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George Santos calls expulsion vote ‘not cool’ as Johnson waffles on timing: Live

George Santos calls expulsion vote ‘not cool’ as Johnson waffles on timing: Live

Scandal-plagued New York Republican Rep George Santos has refused to resign from his post, despite a looming vote to expel him from the House.

Mr Santos said on an X spaces broadcast that if the vote takes place on Thursday, it would coincide with his second wedding anniversary, saying that it would be “kind of not cool”.

On Wednesday afternoon, Speaker Mike Johnson told Axios, “I think it will be Friday,” but the timing of the vote remains unclear.

Democratic Reps Robert Garcia and Dan Goldman filed a privileged resolution to expel him on Tuesday and the House will have to handle it within two legislative days.

Mr Garcia said it was “an important insurance policy to ensure that the vote happens and that we get rid of him this week,” according to Punchbowl News.

Republicans are unlikely to back the Democratic resolution to oust Mr Santos, with the filing by the Democrats putting pressure on House Ethics chair GOP Rep Michael Guest to make a push on his own measure to remove the 35-year-old.

All this comes after a 56-page report from the House Ethics Committee released earlier this month outlined “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos violated federal law.

Key Points

  • PHOTOS: Santos leaves Capitol as expulsion vote nears

  • Botox, OnlyFans and a stay in the Hamptons: Key revelations from George Santos ethics report

  • Bush White House press secretary argues against ouster of Santos

  • ‘George Santos represents the clear downfall of the Republican Party'

  • Three House Democrats and 14 senators expelled in 1861 for backing Confederacy

Santos asked if he bought outfit using campaign money

13:41 , Gustaf Kilander

Mr Santos was asked by a reporter if he was wearing anything bought using campaign funds, such as his shoes.

The 35-year-old pushed back, saying the shoes were six years old.

Santos refuses to resign as vote to expel nears

13:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Scandal-plagued New York Republican Rep George Santos appeared outside the Capitol bright and early for a press conference as the vote to expel him nears.

He yet again refused to resign from his post, telling the assembled press on Thursday morning, “If I leave, they win”.

“I will be filing a slew of complaints today and tomorrow,” he said, according to Punchbowl, adding that he would move to file a motion to expel New York Democratic Rep Jamaal Bowman after he pleaded guilty to pulling the fire alarm during the House vote in September. The Ethics Committee chose not to try to expel Mr Bowman.

Asked about Speaker Mike Johnson by The Messenger, he said, “The man’s a gentleman. He’s an exemplary member of this body”.

The 35-year-old appeared to have accepted that he would be expelled on Friday. “If this is it, this is it,” he said

All this comes after a 56-page report from the House Ethics Committee released earlier this month outlined “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos violated federal law.

Watch live: Republican Congressman George Santos speaks out as he faces expulsion vote

13:17 , Holly Patrick

Watch live as George Santos holds a press conference on Thursday, 30 November, ahead of an expected vote to expel him from the House.

The embattled New York Republican said that he will not be resigning led during a live broadcast on X Spaces.

The House Ethics Committee argued in a 56-page report that Mr Santos “knowingly” used his campaign committee to file false and incomplete reports to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), that he used campaign donations for personal expenses, that he violated the Ethics in Government Act, and that he committed fraud using a company he co-owned.

The report included allegations that Mr Santos used campaign money to pay for Botox, luxury purchases at Hermes and Ferragamo, as well as smaller sums spent on OnlyFans, food, parking, travel and rent.

Watch live: George Santos speaks out as he faces expulsion vote

‘If I leave, they win'

13:16 , Gustaf Kilander

LIVE: Congressman George Santos speaks to media ahead of expulsion vote

13:15 , Natalie Chinn

Santos says he will file motion to expel Jamaal Bowman

13:10 , Eric Garcia

George Santos says he will file a motion to expel Jamaal Bowman after he pleaded guilty for pulling the fire alarm during the House vote in September. This comes as the Ethics Committee chose not to expel Bowman. This comes as Santos faces expulsion.

‘Bless their hearts’: George Santos reacts to House’s third attempt to expel him

13:00 , Rhys Jones

New York Representative George Santos gave an assertive response to Congress’ threat of expulsion, stating that “he doesn’t care.”

A motion was put forward on Tuesday 28 November by Democratic Rep. Robert Garcia of California to expel Santos after a report from the House Ethics Committee accused him of campaign finance violations.

“Look, you all want a soundbite. This is the third time we’re going through this. I don’t care,” Santos told reporters.

Santos also insisted he isn’t whipping votes to keep himself in Congress.

