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Rep. George Santos facing House Ethics investigation of campaign, alleged misconduct

The embattled millennial GOP congressman is under bipartisan review just two months into his first term.

Rep. George Santos at President Joe Biden's State of the Union address in Washington, DC, on February 7, 2023. (Samuel Corum/Sipa USA/AP)

The House Ethics Committee of the 118th Congress has voted unanimously to investigate New York Republican Rep. George Santos, who has previously admitted to lying about various details of his life during his successful 2022 campaign.

Santos has also been under investigation by federal prosecutors since January, in addition to probes from his home district and state’s attorney’s offices. The House investigation was approved on February 28 and announced on Thursday.

Among other issues, the new investigative subcommittee concerning Santos will seek to learn whether the embattled 34-year-old “engaged in unlawful activity with respect to his 2022 congressional campaign.”

Their statement also mentioned possible improper House filings, conflict of interest concerns, and an allegation of sexual misconduct. The latter is the latest accusation to befall Santos, coming in February from a former aide in his barely two-month-old office.

“The Committee notes that the mere fact of establishing an Investigative Subcommittee does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred,” the committee added.

Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics Regarding Representative George Santos
Pursuant to Committee Rule 7, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics (Committee) determined to release the following statement: In accordance with House Rule XI, clause 3, and Committee Rules 10(a)(2) and 16(d), the Committee unanimously voted on February 28, 2023, to establish a…

The House Ethics Committee is the only standing committee of the house divided evenly between both the Republican and Democratic parties, comprised of ten members total.

One member, Republican Andrew Garbarino, represents Santos’ neighboring district but has not voiced support in the months following the December New York Times expose that brought national attention to Santos’ indiscretions.

While several Republicans have joined Democrats in censuring the millennial upstart—a self-proclaimed Afro-Latino Catholic who identifies as LGBTQ+ but ran on a hard-right platform—Garbarino noted in early January that he could not comment on Santos due to his being “on the Ethics investigation subcommittee.”

Among other concerns, Santos was shown in December to have confessed to check fraud while living in Brazil in his late teens; authorities overseas have said the case is yet to be resolved. He is also alleged to live outside of his congressional district, in a house he and his husband moved into after Santos reportedly left $17,000 in damages at a previous residence.

In late December, Santos denied being a “criminal” and said he merely exaggerated his resume. By late January, however, he had resigned from his committee assignments in the House.

On Thursday, following the announcement of the new committee investigating him, Santos’ office released a statement saying he is “fully cooperating” and would not offer further comment.

Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger and a seminarian with the Josephites.

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