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George Santos refuses to quit ahead of vote to expel him: Live

Scandal-plagued New York Republican Rep George Santos has refused to resign from his post, despite a looming vote which may result in his expulsion from the House.

Democratic Reps Robert Garcia and Dan Goldman have filed a privileged resolution to expel him and the House will have to handle it within two legislative days.

Mr Garcia said it was “an important insurance policy to ensure that the vote happens and that we get rid of him this week,” according to Punchbowl News.

Republicans are unlikely to back the Democratic resolution to oust Mr Santos, with the filing by the Democrats putting pressure on House Ethics chair GOP Rep Michael Guest to make a push on his own measure to remove the 35-year-old.

The exposed lawmaker has previously said he is expecting to be expelled, but on Tuesday reiterated on the House floor that he would not be voluntarily resigning.

All this comes after a 56-page report from the House Ethics Committee released earlier this month outlined “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos violated federal law.

Key Points

  • GOP possibly hoping for Santos to resign to avoid having to expel him

  • VIDEO: ‘This is the third time we’re going through this. I don’t care’

  • Santos speaks out as expel motion filed: ‘God bless their hearts'

  • House GOP unlikely to back Democratic effort to oust Santos

  • Botox, OnlyFans and a stay in the Hamptons: Key revelations from George Santos ethics report

26 December 2022: Santos spills the beans

02:00 , John Bowden

After days of crying foul and denouncing reporters as political hatchet-men through his attorney, George Santos finally came clean. Turns out, those journalists weren’t lying or launching “attacks” — Mr Santos really did lie about working at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, he really did lie about being Jewish, and he really did lie about attending college.

But those lies, he said, were mere attempts to “embellish” his resume — a practice he faulted Americans of all political shades for supposedly engaging in.

And he remained adamant about serving two years in Congress, despite the criticism.

VIDEO: ‘Bless their hearts’: George Santos reacts to House’s third attempt to expel him

01:30 , Gustaf Kilander

22 December 2022: The New York Attorney General’s office announces a probe

01:00 , John Bowden

Letitia James’s office joined the fray just one day after The Forward’s investigation was published, with prosecutors clearly feeling the pressure to examine whether any of Mr Santos’s actions had risen from the level of mere dishonesty to criminal fraud or worse.

No official charges have been filed against Mr Santos, and it remains unclear what criminal charges he could actually face.

21 December 2022: The Forward dives in

00:00 , John Bowden

Just two days after the Times published its investigation, Jewish-American news agency The Forward went public with its own findings.

At the top of the list was a lie that Mr Santos had apparently told just a month earlier: That he is Jewish. That ended up being a lie he had told on multiple occasions, in multiple forms. It even expanded, in some instances, to claiming that his maternal grandparents had fled from the Holocaust.

Such things are easily verifiable, and a review of several genealogy websites by The Forward revealed that Mr Santos’s maternal grandparents were born in Brazil.

While far from the only fiction he told to get elected, this may prove to be the most damaging (if not surely the most offensive) of the congressman’s fictions. It has already led to his blacklisting from future Republican Jewish Coalition events, as well as condemnations from across the political spectrum.

19 December 2022: The New York Times jumps on the story

Tuesday 28 November 2023 23:00 , John Bowden

In an expansive investigation, the Times summarises its findings in a headline: George Santos’s background is “largely fiction”.

The first revelation of Mr Santos’s lies came in the form of an avalanche. In this one story, he was accused of lying about working for two different companies, attending a college, and even potentially about managing a “family firm” and controlling millions in assets.

Mr Santos couldn’t (or wouldn’t) answer for most of the revealed falsehoods, which led other reporters at competing outlets to smell blood in the water.

8 November 2022: George Santos wins his second bid for Congress

Tuesday 28 November 2023 22:00 , John Bowden

Following a defeat in 2020, George Santos finally saw success in his bid to join the House of Representatives in 2022, following more than a year of campaigning. New reports indicate that he was fundraising at Mar-a-Lago and in other GOP circles as early as mid-2021 with the help of operatives for Rep Elise Stefanik, chair of the House GOP conference.

He was swept to victory easily, with Democrats in the state spending little to oppose him.

GOP possibly hoping for Santos to resign to avoid having to expel him

Tuesday 28 November 2023 21:54 , Gustaf Kilander

VIDEO: ‘This is the third time we’re going through this. I don’t care’

Tuesday 28 November 2023 21:39 , Gustaf Kilander

6 September 2022: The North Shore Leader begins probing Santos’s finances

Tuesday 28 November 2023 21:15 , John Bowden

Just two months before he would go on to be elected as a member of Congress, George Santos was the subject of a story in a small Long Island-area newspaper called The North Shore Leader. With no suggestion of how it occurred, the Leader pointed out that Mr Santos’s financial disclosure forms had indicated a shocking surge of wealth in just two years’ time.

“Controversial US congressional candidate George Santos has finally filed his Personal Financial Disclosure Report on September 6th - 20 months late - and he is claiming an inexplicable rise in his alleged net worth to $11 million,” wrote the paper’s reporter, Maureen Daly.

“Two years ago, in 2020, Santos’ personal financial disclosures claimed that he had no assets over $5,000 - no bank accounts, no stock accounts, no real property. A net worth barely above “zero”, Daly reported.

It was an important story, but drew little notice either from other journalists or local Democratic Party officials.

VIDEO: Rep. Robert Garcia introduces resolution to expel George Santos from Congress

Tuesday 28 November 2023 20:59 , Benji Salmon

Santos speaks out as expel motion filed: ‘God bless their hearts'

Tuesday 28 November 2023 20:50 , Gustaf Kilander

Mr Santos was caught by reporters in the halls of Congress on Tuesday, saying “Look, you all want a sound bite... If they want to send me home, if they think this was a fair process, if they think this is how it should be done and if they’re confident that this is a constitutional way of doing it God bless their hearts”.

