George Santos to face new expulsion vote after ethics report alleges fraud

George Santos
Santos has admitted lying about his background but denies fraud

George Santos will face a new expulsion vote after the head of the House ethics committee introduced a motion to kick him out of Congress.

The House is expected to vote after Thanksgiving, the second time it will weigh expelling him in roughly a month.

An ethics report released on Thursday said Mr Santos exploited "every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit."

He also allegedly spent campaign funds on luxury goods and vacations.

"Given his egregious violations, Representative George Santos is not fit to serve as a Member of the United States House of Representatives," said the ethics committee chairman, Michael Guest, a Republican, in introducing the latest expulsion measure.

Mr Santos, who has been in the House less than a year, survived a vote on his expulsion in early November, but he could meet a different fate this time around.

Some of the lawmakers who voted against expelling him had said they wanted to read the report coming out of the months-long ethics investigation into his campaign before they decided whether to kick him out.

The report from the committee, which is split evenly between Republicans and Democrats, was scathing in its assessment of Mr Santos, listing voluminous details about alleged frauds.

On social media, Mr Santos called it "biased" and announced he would not run for re-election.

The New York Republican had portrayed himself as a self-made wealthy financier and property owner.

The report stated: "That background was largely fictional."

He not only invented jobs at top banks, but bragged about a property portfolio and luxury cars.

"At no point does Representative Santos appear to have owned a Maserati, despite telling campaign staff otherwise," the report stated.

And investigators noted: "Representative Santos' lies go far beyond inaccuracies on a resume."

He is also accused of creating fictional loans to his campaign and then collecting $29,200 in repayments.

One of his companies was hired by his campaign and subsequently paid Mr Santos at least $200,000. The funds, investigators said, were used to pay credit card debt, "make a $4,127.80 purchase at Hermes; and for smaller purchases at Only Fans; Sephora; and for meals and for parking."

Mr Santos also allegedly spent campaign money on rent, Botox treatments, luxury fashion purchases, trips to Atlantic City and Las Vegas and holidays in the Hamptons.

The committee found he recorded 37 expenses of exactly $199.99 - one cent below a threshold set by law that requires campaigns to keep receipts.

Investigators said Mr Santos was "frequently in debt, had an abysmal credit score, and relied on an ever-growing wallet of high-interest credit cards to fund his luxury spending habits".

If he had been truthful, they said, his constituents may have questioned his professional background of whether he was "good" with money at all.

His "penchant for telling lies was so concerning that he was encouraged to seek treatment" by campaign staffers.

An internal campaign research document uncovered many of the falsehoods about his background, and staffers encouraged him to drop out of the race. Three quit the campaign when he refused, the report said.

The committee made clear it believed Mr Santos should be punished. It said it would not conduct its own formal procedure to expel him because it feared he would find ways to delay the process and because it could risk disrupting a criminal case against him.

The committee also referred possible crimes it uncovered to the Department of Justice for investigation.

He has already been indicted on charges including conspiracy, wire fraud, false statements, falsification of records, identity theft and credit card fraud. He pleaded not guilty.

Mr Santos has often sought to pin blame on his ex-campaign treasurer Nancy Marks. She pleaded guilty last month to fraud and outlined a scheme to make the campaign seem well-funded in order to attract donors and support of the Republican National Committee.

But the ethics committee said Mr Santos "was a knowing and active participant in the misconduct". The committee also criticised Mr Santos for failing to fully co-operate with their investigation, which he denied.