Washington — The House Ethics Committee released a long-awaited report on its investigation into embattled Rep. George Santos on Thursday, finding that there was “substantial evidence” the congressman violated federal law and engaged in a “complex web” of illegal activity involving his finances.
The committee said in a statement announcing the release of its findings that the investigative subcommittee tasked with examining allegations of misconduct by Santos “unanimously concluded that there was substantial evidence” that he 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 a Florida-based entity he controlled, and engaged in “knowing and willful” violations of federal ethics law related to financial disclosure statements filed with the House.
The full ethics panel unanimously voted to refer the evidence of Santos’ alleged violations to the Justice Department, it said.
“Representative Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit,” the subcommittee, comprising two Republicans and two Democrats, said in its report to the full House Ethics Committee.
Joseph Murray, a lawyer for Santos, denounced the committee’s report in a statement to CBS News.
“It was a disgusting hit piece that really shows how low our federal government has sunk to and how we the people desperately need an Article V constitutional Convention,” he said. “They should all be ashamed of themselves.”
Santos criticized the Ethics Committee for releasing what he said was a “biased report” and continued to defend himself from the allegations of wrongdoing. But the congressman announced he would not be seeking reelection in 2024, writing on the social media site X that his “family deserves better than to be under the gun from the press all the time.”
“The committee went to extraordinary lengths to smear myself and my legal team about me not being forthcoming (My legal bills suggest otherwise). It is a disgusting politicized smear that shows the depths of how low our federal government has sunk,” he wrote on X. “Everyone who participated in this grave miscarriage of justice should all be ashamed of themselves.”
The scathing report could give momentum to another effort to remove the New York Republican from Congress and possibly change the minds of those…