From a resume of lies to an OnlyFans scandal: George Santos’s many, many controversies

Tuesday 28 November 2023 20:30 , John Bowden

Facing a mountain of scandals and lies, George Santos announced on 16 November that he would not seek re-election.

His decision came in the wake of a damning report by the House Ethics Committee, which found that the embattled New York Republican engaged in “uncharged and unlawful conduct.”

Mr Santos has in fact been charged, too. In May, he was arrested and charged with 13 federal criminal counts, including wire fraud, money laundering, and theft of public funds. A superseding indictment was later handed down in October, increasing the federal charges against Mr Santos to 23.

In addition to the myriad of legal troubles, Mr Santos has also been accused of lying about his personal history. He has claimed that he played as a star volleyball player at Baruch College, worked at Goldman Sachs, has ancestors who fled the Holocaust, and that his mother died during 9/11; none of these claims have been substantiated.

Dogged by surely one of the oddest scandals to hit American politics in the last few years, Mr Santos has been facing calls for his expulsion and resignation even before he was seated as representative for New York’s 3rd Congressional District.

Let’s take a look back at how Mr Santos’ scandal-plagued political career evolved, from the beginning to now.

Botox, OnlyFans and a stay in the Hamptons: Key revelations from George Santos ethics report

Tuesday 28 November 2023 19:45 , John Bowden

The long-awaited House Ethics Committee investigation into embattled New York Rep George Santos is here, and boy is it a doozy.

A lengthy report from the committee published on Thursday stated that there was credible evidence to indicate that the Republican misused campaign funds for a wide range of personal expenses, committed fraud, and misled the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

It was a damning end to a months-long investigation which had, until now, been Mr Santos’s golden ticket to survive the repeated efforts by his fellow lawmakers — including Republicans from his own state — to kick him out of Congress. Now, his days in Congress are presumably numbered as it is overwhelmingly likely that the House will vote to expel him in the coming days.

Lawmakers tried as much only a few weeks ago, with Mr Santos being saved once again by colleagues who did not wish to set a precedent of prejudging a member under investigation by the Ethics Committee. The New York congressman was already facing numerous felony charges in New York under indictment from the Justice Department.

He will not run for re-election, according to a lengthy tirade posted to Twitter moments after the Ethics Committee report was released. Even that statement is a total reversal of a declaration he made to CNN’s Manu Raju less than a month ago in an interview.

In that same statement Thursday, he called for Americans to call a Constitutional Convention to radically reform Congress. This is unlikely to occur, and particularly so if it is championed by a congressman who has now admitted to fabricating nearly the entirety of his background and is known to have lied about everything from being descended from Holocaust survivors to seeing his mother die on 9/11.

Let’s dive into the Ethics Committee’s final report, which was referred to the Justice Department, and see what Mr Santos now stands accused of doing.

House GOP unlikely to back Democratic effort to oust Santos

Tuesday 28 November 2023 19:43 , Gustaf Kilander

Republicans are unlikely to back the Democratic resolution to oust Mr Santos, with the filing by Reps Robert Garcia and Dan Goldman putting pressure on House Ethics chair GOP Rep Michael Guest to make a push on his own measure to remove the 35-year-old.

While Mr Guest has introduced a measure to remove Mr Santos, he didn’t do so using a procedure that forces a quick vote, but he has told Politico that he’s set to do just that.

VIDEO: California Democrat introduces resolution to expel Santos

Tuesday 28 November 2023 19:38 , Gustaf Kilander

Former Ethics panel chair says she’ll vote to expel

Tuesday 28 November 2023 19:32 , Gustaf Kilander

"On November 1, 2023, I voted against the House Resolution to expel Rep. George Santos and stated that, 'once either the court or official [Ethics] Committee processes conclude, I am prepared, based on known facts, to vote to expel the Congressman.' That time has arrived.

"In modern times, it is House precedent that Representatives are only expelled after conviction of a felony. In the matter involving Rep. Santos, the Ethics Committee has now found and documented conduct that is as serious as that of Members who on prior occasions have been expelled following felony convictions.

"Precedents of the House are important guidelines to ensure proper, consistent actions. But every precedent had a first time, and precedents should not prevent the House from acting when prudence dictates the creation of a new precedent or a variation from precedent.

"In the matter of Rep. Santos, rigid adherence to the requirement of a felony conviction prior to expulsion would, in essence, delegate the responsibilities of the legislative branch to the executive and judicial branches. Here, detailed evidence assembled by a unanimous Ethics Committee, which appropriately afforded the Member due process, indicates that Rep. Santos' conduct is equivalent to that which formed the basis for prior expulsions. The House should accept its responsibilities under Article I, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution without deferring to the other branches of government.

"Damning, conclusive, and unanimous Ethics Committee investigations are rare. Felony convictions of Members of the House are rare. Expulsions are rare. Most Members who were convicted of felonies resigned, sparing the House from a vote to expel. To date, Rep. Santos has declined to resign his seat, even though he has had ample time to do so.

"As a former chair of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (now named the Ethics Committee), I am confident that a vote to expel Rep. Santos is not only warranted, but also squarely fits within the House's obligations under Article I, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution.

"I will vote to expel Rep. George Santos."

Rep Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), former Ethics Committee chair

Motion filed to expel Santos

Tuesday 28 November 2023 19:26 , Gustaf Kilander

California Democrat Robert Garcia has filed a privileged resolution to expel Mr Santos from Congress.

The House will have to handle it within two legislative days.

“This is also an important insurance policy to ensure that the vote happens and that we get rid of him this week,” he said, according to Punchbowl News.

