Embattled GOP congressman George Santos (NY) will not be seeking re-election next year after a damning report from the House Ethics Committee concluded there is “substantial evidence” that he “violated federal criminal laws.”
The report says Santos “blatantly stole from his campaign. He deceived donors into providing what they thought were contributions to his campaign but were in fact payments for his personal benefit. He reported fictitious loans to his political committees to induce donors and party committees to make further contributions to his campaign—and then diverted more campaign money to himself as purported ‘repayments’ of those fictitious loans.”
The Ethics Committee did not recommend any punishment, instead they referred Santos to the Department of Justice.
In a statement on Twitter, Santos called the report a “disgusting politicized smear”.
Santos has no plans to resign but said he will not be seeking re-election to protect his family.
“I will remain steadfast in fighting for my rights and for defending my name in the face of adversity. 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. “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.”
Santos faces multiple federal charges related to lies he told while running for office. The charges include wire fraud, credit card fraud, aggravated identity theft and falsifying records. He has pleaded not guilty.