House Ethics Committee leaders said Tuesday they plan to announce their “next course of action” in their investigation into legally embattled Rep. George Santos (R-NY) by November 17.
The committee launched an investigation into alleged misconduct by Santos back in March.
A special legislative subcommittee has been looking into “whether Representative George Santos may have: engaged in unlawful activity with respect to his 2022 congressional campaign; failed to properly disclose required information on statements filed with the House; violated federal conflict of interest laws in connection with his role in a firm providing fiduciary services; and/or engaged in sexual misconduct towards an individual seeking employment in his congressional office.”
Meanwhile, Santos is facing a September 9, 2024 trial date for 23 separate felony counts, including wire fraud, identity theft, credit card theft, money laundering and falsely reporting to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) that he had loaned his campaign $500,000; in fact, he hadn’t given anything while maintaining less than $8,000 in the bank.
Santos has pleaded not guilty to all counts.
The announcement from the House Ethics Committee came just days after a group of Santos’ fellow House Republicans from New York, led by Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, moved to force a vote on a resolution to expel Santos from Congress next week.
D’Esposito introduced a privileged measure last week focusing on Santos’ fabrications on the campaign trail in 2022 as well as the federal charges he’s facing.
On Wednesday, D’Esposito and four other New York Republican House members—Reps. Nick LaLota, Marcus Molinaro, Brandon Williams and Mike Lawler—pressed their case, writing a letter to the House GOP conference to vote to expel Santos, stating, “This issue is not a political one but a moral one….This is a question of right and wrong.”
They rebutted fellow Republicans’ assertions that expelling Santos would further narrow their already razor-thin majority, insisting the expulsion would instead set a “positive” precedent.
“Indeed, we should let the American people know if a candidate for Congress lies about everything about himself to get their votes,” the letter argues, “and then that false identity becomes known by his admission or otherwise, that House Members will expel the fraudster and give voters a timely opportunity to have proper representation”
However, the Ethics Committee announcement could reportedly be used as an excuse to delay an expulsion vote while giving the vulnerable New York Republicans cover from having to go on the record about Santos.
Under the Constitution, expulsion requires a two-thirds vote in favor, meaning nearly 80 Republicans would need to vote with all Democrats to expel Santos.
In a social media post, Santos has said he’s “not resigning” and is “entitled to due process and not a predetermined outcome as some are seeking.”
Santos filed for reelection in 2024 on March 14.