Arizona senator asks Siri to find last House member

Tuesday 28 November 2023 19:16 , Gustaf Kilander and Eric Garcia

Arizona Democratic Senator Mark Kelly, a former astronaut, was spotted at the Capitol on Tuesday asking Siri who the last member of the House to be expelled was.

“I’m just curious,” he told The Independent.

The last member to be expelled was Ohio Democrat Jim Traficant in 2002.

He served nine terms in the House between January 1985 and July 2002 when he was booted from the lower chamber following his conviction on racketeering, bribery, and fraud. He was only the second lawmaker to be expelled from the House since the Civil War.

His September 2014 obituary in The Washington Post referred to him as “one of the most deliberately outrageous members of Congress in history”.

“Glib and voluble, he was known for wearing cowboy boots, skinny ties and out-of-date polyester suits and for a bouffant mound of hair that seemed to defy gravity,” Matt Schudel wrote at the time.

The Los Angeles Times referred to it as a “Planet of the Apes sort of hair helmet,” while Washingtonian magazine wrote that it was “a creature from Lake Erie before it was cleaned up”.

Before joining Congress, he served as the sheriff of Mahoning Country. He was put on trial in 1983 after prosecutors acquired a tape that included him saying he had accepted more than $100,000 in bribes from organised crime. But despite his complete lack of legal training, Traficant represented himself and managed to argue that he had collected the bribes as part of a sting operation and he was acquitted.

He became known for his brief, rambling speeches on the House floor, often ending with a Star Trek reference: “Beam me up, Mr Speaker.”

In 1997, he said: “Let us tell it like it is. When you hold this economy to your nosey, this economy does not smell so rosy. If there is any consolation to the American workers, I never heard of anyone committing suicide by jumping out of a basement window.”

The following year, he said: “Russia gets $15bn in foreign aid from Uncle Sam. In exchange, Uncle Sam gets nuclear missiles pointed at our cities, two tape decks and three cases of vodka. Beam me up.”

In 2002, Mr Traficant faced a 10-count felony indictment for racketeering, bribery and fraud, with federal prosecutors alleging that he required a number of his aides to pay him kickbacks each month of as much as $2,500 just to work for him. Yet other staff were required to bale hay on his Ohio farm or repair his Washington DC houseboat. He also faced allegations that he filed false tax returns and pushed businesses in his district to provide goods and services at no charge.

He once again acted as his own attorney, but this time he was convicted on all counts.

On 24 July 2002, he was removed from the House after a vote of 420 to one.

After making a comment about what he called the “political prostitutes” in Congress, he said: “I want to apologize to all the hookers of America for associating them with the United States Congress.”

READ MORE:

Bribes, treason and hay bales: The chaotic history of expulsions from Congress

Bribes, treason and hay bales: The chaotic history of expulsions from Congress

Tuesday 28 November 2023 19:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Scandal-plagued New York Rep George Santos looks set to join an exclusive group of people as he has acknowledged that he’s likely to be expelled from Congress.

“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor,” Mr Santos, 35, said last week in a broadcast on the X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter.

In the X Space event hosted by Monica Matthews, a rightwing personality, Mr Santos said, “I have done the math over and over and it doesn’t look really good”. But he claimed that he would wear his expulsion “like a badge of honour”.

The latest blow of many to Mr Santos’s short yet tumultuous political career came in the form of a 56-page report from the House Ethics Committee released earlier this month which outlined “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos violated federal law.

The report included allegations that Mr Santos used campaign money to pay for his personal expenses, such as Botox, and luxury purchases at Hermes and Ferragamo, as well as smaller sums spent on OnlyFans, food, parking, travel and rent.

The House can consider the motion to expel Mr Santos put forward by ethics panel chair GOP Rep Michael Guest as soon as Tuesday when lawmakers return from Thanksgiving break but when the vote may be taken up on the floor remains unclear.

Mr Santos would be the first member of the House to be removed in modern times without first having been convicted of a crime.

Only five representatives have ever been expelled from the House in the course of US history.

The incredible rise and dramatic fall of George Santos

Tuesday 28 November 2023 18:15 , Bevan Hurley

Congressman George Santos’ tenure has been anything but dull — his rise to power and fall from grace have been equally mired in controversy.

After less than two years in Congress, his list of lies and scandals appears to have finally grown too long for him to defend anymore, as he announced he wouldn’t seek re-election in 2024 after the release of a damning House Ethics Committee report.

The committee said it found “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos had broken federal laws after finding “additional uncharged and unlawful conduct,” which included using campaign funds to make purchases at Hermes, Sephora and OnlyFans.

In 2022, Mr Santos was elected as the Republican Party’s first openly gay, non-incumbent member of Congress, and touted himself as a living embodiment of the American dream.

But he has since been exposed as a serial fabricator, and now an accused criminal.

Here’s what we know about the rise and demise of George Anthony Devolder Santos.

VIDEO: Santos’ last stand

Tuesday 28 November 2023 17:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Speaker undecided on how to handle measure to expel Santos

Tuesday 28 November 2023 17:12 , Gustaf Kilander

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer has said that Speaker Mike Johnson is yet to decide how to handle the measure to expel Mr Santos, according to CNN.

Mr Emmer said the leadership won’t whip the vote. Meanwhile, many undecided Republicans have stayed quiet on how they’ll vote while they await guidance from GOP leaders.

House likely to handle expulsion resolution within two days

Tuesday 28 November 2023 17:03 , Gustaf Kilander

California Democrat Robert Garcia is set to head to the House floor at 2pm to hand in a resolution to expel Mr Santos and make it “privileged” – meaning that the chamber must deal with it within two legislative days.

15-foot inflatable George Santos put up near Capitol

Tuesday 28 November 2023 16:29 , Gustaf Kilander

Credit card scams and unpaid rent

Tuesday 28 November 2023 16:00 , John Bowden

Revelations about Mr Santos’ alleged grifts and schemes continued to emerge.

