Update: U.S. House Rep. Michael Guest of Mississippi introduced a resolution to expel embattled New York Republican George Santos from Congress on Friday morning, his office confirmed. The measure likely will not be taken up until the House returns after the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Given the intense public scrutiny surrounding Representative Santos and the ongoing activity at the DOJ, including indictments, the Ethics Committee decided to finish its work without going through a lengthier process that provides for the Committee to make a recommendation of punishment to the House,” Guest, who chairs the House Ethics Committee, said in a statement Friday morning.
“The evidence uncovered in the Ethics Committee’s Investigative Subcommittee investigation is more than sufficient to warrant punishment and the most appropriate punishment, is expulsion. So, separate from the Committee process and my role as chairman, I have filed an expulsion resolution.”
Original story from Thursday, Nov. 16:
U.S. House Rep. Michael Guest, a Republican who represents Mississippi’s 3rd congressional district, will introduce a resolution Friday morning to expel George Santos, the embattled New York Republican congressman who faces an array of felony charges.
Guest’s chief of staff, Jordan Downs, confirmed the plans in response to a request for comment from the Mississippi Free Press. NBC News’ Kyle Griffin reported the news earlier Thursday afternoon.
The Mississippi congressman is the chairman of the U.S. House Ethics Committee, which earlier today announced that an investigation “concluded that there was substantial evidence that Representative George Santos: knowingly caused his campaign committee to file false or incomplete reports with the Federal Election Commission; used campaign funds for personal purposes; engaged in fraudulent conduct in connection with RedStone Strategies LLC; and engaged in knowing and willful violations of the Ethics in Government Act as it relates to his Financial Disclosure (FD) Statements filed with the House.”
“In light of the ongoing criminal investigation into Representative Santos, and the (investigative subcommittee)’s findings of additional uncharged and unlawful conduct by Representative Santos, the ISC recommended that the Committee immediately refer these allegations to the Department of Justice,” the report continues. “…. The Committee concurs with the ISC’s determination that Representative Santos’ conduct warrants public condemnation, is beneath the dignity of the office, and has brought severe discredit upon the House.”
A previous effort to expel Santos failed earlier this month, but that was before the committee’s report came out. The new report says that he used campaign funds to pay for botox treatments, purchases at Hermes and Sephora, and for “purchases at OnlyFans.” The congressman announced today that he would not seek reelection.
“If there was a single ounce of ETHICS in the ‘Ethics committee,’ they would not have released this biased report,” he said in a tweet today. “The Committee went to extraordinary lengths to smear myself and my legal team about me not being forthcoming. … It is a disgusting politicized smear that shows the depths of how low our federal government has sunk. Everyone who participated in this great miscarriage of justice should be ashamed of themselves.”
Federal charges against Santos include fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and making false statements.
“I am humbled yet again and reminded that I am human and I have flaws, but I will not stand by as I am stoned by those who have flaws themselves,” Santos wrote on Twitter today. “I will continue on my mission to serve my constituents up until I am allowed. I will however NOT be seeking re-election for a second term in 2024 as my family deserves better than to be under the gun from the press all the time. Public service life was never a goal or a dream, but I stepped up to the occasion when I felt my country needed it most. I will 100% continue to maintain my commitment to my conservative values in my remaining time in Congress.”
Downs said Guest will be releasing a statement on his plans to move forward on Santos’ expulsion soon.