From launching re-election bid to arrest and dropping out

12:00 , John Bowden

17 April: Reelection bid

Despite his escalating scandals, Mr Santos launched his reelection bid.

In his campaign announcement, he made no mention of the investigations or his ballooning falsehoods.

“We need a fighter who knows the district and can serve the people fearlessly,” he said.

9 May 2023: Criminal charges

Things took a major turn on 9 May, when Mr Santos was hit with 13 federal charges from the Justice Department.

The embattled congressman was charged with seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.

10 May 2023: Arrest

The day after the indictment was filed, Mr Santos was arrested after surrendering to authorities at a federal court on Long Island.

The indictment was unsealed, revealing that federal prosecutors accuse Mr Santos of lying on financial disclosure forms he filed to the House when he became a candidate.

10 October 2023: Superseding Indictment

The Justice Department handed down a 23-count superseding indictment months later, adding the charges of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, wire fraud, aking materially false statements to the FEC, falsifying records submitted to obstruct the FEC, aggravated identity theft, and access device fraud.

The new charges revealed that Mr Santos allegedly stole his donors’ credit cards. In the case of one donor alone, Mr Santos is accused of trying to charge at least $44,800 to this contributor’s credit card without authorisation.

16 November 2023: Drops re-election bid

The House Ethics Committee released a report on the New York congressman, saying it had uncovered “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos broke federal laws.

The committee found that Mr Santos “knowingly” caused his campaign to file false FEC reports, used campaign funds for personal purposes, including OnlyFans, among other findings.

After the report’s release, Mr Santos announced he would not seek re-election in 2024. In a lengthy X post, he called the report a “disgusting politicized smear.”

From a resume of lies to an OnlyFans scandal: George Santos’s many, many controversies

11:00 , John Bowden

Facing a mountain of scandals and lies, George Santos announced on 16 November that he would not seek re-election.

His decision came in the wake of a damning report by the House Ethics Committee, which found that the embattled New York Republican engaged in “uncharged and unlawful conduct.”

Mr Santos has in fact been charged, too. In May, he was arrested and charged with 13 federal criminal counts, including wire fraud, money laundering, and theft of public funds. A superseding indictment was later handed down in October, increasing the federal charges against Mr Santos to 23.

In addition to the myriad of legal troubles, Mr Santos has also been accused of lying about his personal history. He has claimed that he played as a star volleyball player at Baruch College, worked at Goldman Sachs, has ancestors who fled the Holocaust, and that his mother died during 9/11; none of these claims have been substantiated.

Dogged by surely one of the oddest scandals to hit American politics in the last few years, Mr Santos has been facing calls for his expulsion and resignation even before he was seated as representative for New York’s 3rd Congressional District.

Let’s take a look back at how Mr Santos’ scandal-plagued political career evolved, from the beginning to now.

Bribes, treason and hay bales: The chaotic history of expulsions from Congress

10:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Scandal-plagued New York Rep George Santos looks set to join an exclusive group of people as he has acknowledged that he’s likely to be expelled from Congress.

“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor,” Mr Santos, 35, said last week in a broadcast on the X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter.

In the X Space event hosted by Monica Matthews, a rightwing personality, Mr Santos said, “I have done the math over and over and it doesn’t look really good”. But he claimed that he would wear his expulsion “like a badge of honour”.

The latest blow of many to Mr Santos’s short yet tumultuous political career came in the form of a 56-page report from the House Ethics Committee released earlier this month which outlined “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos violated federal law.

The report included allegations that Mr Santos used campaign money to pay for his personal expenses, such as Botox, and luxury purchases at Hermes and Ferragamo, as well as smaller sums spent on OnlyFans, food, parking, travel and rent.

The House can consider the motion to expel Mr Santos put forward by ethics panel chair GOP Rep Michael Guest as soon as Tuesday when lawmakers return from Thanksgiving break but when the vote may be taken up on the floor remains unclear.

Mr Santos would be the first member of the House to be removed in modern times without first having been convicted of a crime.

Only five representatives have ever been expelled from the House in the course of US history.

Former Ethics panel chair says she’ll vote to expel

09:00 , Gustaf Kilander

“On November 1, 2023, I voted against the House Resolution to expel Rep. George Santos and stated that, ‘once either the court or official [Ethics] Committee processes conclude, I am prepared, based on known facts, to vote to expel the Congressman.’ That time has arrived.

“In modern times, it is House precedent that Representatives are only expelled after conviction of a felony. In the matter involving Rep. Santos, the Ethics Committee has now found and documented conduct that is as serious as that of Members who on prior occasions have been expelled following felony convictions.