In February, it was reported that New York City housing court records showed that Tiffany Lee Devolder Santos owed $39,050 in back rent to the landlord.

Mr Santos had reportedly failed to pay rent in the Queens apartment he shared with his sister before being elected to Congress in a state of disrepair.

The next month, a Brazilian man — Gustavo Ribeiro Trelha — who was deported from the US after being convicted of credit card skimming fraud reportedly told federal authorities that Mr Santos was the mastermind of the scheme.

Trelha claimed Mr Santos had taught him how to skim card information and clone cards in Seattle in 2017.

Trelha claimed Mr Santos visited him in jail in Seattle after his arrest and threatened him not to reveal his part in the scheme to authorities.

Responding to the allegations at the time, Mr Santos told reporters that he was “innocent”.

In January, Mr Santos also claimed to have been the victim of a mugging and assassination attempt in New York.

George Santos mocked by Jimmy Kimmel for saying expulsion will be ‘badge of honour’

Tuesday 28 November 2023 15:00 , Amelia Neath

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel roasted George Santos for saying he would wear his expulsion from Congress like a “badge of honour.”

Mr Kimmel has been recently mourning the fact that one of the favourite subjects on his show, Mr Santos, may no longer deliver any cringeworthy moments to monologue about after he potentially leaves Congress, so he’s getting them in while he can.

The 35-year-old Republican is due to face a vote of expulsion from Congress after damning evidence was revealed by a House Ethics Report on bizarre violations of federal law that he made.

Despite the public embarrassment that came with the revelations he used donor money to buy Botox treatments and an OnlyFans subscription and the possible end to his short political career, Mr Santos was steadfast in his proclamation that if he was removed from Congress, he would “wear it like a badge of honour.”

“… right next to his medal of freedom and his Purple Heart [medal],” Mr Kimmel quipped on his show on Monday.

READ MORE

Santos’ lies revealed post-election

Tuesday 28 November 2023 14:00 , John Bowden

A bombshell New York Times report on 19 December revealed to a broader audience for the first time many of Mr Santos’ fabrications and lies about his employment and education history.

A flood of further embellishments soon followed, including the 9/11 -related death of his mother, claims he had been a producer on the failed Broadway production of Spider-Man, how he had cheated associates out of clothes and cash, and had stolen $3,000 that had been raised to save a disabled veteran’s pet dog.

A pressure group formed by citizens in his 3rd Congressional District began holding protests outside his campaign office to try to force his expulsion from Congress.

As Mr Santos’ pile of scandals grew, he threw himself behind Kevin McCarthy’s campaign for Speaker of the House.

Mr McCarthy welcomed the support given his razor-thin majority, and refused to take action on any of the mounting ethical scandals, even as a growing number of New York Republicans called for him to be removed from Congress.

At the State of the Union in February, Mr Santos had an altercation with Mitt Romney after the Utah Senator told him he didn’t belong in Congress and “should be embarrassed.”

“Tell that to the 142,000 who voted for me”, Mr Santos reportedly replied.

Following the speech, Mr Romney called the New York Republican a “sick puppy.”

In March, the House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into whether Mr Santos had “engaged in unlawful activity”.

‘He’s most likely just a fabulist’

Tuesday 28 November 2023 12:00 , Bevan Hurley

Soon after his 2020 election defeat, Mr Santos began raising money for the next congressional race.

New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who is now the third-ranking Republican in the House, endorsed him in 2021.

Later that year, a vulnerability study commissioned with Mr Santos’ approval found alarming revelations, and many of his staffers resigned, according to the Times.

Among other things, it found he had falsely claimed to have been endorsed by Mr Trump, along with many of the lies about his job history and personal wealth that have since been revealed.

Congressional leaders learned of his deceptions by 2022. According to the Times, Dan Conston, the leader of the Kevin McCarthy-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund, tried to circulate the report’s findings to prominent donors.

Two pieces of luck helped paved the way for his election to Congress in 2022: Thomas Suozzi, the 3rd District’s incumbent lawmaker, announced he would not seek re-election and redistricting amounted in a new congressional district map gerrymandered to add a swathe of Republican areas.

Mr Santos again ran unopposed for the Republican nomination, and faced Democrat Robert Zimmerman in the general election, the first House race between two openly gay candidates.

Still, Mr Santos went on to take the district that November by eight points.

Early political career

Tuesday 28 November 2023 10:00 , Bevan Hurley

Mr Santos’ murky and ever-changing biography makes it difficult to parse fact from fiction during his early forays into politics.

In 2018, he began volunteering for the campaign of Republican Vickie Paladino, who was running for state Senate. He reportedly boasted of his ties to Wall Street donors who could contribute but did little actual work.

The next year, he reportedly made his first attempt to get elected to Congress but failed to secure enough signatures to get on the Queens County Republican Committee.

That month he launched his campaign for the United States House of Representatives in New York’s 3rd Congressional District in 2020 against Democratic incumbent Thomas Suozzi.

No other candidates put their names forward. When pressed by reporters why he lived out of the district, he claimed to reside at an address that turned out to be his treasurer’s.

He lost the general election by about 46,000 votes, but still exceeded Republican expectations for the strongly Democratic district. He refused to concede the election.

Mr Santos spoke at the Stop the Steal rally at the Ellipse in Washington DC on the day of the Capitol riots on January 6, claiming his election had been stolen. A roommate would later claim that Mr Santos had worn his stolen $520 Burberry scarf to the rally.

In 2020, while running for Congress, he began working at Florida investment firm Harbor City Capital, which was later accused in a civil lawsuit by the Security and Exchange Commission of running a $17m Ponzi scheme.

