After months of swirling questions about his financial background, the House Ethics Committee has opened a formal investigation into embattled New York Congressman George Santos.
In a statement Thursday, March 2, the committee announced it was working to determine whether the freshman Republican lawmaker, whose 3rd District covers Nassau County and parts of Queens, had committed the following:
- 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
- Engaged in sexual misconduct towards an individual seeking employment in his congressional office
The investigative subcommittee will be chaired by Republican Ohio Rep. David Joyce, with Democrat Rep. Susan Wild, of Pennsylvania, serving as the ranking member. The other members on the panel are Republican Rep. John Rutherford, of Florida, and Democrat Rep. Glenn Ivey, of Maryland.
“The Committee notes that the mere fact of establishing an Investigative Subcommittee does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred,” the committee said in a statement.
Santos addressed the probe on his official House Twitter account, saying, “The House Committee on Ethics has opened an investigation, and Congressman George Santos is fully cooperating. There will be no further comment made at this time.”
Thursday’s announcement came nearly a month after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters that Santos would face an investigation by the Ethics Committee amid growing questions around his personal and campaign finances.
“Right now we’re not allowing (Santos) to be on committees from the standpoint of the questions that have arisen,” McCarthy said.
Santos has found himself embroiled in controversy since admitting that he lied about much of his background in the lead-up to the 2022 midterm elections, including where he previously worked and went to school.
A nonprofit group has also filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), accusing Santos of illegally using campaign funds for personal expenses and hiding the sources of his campaign donations.
He is also facing investigations by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
In February 2023, congressional aide Derek Myers filed a police report and complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics accusing Santos of sexually harassing him while the two worked alone in an office.
Myers also accused Santos’ office of violating House ethics rules after allegedly having him perform unpaid work before he was on the payroll.
“Since this, I have learned that such volunteer work within a congressional office without the correct procedures being followed is a violation of the house ethics..." he said.
A Siena College poll released Monday, Feb. 27, found that 66 percent of registered voters in New York think Santos should resign from Congress, up from 59 percent in January.
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