“Precedents of the House are important guidelines to ensure proper, consistent actions. But every precedent had a first time, and precedents should not prevent the House from acting when prudence dictates the creation of a new precedent or a variation from precedent.

“In the matter of Rep. Santos, rigid adherence to the requirement of a felony conviction prior to expulsion would, in essence, delegate the responsibilities of the legislative branch to the executive and judicial branches. Here, detailed evidence assembled by a unanimous Ethics Committee, which appropriately afforded the Member due process, indicates that Rep. Santos’ conduct is equivalent to that which formed the basis for prior expulsions. The House should accept its responsibilities under Article I, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution without deferring to the other branches of government.

“Damning, conclusive, and unanimous Ethics Committee investigations are rare. Felony convictions of Members of the House are rare. Expulsions are rare. Most Members who were convicted of felonies resigned, sparing the House from a vote to expel. To date, Rep. Santos has declined to resign his seat, even though he has had ample time to do so.

“As a former chair of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (now named the Ethics Committee), I am confident that a vote to expel Rep. Santos is not only warranted, but also squarely fits within the House’s obligations under Article I, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution.

“I will vote to expel Rep. George Santos.”

Rep Zoe Lofgren

Arizona senator asks Siri to find last House member

08:00 , Gustaf Kilander and Eric Garcia

Arizona Democratic Senator Mark Kelly, a former astronaut, was spotted at the Capitol on Tuesday asking Siri who the last member of the House to be expelled was.

“I’m just curious,” he told The Independent.

The last member to be expelled was Ohio Democrat Jim Traficant in 2002.

He served nine terms in the House between January 1985 and July 2002 when he was booted from the lower chamber following his conviction on racketeering, bribery, and fraud. He was only the second lawmaker to be expelled from the House since the Civil War.

His September 2014 obituary in The Washington Post referred to him as “one of the most deliberately outrageous members of Congress in history”.

“Glib and voluble, he was known for wearing cowboy boots, skinny ties and out-of-date polyester suits and for a bouffant mound of hair that seemed to defy gravity,” Matt Schudel wrote at the time.

The Los Angeles Times referred to it as a “Planet of the Apes sort of hair helmet,” while Washingtonian magazine wrote that it was “a creature from Lake Erie before it was cleaned up”.

Before joining Congress, he served as the sheriff of Mahoning Country. He was put on trial in 1983 after prosecutors acquired a tape that included him saying he had accepted more than $100,000 in bribes from organised crime. But despite his complete lack of legal training, Traficant represented himself and managed to argue that he had collected the bribes as part of a sting operation and he was acquitted.

He became known for his brief, rambling speeches on the House floor, often ending with a Star Trek reference: “Beam me up, Mr Speaker.”

In 1997, he said: “Let us tell it like it is. When you hold this economy to your nosey, this economy does not smell so rosy. If there is any consolation to the American workers, I never heard of anyone committing suicide by jumping out of a basement window.”

The following year, he said: “Russia gets $15bn in foreign aid from Uncle Sam. In exchange, Uncle Sam gets nuclear missiles pointed at our cities, two tape decks and three cases of vodka. Beam me up.”

In 2002, Mr Traficant faced a 10-count felony indictment for racketeering, bribery and fraud, with federal prosecutors alleging that he required a number of his aides to pay him kickbacks each month of as much as $2,500 just to work for him. Yet other staff were required to bale hay on his Ohio farm or repair his Washington DC houseboat. He also faced allegations that he filed false tax returns and pushed businesses in his district to provide goods and services at no charge.

He once again acted as his own attorney, but this time he was convicted on all counts.

On 24 July 2002, he was removed from the House after a vote of 420 to one.

After making a comment about what he called the “political prostitutes” in Congress, he said: “I want to apologize to all the hookers of America for associating them with the United States Congress.”

The incredible rise and dramatic fall of George Santos

07:00 , Bevan Hurley

Congressman George Santos’ tenure has been anything but dull — his rise to power and fall from grace have been equally mired in controversy.

After less than two years in Congress, his list of lies and scandals appears to have finally grown too long for him to defend anymore, as he announced he wouldn’t seek re-election in 2024 after the release of a damning House Ethics Committee report.

The committee said it found “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos had broken federal laws after finding “additional uncharged and unlawful conduct,” which included using campaign funds to make purchases at Hermes, Sephora and OnlyFans.

In 2022, Mr Santos was elected as the Republican Party’s first openly gay, non-incumbent member of Congress, and touted himself as a living embodiment of the American dream.

But he has since been exposed as a serial fabricator, and now an accused criminal.

Here’s what we know about the rise and demise of George Anthony Devolder Santos.