He has publicly denied any involvement in the alleged fraud.

An alleged drag queen in Brazil

Tuesday 28 November 2023 08:00 , Bevan Hurley

While living in Brazil, Mr Santos also reportedly performed as a drag queen named Kitara Ravache as a young man.

In January, Brazilian drag artist Eula Rochard posted photos to social media herself with a person wearing a red dress, bright red lipstick and dangling chandelier earrings who she identified as Mr Santos.

Journalist Joâo Fragah also said he had interviewed Mr Santos in costume.

A Politico investigation later found that a user on Wikipedia named Anthony Devolder claimed to have participated in drag shows in Brazil as a teenager.

Mr Santos issued a furious denial of the claims on social media, at a time when his Republican Party was vilifying and seeking to ban drag queens from performing in some states.

He called allegations that he “‘performed’ as a drag Queen is categorically false.” However, the next day, Mr Santos appeared to admit that he had participated in drag. “I was young and I had fun at a festival. Sue me for having a life,” he said.

He moved back to New York in 2011, working as a bilingual customer services representative at a call centre for Dish Network, a satellite TV firm, in Queens, where he would have earned about $15 an hour.

Mr Santos exhaled a stream of lies over a series of interviews: he alleged to have graduated from NYU business school, played as a star volleyball player at Baruch College, and attended the elite private school Horace Mann in New York, but failed to graduate due to financial difficulties, and worked at Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. These claims have either been disproven or not substantiated.

In February, the non-profit Reclaim the Records obtained court records showing he married a Brazilian woman in 2012. His former wife, who has not been identified, filed for divorce in 2019.

He has since said he is married to a Brazilian man, whom he identified by the first name of Matt. He reportedly told Brazilian publication Piaui in November 2020 that his husband’s name is Matheus Gerard.

False FEC reports

Tuesday 28 November 2023 06:00 , John Bowden

No campaign-related fraud is complete without lying to the Federal Election Commission, and Mr Santos is accused of doing that too. This remains an issue being played out publicly in New York court, where two of his former campaign staffers have now pleaded guilty to finance-related crimes in connection with his campaign. One pretended to be a staffer for Kevin McCarthy. Another, his treasurer, is accused of filing false reports to the FEC detailing the congressman’s fictitious loans and other questionable spending. She has testified in court filings that Mr Santos knew about her activities; he has denied this.

But the House investigation makes it clear that Mr Santos’s own campaign staff described their finances as a “black box” controlled and viewed only by Mr Santos and the treasurer, Nancy Marks. Despite his public statements to the contrary, the subcommittee report described him as “highly involved in his campaign’s financial operations”, and also faulted him for ignoring warnings from his own campaign staff about Ms Marks and financial irregularities within the campaign’s spending reports.

“Even if Representative Santoswas not aware of all of the other errors in his campaign reports relating to other receipts and disbursements, he had his own concerns and was repeatedly advised by multiple members of his team about concerns regarding Ms. Marks, but he failed to take meaningful action,” the report found.

Misuse of campaign funds

Tuesday 28 November 2023 04:00 , John Bowden

This is perhaps the widest variety of crimes Mr Santos is alleged to have committed — though not by much.

The congressman “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,” according to the investigative subcommittee. He used campaign funds to pay off those credit card debts in part, according to the Ethics Committee, while also making direct deposits from campaign accounts into his personal bank account.

He supposedly used these funds — transferred to his private accounts through various means — to make purchases at luxury brands including Hermes, on OnlyFans and for expensive meals.

Fraud, fraud and more fraud

Tuesday 28 November 2023 02:00 , John Bowden

At the very top of the list is a staggering stretch of dishonest financial behaviour. The congressman is, in short, accused of lying about loaning his own money to his 2022 congressional campaign, then “paying himself back” for those fake loans with real money.

Those fake loans topped $500,000 — no small amount. But that’s not the only fraud Mr Santos is accused of engaging in; he is accused of deceiving donors into giving money to RedStone LLC, ostensibly to support his campaign; in reality, that money was also used, according to the Ethics Committee, as a kind of slush fund for Mr Santos’s personal use.

He and his campaign are also accused of obtaining donors’ credit card numbers and stealing their identities.

Three House Democrats and 14 senators expelled in 1861 for backing Confederacy

Tuesday 28 November 2023 01:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Three House Democrats, Henry Cornelius Burnett, John William Reid, and John Bullock Clark, were all expelled alongside 14 Democratic senators for backing the Confederacy following the breakout of the US Civil War in 1861.

Since the Civil War, no senator has been expelled.

Only one expulsion occurred before 1861 – Senator William Blount, a founding father who signed the US Constitution and a member of what was then the Democratic-Republican party. He was ousted in 1797 for treason and conspiracy after he was accused of inciting a rebellion among the Muscogee Creek and Cherokee Native American tribes to help the British take over what was then the Spanish territory of West Florida.

His land speculations had landed him in significant financial difficulty.

“In an apparent effort to extricate himself, Blount concocted a scheme for Indians and frontiersmen to attack Spanish Florida and Louisiana, in order to transfer those territories to Great Britain,” the senate website states. “Unfortunately for the senator, a letter, in which Blount thinly disguised his desire to arouse the Creek and Cherokee Indians to aid his plan, fell into the hands of Federalist president John Adams.”

Botox, OnlyFans and a stay in the Hamptons: Key revelations from George Santos ethics report

Tuesday 28 November 2023 00:00 , John Bowden

The long-awaited House Ethics Committee investigation into embattled New York Rep George Santos is here, and boy is it a doozy.

A lengthy report from the committee published on Thursday stated that there was credible evidence to indicate that the Republican misused campaign funds for a wide range of personal expenses, committed fraud, and misled the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

It was a damning end to a months-long investigation which had, until now, been Mr Santos’s golden ticket to survive the repeated efforts by his fellow lawmakers — including Republicans from his own state — to kick him out of Congress. Now, his days in Congress are presumably numbered as it is overwhelmingly likely that the House will vote to expel him in the coming days.

