New York Democrats Goldman, Torres file complaint with House Ethics Committee about George Santos

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, January 10, 2023
2 New York Democrats file ethics complaint about George Santos
Two fellow New York Representatives filed an official complaint with the House Ethics Committee calling for an investigation into George Santos. Chantee Lans has more.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York Democratic Reps. Daniel Goldman and Ritchie Torres filed an official complaint with the House Committee on Ethics Tuesday calling for an investigation into Republican Rep. George Santos.

Goldman and Torres allege Santos violated the Ethics in Government Act by failing to file timely, accurate, and complete financial disclosure reports as required by law.

The pair hand-delivered a copy of the complaint to Santos who told the lawmakers to give it to one of his staffers.

"This investigation calls on the house to police its own because if we are to have credibility, if we are to have integrity, and if this body is to gain the trust of the American people, then we need to ensure that its members are following the ethics rules of this body that we all are required to uphold," Goldman told reporters outside of Santos' office.

Santos already faces a spiral of investigations from federal and local prosecutors into his campaign spending and lies about his family history, resume and education.

"George Santos is a pathological liar who defrauded the public and he should be held accountable for the fraud he has perpetrated," Torres said.

Goldman said an investigation on Santos was imperative because Republican leadership has stayed silent on allegations against the embattled lawmaker.

"We haven't seen a single movement on the part of Republican leadership. They have not commented on this publicly. They have not condemned George Santos and all of his lies. They have adopted him as one of their own," Goldman said.

"Even though the Republicans promised to drain the swamp, we see the House Republican Conference refilling the swamp with a fraudulent George Santos, eviscerating the Office of Congressional Ethics at a time when George Santos has entered Congress with an ethical cloud hanging over him," Rep. Torres continued.

The GOP House Majority Leader Steve Scalise spoke out for the first time about Santos.

"This is something that's being handled internally," he said. "Obviously there's are concerns about what we had heard so we're going to have to sit down and talk to him about it."

Tuesday morning Santos told reporters, "They're free to do whatever they want to do," and "I have done nothing unethical."

The lawmakers splashed cold water on that claim.

"If that's true, then the investigation will exonerate you," Torres said.

"Let's also consider the source. George Santos has lied about just about everything that we know about. He has zero credibility at this point," Goldman continued. "I don't think anyone on either side of the aisle will believe anything that George Santos has to say but the documents will speak for themselves."

Torres said while the House Ethics Committee could impose a range of possible disciplinary actions from a fine to an expulsion, the best outcome for them is "accountability," adding Santos is also being investigated on multiple fronts for potentially criminal behavior.

"Even more than just his lying is his possible lawbreaking. The million-dollar question is where did all the money come (from)?" Torres asked.

"He claims to have earned millions of dollars from clients yet none of those fines were disclosed on his congressional disclosure, as required by federal law, so he likely falsified his congressional disclosure with material omissions, and that's the basis for the ethics investigation."

On Monday, a federal watchdog urged the Federal Election Commission to investigate Santos alleging he violated federal campaign finance laws by concealing the true sources of campaign donations, misrepresenting campaign spending and illegally using campaign funds for personal expenses.

The House Ethics Committee is non-partisan and if found guilty, Santos could face disciplinary actions ranging from a fine to expulsion.


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