaint Tuesday with the House Ethics Committee against Rep. George Santos (R-NY) over his financial disclosures.

Reps. Dan Goldman and Ritchie Torres requested that the committee investigate Santos’ alleged failure to file “timely, accurate, and complete financial disclosure reports as required by law.”

Goldman, who like Santos is a freshman Congress member, was Democrats’ lead counsel during former President Trump’s first impeachment hearings.

“George Santos, by his own admission, is an outright fraud. The House has an obligation to police itself and maintain the integrity of the institution,” Goldman tweeted, adding that the Ethics complaint is the “first step” to holding Santos accountable.

Santos already faces other legal battles. For instance, The Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint on Monday asking the Federal Election Commission to investigate Santos’ campaign reports and detailing potential violations of political money laws.

The CLC alleges that Santos’ campaign “deliberately” and “routinely falsified its disclosure of disbursements” by reporting “an astounding 40 disbursements between $199 and $200, including 37 disbursements of exactly $199.99,” which the group determined was “implausible.”

The CLC complaint also questioned where Santos got $705,000 he loaned his campaign last year, noting that when he ran for Congress in 2020, he reported only $55,000 in assets.

There have also been reports that Brazilian authorities intend to revive fraud charges against Santos related to a stolen checkbook in 2008. He was also charged with embezzlement in a Brazilian court in 2011. Police in Rio de Janeiro had suspended their investigation after being unable to find him for nearly a decade—until he surfaced amid the U.S. Congress.

In addition to House Democrats Goldman and Torres, Republican Rep. Nick LaLota, also of New York, said last month that Santos should be investigated by the House Ethics Committee and potentially by law enforcement.

Republican leaders have remained mostly quiet about Santos, given the allegations against him, although Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) told reporters on Tuesday that the matter is “being handled internally.” 

Scalise further suggested that GOP leaders ought to meet with Santos and talk with him.

“Obviously, there were concerns about what we had heard,” Scalise said.

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