Lawmakers tried as much only a few weeks ago, with Mr Santos being saved once again by colleagues who did not wish to set a precedent of prejudging a member under investigation by the Ethics Committee. The New York congressman was already facing numerous felony charges in New York under indictment from the Justice Department.

He will not run for re-election, according to a lengthy tirade posted to Twitter moments after the Ethics Committee report was released. Even that statement is a total reversal of a declaration he made to CNN’s Manu Raju less than a month ago in an interview.

In that same statement Thursday, he called for Americans to call a Constitutional Convention to radically reform Congress. This is unlikely to occur, and particularly so if it is championed by a congressman who has now admitted to fabricating nearly the entirety of his background and is known to have lied about everything from being descended from Holocaust survivors to seeing his mother die on 9/11.

Let’s dive into the Ethics Committee’s final report, which was referred to the Justice Department, and see what Mr Santos now stands accused of doing.

House expulsions: Michael Myers

Monday 27 November 2023 23:00 , Gustaf Kilander

The Pennsylvania Democrat was expelled in 1980 after he was convicted of bribery. More recently, he was sent back to jail for 30 months after admitting to committing election fraud.

Myers was one of several officials to be caught up in the Abscam sting conducted by the FBI in 1980, which led to the end of his four years in Congress, according to WHYY.

At the time, Mr Myers was offered a bribe by FBI agents posing as aides for an Arab sheikh. Before accepting $50,000, he said: “Money talks in this business and bull**** walks.”

He was sentenced to three years in prison and expelled from the House by a vote of 376 to 30.

Last year, he admitted to paying a judge of elections in two polling places to add votes between 2014 and 2018.

“What the judge of elections for the 39/36 would do during the scheme was – while the polling place was otherwise not busy – step into the machine and just add to the vote totals for specific candidates that were favoured and supported by Myers,” Assistant US Attorney Eric Gibson said at the time, WHYY reported. “On Myers’ instructions, he would just flip the switch, add the vote tallies or extra votes to the candidates on the little machine. So then when the machine spits out the results at the end of the evening, it would have those fraudulent votes recorded within the tally.”

At another polling place, Mr Gibson said, “They voted for individuals who they knew would not appear. But then they signed those individuals’ names into the records, into the paper records. So, for example, if Eric Gibson did not appear on Election Day, nonetheless, somebody would sign the sign-in sheet with my name and then somebody would sign the polling book with my name so that the tallies coming out of the machine matched the number of voters”.

In 1979, he punched and kicked a security guard and a 19-year-old woman working at a motel in the suburbs of Washington, DC after they told him to turn down the music at a party he was hosting there.

“I’m a congressman, we don’t have to be quiet,” he shouted, according to the Register-Guard.

A ‘first generation American’

Monday 27 November 2023 22:00 , Bevan Hurley

Given his prodigious propensity for telling fibs, basic details of Mr Santos’ personal history, such as his real name, marital status, and precisely where he was born merit a healthy dose of skepticism.

According to his congressional website, Mr Santos is a “first generation American” born in Jackson Heights, Queens, in July 1988. His parents were both Brazilian immigrants – Fátima Devolder, who worked as a housekeeper, and Gercino Antônio dos Santos Jr, a house painter. He has a younger sister, Tiffany Lee Devolder Santos.

Former co-workers who worked with Mr Santos at Dish Network in College Point in 2011 and 2012 told Patch that he used to tell them he was born in Brazil. Then, he was known as Anthony Devolder or George Devolder.

His true birthplace is significant because the Constitution requires members of Congress to have been US citizens for seven years before election. Mr Santos has claimed in interviews that he is a dual citizen of Brazil and the United States.

Tiffany Bogosian told the Washington Post that even at a young age, Mr Santos would fabricate parts of his biography. She put this down to his impoverished background, and said he had still been learning English while at junior high and was bullied during his time there.

From 2008 to 2011, Mr Santos lived in Brazil where his mother was living at the time.

In 2008, Mr Santos was accused by Brazilian authorities of using a stolen checkbook and fake name at a clothing shop outside Rio de Janeiro. Citing court documents, the New York Times reported that Mr Santos told police in 2010 that he and his mother had stolen a checkbook from a man that she used to work for, and used it to make $1,300 in illegal purchases of clothes and shoes.

In March, Mr Santos admitted the crime and agreed to pay the victim back as part of a non-prosecution agreement, CNN reported.

On the campaign trail, Mr Santos repeatedly claimed that he is of Jewish descent and that his grandparents were European Jews who fled Hitler.

Jewish cultural groups and online sleuths later unearthed records showing his grandparents were born in Brazil.

Mr Santos later clarified to the New York Post that he had said he was “Jew-ish”.

Speaker says he spoke to Santos ‘about his options'

Monday 27 November 2023 21:11 , Gustaf Kilander

House Speaker Mike Johnson was asked on Monday if there would be a vote on the fate of Mr Santos this week.

“It remains to be seen. I’ve spoken to Congressman Santos at some length over the holiday and talked to him about his options, but … it’s not yet determined,” he said.

House expulsions: James Traficant

Monday 27 November 2023 21:00 , Gustaf Kilander

The Ohio Democrat served nine terms in the House between January 1985 and July 2002 when he was booted from the lower chamber following his conviction on racketeering, bribery, and fraud. He was only the second lawmaker to be expelled from the House since the Civil War.

His September 2014 obituary in The Washington Post referred to him as “one of the most deliberately outrageous members of Congress in history”.