Credit card scams and unpaid rent

06:00 , John Bowden

In February, it was reported that New York City housing court records showed that Tiffany Lee Devolder Santos owed $39,050 in back rent to the landlord.

Mr Santos had reportedly failed to pay rent in the Queens apartment he shared with his sister before being elected to Congress in a state of disrepair.

The next month, a Brazilian man — Gustavo Ribeiro Trelha — who was deported from the US after being convicted of credit card skimming fraud reportedly told federal authorities that Mr Santos was the mastermind of the scheme.

Trelha claimed Mr Santos had taught him how to skim card information and clone cards in Seattle in 2017.

Trelha claimed Mr Santos visited him in jail in Seattle after his arrest and threatened him not to reveal his part in the scheme to authorities.

Responding to the allegations at the time, Mr Santos told reporters that he was “innocent”.

In January, Mr Santos also claimed to have been the victim of a mugging and assassination attempt in New York.

George Santos mocked by Jimmy Kimmel for saying expulsion will be ‘badge of honour’

05:00 , Amelia Neath

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel roasted George Santos for saying he would wear his expulsion from Congress like a “badge of honour.”

Mr Kimmel has been recently mourning the fact that one of the favourite subjects on his show, Mr Santos, may no longer deliver any cringeworthy moments to monologue about after he potentially leaves Congress, so he’s getting them in while he can.

The 35-year-old Republican is due to face a vote of expulsion from Congress after damning evidence was revealed by a House Ethics Report on bizarre violations of federal law that he made.

Despite the public embarrassment that came with the revelations he used donor money to buy Botox treatments and an OnlyFans subscription and the possible end to his short political career, Mr Santos was steadfast in his proclamation that if he was removed from Congress, he would “wear it like a badge of honour.”

“… right next to his medal of freedom and his Purple Heart [medal],” Mr Kimmel quipped on his show on Monday.

READ MORE

Santos’ lies revealed post-election

04:00 , John Bowden

A bombshell New York Times report on 19 December revealed to a broader audience for the first time many of Mr Santos’ fabrications and lies about his employment and education history.

A flood of further embellishments soon followed, including the 9/11 -related death of his mother, claims he had been a producer on the failed Broadway production of Spider-Man, how he had cheated associates out of clothes and cash, and had stolen $3,000 that had been raised to save a disabled veteran’s pet dog.

A pressure group formed by citizens in his 3rd Congressional District began holding protests outside his campaign office to try to force his expulsion from Congress.

As Mr Santos’ pile of scandals grew, he threw himself behind Kevin McCarthy’s campaign for Speaker of the House.

Mr McCarthy welcomed the support given his razor-thin majority, and refused to take action on any of the mounting ethical scandals, even as a growing number of New York Republicans called for him to be removed from Congress.

At the State of the Union in February, Mr Santos had an altercation with Mitt Romney after the Utah Senator told him he didn’t belong in Congress and “should be embarrassed.”

“Tell that to the 142,000 who voted for me”, Mr Santos reportedly replied.

Following the speech, Mr Romney called the New York Republican a “sick puppy.”

In March, the House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into whether Mr Santos had “engaged in unlawful activity”.

‘He’s most likely just a fabulist’

03:15 , Bevan Hurley

Soon after his 2020 election defeat, Mr Santos began raising money for the next congressional race.

New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who is now the third-ranking Republican in the House, endorsed him in 2021.

Later that year, a vulnerability study commissioned with Mr Santos’ approval found alarming revelations, and many of his staffers resigned, according to the Times.

Among other things, it found he had falsely claimed to have been endorsed by Mr Trump, along with many of the lies about his job history and personal wealth that have since been revealed.

Congressional leaders learned of his deceptions by 2022. According to the Times, Dan Conston, the leader of the Kevin McCarthy-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund, tried to circulate the report’s findings to prominent donors.

Two pieces of luck helped paved the way for his election to Congress in 2022: Thomas Suozzi, the 3rd District’s incumbent lawmaker, announced he would not seek re-election and redistricting amounted in a new congressional district map gerrymandered to add a swathe of Republican areas.

Mr Santos again ran unopposed for the Republican nomination, and faced Democrat Robert Zimmerman in the general election, the first House race between two openly gay candidates.

Still, Mr Santos went on to take the district that November by eight points.

Early political career

02:30 , Bevan Hurley

Mr Santos’ murky and ever-changing biography makes it difficult to parse fact from fiction during his early forays into politics.

In 2018, he began volunteering for the campaign of Republican Vickie Paladino, who was running for state Senate. He reportedly boasted of his ties to Wall Street donors who could contribute but did little actual work.

