House Ethics Committee completes probe, will not recommend punishment for Rep. George Santos

Santos, a New York Republican, has pleaded not guilty to identity theft, wire fraud and lying to federal election officials

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Thursday, November 16, 2023
House Ethics Committee completes Santos probe, will not recommend punishment
Rep. George Santos has pleaded not guilty to a 23-count federal indictment on charges including identity theft and wire fraud.

WASHINGTON (WABC) -- This is a previous story. Updated information is available by clicking here.

The House Ethics Committee will not recommend any punishment for Rep. George Santos in its public report this week, Chairman Michael Guest, R-Mississippi, said Wednesday.

The committee completed its months-long probe against Santos and the report is expected to be released at any time.

Rep. Michael Guest, who oversees the investigation, says the panel will release its evidence and investigation for members to review and make their own conclusion about whether Santos should be removed from Congress.

"The investigative subcommittee decided that they were going to compile the report, they would release the report to the, to the members, into the public, and based upon that, then our members can take whatever action that they felt necessary," Guest said. 124723

In rare public comments about his committee's work, Guest said that recommending action against Santos, such as expulsion, would've required a "much longer process."

The panel has contacted at least 40 witnesses, reviewed 170,000 pages of documents and authorized more than three dozen subpoenas as part of its investigation into whether Santos "engaged in unlawful activity" in his 2022 House campaign.

Several New York Republican members who have led the charge to remove Santos from Congress said they plan to push for his expulsion once against when the House returns from Thanksgiving recess.

"The substance in the report will drive other members to get to yes," Rep. Nick LaLota, R-NY, told Rachel Scott. "My district is right next to Santos' district. My voters and I are quite aware of the fraud that he perpetuated. I don't need an ethics report to tell me what I already know."

"The report is going to affirm and confirm what we already know: George Santos is a fraud; he should not be a member of Congress," Rep. Marc Molinaro, R-NY, said. "Members are going to have to reflect on what that report says, and those who may not have shared that opinion, that same opinion, are going to have to come to their own conclusion."

Ahead of the report's release, Santos sounded defiant and told ABC News that he plans to stay in office.

"Like I said before, I'm staying in office for sure," he said. "I will take whatever comes my way the way it comes."

Santos has pleaded not guilty to a 23-count indictment including identity theft, wire fraud and lying to federal election officials.

Santos survived a Nov. 1 vote to expel him from the House, when the chamber failed to reach the 2/3 majority needed to remove a member from Congress.

On Tuesday, a former fundraiser for Santos pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud charge, admitting he impersonated a high-ranking congressional aide while raising campaign cash for the embattled New York Republican.


Some information from ABC News

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