“Glib and voluble, he was known for wearing cowboy boots, skinny ties and out-of-date polyester suits and for a bouffant mound of hair that seemed to defy gravity,” Matt Schudel wrote at the time.

The Los Angeles Times referred to it as a “Planet of the Apes sort of hair helmet,” while Washingtonian magazine wrote that it was “a creature from Lake Erie before it was cleaned up”.

Before joining Congress, he served as the sheriff of Mahoning Country. He was put on trial in 1983 after prosecutors acquired a tape that included him saying he had accepted more than $100,000 in bribes from organised crime. But despite his complete lack of legal training, Traficant represented himself and managed to argue that he had collected the bribes as part of a sting operation and he was acquitted.

He became known for his brief, rambling speeches on the House floor, often ending with a Star Trek reference: “Beam me up, Mr Speaker.”

In 1997, he said: “Let us tell it like it is. When you hold this economy to your nosey, this economy does not smell so rosy. If there is any consolation to the American workers, I never heard of anyone committing suicide by jumping out of a basement window.”

The following year, he said: “Russia gets $15bn in foreign aid from Uncle Sam. In exchange, Uncle Sam gets nuclear missiles pointed at our cities, two tape decks and three cases of vodka. Beam me up.”

In 2002, Mr Traficant faced a 10-count felony indictment for racketeering, bribery and fraud, with federal prosecutors alleging that he required a number of his aides to pay him kickbacks each month of as much as $2,500 just to work for him. Yet other staff were required to bale hay on his Ohio farm or repair his Washington DC houseboat. He also faced allegations that he filed false tax returns and pushed businesses in his district to provide goods and services at no charge.

He once again acted as his own attorney, but this time he was convicted on all counts.

On 24 July 2002, he was removed from the House after a vote of 420 to one.

After making a comment about what he called the “political prostitutes” in Congress, he said: “I want to apologize to all the hookers of America for associating them with the United States Congress.”

When is the George Santos expulsion vote expected?

Monday 27 November 2023 20:30 , Ariana Baio

The House of Representatives is expected to meet this week to vote on whether lawmakers should expel the embattled New York Rep George Santos from Congress.

The vote will come nearly two weeks after the House Ethics Committee published a damning report containing “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos allegedly broke various federal laws.

The committee alleged that Mr Santos “knowingly” had his campaign committee file false and incomplete reports to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), used campaign funds for personal expenses, committed violations of the Ethics in Government Act and engaged in fraudulent conduct with a company he co-owned.

Following the report, Representative Michael Guest, the chairman of the Ethics Committee, filed a motion to expel Mr Santos from Congress.

Mr Santos, who was elected to New York’s 3rd Congressional District in 2022, said he is anticipating to be expelled.

“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor,” Mr Santos said during a live Spaces event on X.

The vote could happen as soon as Tuesday, 28 November, when members of the House return from their Thanksgiving holiday break.

In order to expel Mr Santos, the House needs two-thirds of its members to vote in favour of Mr Guest’s motion.

Earlier this month, a similar motion to expel Mr Santos brought by New York Republicans, failed on a 179 to 213 vote. However, this was before the House Ethics Committee report was released.

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The incredible rise and dramatic fall of George Santos

Monday 27 November 2023 20:00 , Bevan Hurley

Congressman George Santos’ tenure has been anything but dull — his rise to power and fall from grace have been equally mired in controversy.

After less than two years in Congress, his list of lies and scandals appears to have finally grown too long for him to defend anymore, as he announced he wouldn’t seek re-election in 2024 after the release of a damning House Ethics Committee report.

The committee said it found “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos had broken federal laws after finding “additional uncharged and unlawful conduct,” which included using campaign funds to make purchases at Hermes, Sephora and OnlyFans.

In 2022, Mr Santos was elected as the Republican Party’s first openly gay, non-incumbent member of Congress, and touted himself as a living embodiment of the American dream.

But he has since been exposed as a serial fabricator, and now an accused criminal.

Here’s what we know about the rise and demise of George Anthony Devolder Santos.

Bribes, treason and hay bales: The scattered history of expulsions from Congress

Monday 27 November 2023 19:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Scandal-plagued New York Rep George Santos looks set to join an exclusive group of people as he has acknowledged that he’s likely to be expelled from Congress.

“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor,” Mr Santos, 35, said last week in a broadcast on the X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter.

In the X Space event hosted by Monica Matthews, a rightwing personality, Mr Santos said, “I have done the math over and over and it doesn’t look really good”. But he claimed that he would wear his expulsion “like a badge of honour”.

The latest blow of many to Mr Santos’s short yet tumultuous political career came in the form of a 56-page report from the House Ethics Committee released earlier this month which outlined “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos violated federal law.

The report included allegations that Mr Santos used campaign money to pay for his personal expenses, such as Botox, and luxury purchases at Hermes and Ferragamo, as well as smaller sums spent on OnlyFans, food, parking, travel and rent.

The House can consider the motion to expel Mr Santos put forward by ethics panel chair GOP Rep Michael Guest as soon as Tuesday when lawmakers return from Thanksgiving break but when the vote may be taken up on the floor remains unclear.

Mr Santos would be the first member of the House to be removed in modern times without first having been convicted of a crime.

Only five representatives have ever been expelled from the House in the course of US history.

Late-night shows eviscerate George Santos after damning ethics revelations

Monday 27 November 2023 18:00 , Amelia Neath

Late-night show hosts seized the moment to give George Santos a huge roasting after a damming ethics report that revealed he spent campaign money on Botox and OnlyFans.

Mr Santos, who believes the report was a “dirty biased act and one that tramples all over my rights,” now faces a fresh motion to expel him from the House after his indictment of 23 federal charges in October as well as the new report.

