going down

George Santos whines about “year from Hell” trying to “serve my country”

Beleaguered, scandal-hit Rep. George Santos is still determined to paint himself as a victim after the House Ethics Committee yesterday issued its bombshell report into his behavior.

His first response to the report was to clarify that he won’t be seeking re-election in 2024. Later yesterday evening, he issued a tweet about his “year from hell” and blasted the ethics committee over its findings.

“My year from Hell,” Santos began. “Running for office was never a dream or goal, but when the opportunity to do so came I felt the time to serve my country was now.

“Looking back today I know one thing, politics is indeed dirty, dirty from the very bottom up. Consultants, operatives, the opposition, the party and more… the one thing I never knew was that the process in Congress was dirty.

“I will continue to fight for what I believe in and I will never back down.

“What the ‘ethics committee’ did today was not part of due process, what they did was poison a the jury pool on my on going investigation with the DOJ. This was a dirty biased act and one that tramples all over my rights.”

He went on to invite the media to attend a press conference he’s planning on November 30th at 8am in DC, before wishing everyone a “Happy Thanksgiving.”

The allegations against Santos

Santos is facing 23 federal charges relating to wire fraud, money laundering, and using credit card donations for personal gain. He denies the charges.

His House colleagues referred him to the Ethics Committee earlier this year. Yesterday it issued a 56-page summary which many believe will prompt another attempt by lawmakers to get him ejected from Congress.

The committee’s findings include numerous expenses not filed with the Federal Election Commission. These included money spent on Botox, spa stays, and OnlyFans subscriptions. Several expenses were racked up in Las Vegas at a time when Santos told his staff he was on honeymoon. Another $6,000 went on Ferragamo products.

Santos reportedly told a strategy firm he wanted to place TV advertising. It obtained $50,000 from two donors toward this goal. However, the money then ended up in Santos’ personal account. Some of it then went on payments to his credit card and a shopping spree at Sephora.

Santos also over-inflated the size of loans he made to his campaign. In one instance, he reported $81,000 in loans to his first campaign cycle. The committee could find evidence only of $3,500. Santos then received $31,200 in loan “repayments” during that election cycle.

The committee said it sifted through 170,000 pages of documents in preparing its report. It also says Santos largely ignored requests to correct his financial filings and turned down an invitation to give an interview under oath to explain himself.

According to The Hill, Republican Rep. Michael Guest (Mississippi), chairman of the ethics panel, plans to file a resolution to expel Santos. Santos has avoided expulsion so far, but this was largely due to fellow lawmakers wanting to wait and see what was in the Ethics Committee report.

Reaction to Ethics Committee’s report

Online, sympathy for Santos was in short supply.

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