Rep. George Santos hit with House ethics complaint by Democrats


US Representative George Santos (R-NY) walks through the House Chamber as the House of Representatives continues voting for new speaker at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 5, 2023.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Two New York Democratic congressmen filed a House Ethics Committee complaint Tuesday against Rep. George Santos, the freshman New York Republican who recently was found to have lied about and embellished details on his resume.

Democratic Reps. Ritchie Torres and Dan Goldman, in a six-page letter, called on the panel to probe Santos for possibly violating the Ethics in Government Act “by failing to file timely, accurate and complete financial disclosure reports as required by law.”

The letter, which the lawmakers hand-delivered to Santos’ office on Capitol Hill, called the financial disclosure reports filed for his 2020 and 2022 campaigns “sparse and perplexing.”

“At a minimum, it is apparent that he did not file timely disclosure reports for his most recent
campaign,” Torres and Goldman wrote.

“Moreover, his own public statements have contradicted some information included in
the 2022 financial disclosure and confirmed that the 2022 financial disclosure failed to disclose
other required information,” the letter said.

The complaint to the Ethics panel, which is comprised of members of Congress, was filed a day after the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan watchdog group, filed a complaint against Santos with the Federal Election Commission for allegedly violating numerous campaign finance laws.

The letter Tuesday by the two Democratic lawmakers noted that media reports and Santos’ “own admissions” in recent weeks had shown that he “misled voters in his District about ethnicity, his religion, his education, and his employment and professional history, among other things.”

The Nassau County, Long Island, District Attorney’s Office is investigating Santos in connection with those false statements.

In a tweet about the complaint, Torres wrote, “Santos must be held accountable for defrauding both Congress and the public.”

¬†Goldman told reporters, “We hope that the House Ethics Committee will seriously investigate.”

A spokeswoman for Santos, who represents a district that covers parts of Queens and Long Island, N.Y., did not return a request for comment.

The Hill reported that in response to the complaint, Santos said, “They’re free to do whatever they want to do.”

“I have done nothing unethical,” Santos said, according to The Hill.

On Monday, after the Republican-controlled House passed new rules that will undercut the power of the Office of Congressional Ethics to conduct investigations of lawmakers, Santos told the media outlet Insider, “I think it’s fantastic.”

OCE, which is an independent, non-partisan entity established by the House, is distinct from the House Ethics Committee.

Citizens United and another advocacy group, American Bridge 21st Century, recently filed complaints against Santos with the Office of Congressional Ethics.


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