Following the release of the document, the GOP New York representative announced in a series of tirades on X that he would not run for re-election in 2024. In the report, the House Ethics Committee accused the politician of lying about loaning personal money to his 2022 congressional campaign, then “paying himself back” for those fake loans with actual money.

He is also alleged to have spent donor money on personal indulgences such as Botox, Hermes merchandise, trips and an OnlyFans subscription.

Something that caught guest The Daily Show host Leslie Jones’ eye was the report noting Mr Santos’ “lavish” trips to Atlantic City. “Have you been to Atlantic City?” she inquired. “A ‘lavish’ trip there just means you don’t go home with bed bugs.”

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SNL stars can’t stop laughing in brutal George Santos skit

Monday 27 November 2023 16:00 , Martha McHardy

George Santos was roasted on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update after a House Ethics Committee report found he had spent tens of thousands of campaign dollars on Botox and OnlyFans.

In the scathing report, released on Thursday, Mr Santos was accused of lying about loaning personal money to his 2022 congressional campaign, then “paying himself back” for the fake loans with campaign funds.

He also used donor money to splash out on personal indulgences such as Botox, Hermes merchandise, vacations to the Hamptons and Las Vegas, and on OnlyFans.

The congressman, who was indicted on 23 federal charges in October, has claimed the report is a “dirty biased act and one that tramples all over my rights”. He is now facing a fresh motion to expel him from the House.

On Saturday’s SNL, comedian Bowen Yang appeared on the show as the congressman as he was asked about the scandal by Weekend Update co-host Colin Jost.

“George, this is serious. They’re calling for your expulsion,” Mr Jost said.

“Well then, girl, ‘expul’ me!” Mr Yang’s Mr Santos replied.

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VOICES: The House has no more options but to expel George Santos

Monday 27 November 2023 14:10 , Eric Garcia

It might finally be over for Rep George Santos (R-NY) and, moreover, the House Republican conference might finally be out of excuses to keep him in the House.

On Friday, Rep Michael Guest (R-MS), the chairman of the House Ethics Committee, filed a resolution to expel the embattled and disgraced freshman Republican. This came a day after the committee released its damning report detailing Mr Santos’s misdeeds. (My colleague John Bowden wrote a list of the most outrageous parts of the probe.)

While many of the headlines noted how Mr Santos used campaign cash to pay for expensive meals, shopping trips to Sephora, Botox purchases and Only Fans sessions, fraud lies at the heart of the probe, specifically the fact he lied to the Federal Election Commission, with one of his staffers pretending to be a staffer for now-deposed speaker Kevin McCarthy. Similarly, he also lied about loans he made to his own campaign to qualify for assistance from the national Republican Party campaign apparatus.

As a result, Mr Guest’s resolution could easily be said to be speaking for the entirety of the committee.

It might easy to dismiss this effort by Mr Guest given that he is a conservative Republican from Mississippi who voted to overturn the 2020 election. Similarly, some may roll their eyes considering the House has already had two failed attempts to expel Mr Santos. But those efforts differ wildly from the current expulsion push.

The first time came when Reps Dan Goldman and Ritchie Torres, both New York Democrats, led a motion in May that the House majority immediately referred to the Ethics Committee.

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‘I’m not running for re-election because I don’t want to work with a bunch of hypocrites'

Monday 27 November 2023 14:08 , Mike Bedigan

Despite his explosive criticism of the report, Mr Santos acknowledged that he may soon be exiting the House, having already said that he won’t seek re-election in 2024. “I’m not running for re-election, not because this was a damning report,” he said.

“I’m not running for re-election because I don’t want to work with a bunch of hypocrites.

“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor.”

The House Ethics Committee began its investigation in March 2023, after allegations of campaign finance misconduct and that Mr Santos lied about biographical details surfaced.

Last week’s report found that the 35-year-old had violated ethics guidelines, the rules of the House and criminal laws, and that he had been aware that he was crossing the line.

Mr Santos was indicted on 13 federal charges in May 2023, and in October, a superseding indictment brought another 10 criminal counts against him, bringing the total to 23.

Santos has survived previous attempts to expel him

Monday 27 November 2023 14:06 , Mike Bedigan

Mr Santos has survived two expulsion attempts already, but some members of the GOP have indicated that they will vote differently, following the publishing of the report.

In an interview on X Spaces on Thursday, Mr Santos declared that “due process is dead” and described the report as “flawed”, before launching a searing attack on the document which he said was “an affront against my rights”.

“The amount of hyperbole in this document is daunting. Every single person I’ve had discussions about it with – I have spoken to prominent Democrats who were troubled by the work of this committee,” he said.

“It was designed to smear me, it was designed to force me out of my seat. That is what the intention of this report was. This report wasn’t a finding of facts.”

He continued: “I will stand for expulsion. I want to see them set this precedent because this precedent sets a new era of due process, which means you are guilty until proven innocent.

“We will take your accusations and use it to smear, to mangle, to destroy you and remove you from society. That is what they are doing with this.

“This report is an affront against my rights and it should worry each and every single one of you guys.”

George Santos says he expects to be expelled from Congress

Monday 27 November 2023 13:55 , Mike Bedigan

George Santos says he expects to be expelled from the House of Representatives, in the wake of a scathing report from an ethics committee accusing him of campaign finance violations.

The New York congressman said he felt like the “it girl” when he was first elected in 2022 – as the first openly gay Republican – and that everybody wanted him, “until nobody wanted me.”

Last week the long-awaited House Ethics Committee investigation into the embattled congressman was published.

It stated that there was credible evidence to indicate that the Republican misused campaign funds for a wide range of personal expenses, committed fraud, and misled the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

House Ethics panel chairman GOP Rep Michael Guest of Mississippi filed a motion for Mr Santos’ expulsion a day later. The chamber can take up the motion on 28 November upon lawmakers’ return from Thanksgiving recess.

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