The next year, he reportedly made his first attempt to get elected to Congress but failed to secure enough signatures to get on the Queens County Republican Committee.

That month he launched his campaign for the United States House of Representatives in New York’s 3rd Congressional District in 2020 against Democratic incumbent Thomas Suozzi.

No other candidates put their names forward. When pressed by reporters why he lived out of the district, he claimed to reside at an address that turned out to be his treasurer’s.

He lost the general election by about 46,000 votes, but still exceeded Republican expectations for the strongly Democratic district. He refused to concede the election.

Mr Santos spoke at the Stop the Steal rally at the Ellipse in Washington DC on the day of the Capitol riots on January 6, claiming his election had been stolen. A roommate would later claim that Mr Santos had worn his stolen $520 Burberry scarf to the rally.

In 2020, while running for Congress, he began working at Florida investment firm Harbor City Capital, which was later accused in a civil lawsuit by the Security and Exchange Commission of running a $17m Ponzi scheme.

He has publicly denied any involvement in the alleged fraud.

An alleged drag queen in Brazil

01:45 , Bevan Hurley

While living in Brazil, Mr Santos also reportedly performed as a drag queen named Kitara Ravache as a young man.

In January, Brazilian drag artist Eula Rochard posted photos to social media herself with a person wearing a red dress, bright red lipstick and dangling chandelier earrings who she identified as Mr Santos.

Journalist Joâo Fragah also said he had interviewed Mr Santos in costume.

A Politico investigation later found that a user on Wikipedia named Anthony Devolder claimed to have participated in drag shows in Brazil as a teenager.

Mr Santos issued a furious denial of the claims on social media, at a time when his Republican Party was vilifying and seeking to ban drag queens from performing in some states.

He called allegations that he “‘performed’ as a drag Queen is categorically false.” However, the next day, Mr Santos appeared to admit that he had participated in drag. “I was young and I had fun at a festival. Sue me for having a life,” he said.

He moved back to New York in 2011, working as a bilingual customer services representative at a call centre for Dish Network, a satellite TV firm, in Queens, where he would have earned about $15 an hour.

Mr Santos exhaled a stream of lies over a series of interviews: he alleged to have graduated from NYU business school, played as a star volleyball player at Baruch College, and attended the elite private school Horace Mann in New York, but failed to graduate due to financial difficulties, and worked at Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. These claims have either been disproven or not substantiated.

In February, the non-profit Reclaim the Records obtained court records showing he married a Brazilian woman in 2012. His former wife, who has not been identified, filed for divorce in 2019.

He has since said he is married to a Brazilian man, whom he identified by the first name of Matt. He reportedly told Brazilian publication Piaui in November 2020 that his husband’s name is Matheus Gerard.

False FEC reports

01:00 , John Bowden

No campaign-related fraud is complete without lying to the Federal Election Commission, and Mr Santos is accused of doing that too. This remains an issue being played out publicly in New York court, where two of his former campaign staffers have now pleaded guilty to finance-related crimes in connection with his campaign. One pretended to be a staffer for Kevin McCarthy. Another, his treasurer, is accused of filing false reports to the FEC detailing the congressman’s fictitious loans and other questionable spending. She has testified in court filings that Mr Santos knew about her activities; he has denied this.

But the House investigation makes it clear that Mr Santos’s own campaign staff described their finances as a “black box” controlled and viewed only by Mr Santos and the treasurer, Nancy Marks. Despite his public statements to the contrary, the subcommittee report described him as “highly involved in his campaign’s financial operations”, and also faulted him for ignoring warnings from his own campaign staff about Ms Marks and financial irregularities within the campaign’s spending reports.

“Even if Representative Santoswas not aware of all of the other errors in his campaign reports relating to other receipts and disbursements, he had his own concerns and was repeatedly advised by multiple members of his team about concerns regarding Ms. Marks, but he failed to take meaningful action,” the report found.

VIDEO: Hageman on Santos

00:15 , Gustaf Kilander

Misuse of campaign funds

Wednesday 29 November 2023 23:30 , John Bowden

This is perhaps the widest variety of crimes Mr Santos is alleged to have committed — though not by much.

The congressman “was frequently in debt, had an abysmal credit score, and relied on an ever-growing wallet of high-interest credit cards to fund his luxury spending habits,” according to the investigative subcommittee. He used campaign funds to pay off those credit card debts in part, according to the Ethics Committee, while also making direct deposits from campaign accounts into his personal bank account.

He supposedly used these funds — transferred to his private accounts through various means — to make purchases at luxury brands including Hermes, on OnlyFans and for expensive meals.

Fraud, fraud and more fraud

Wednesday 29 November 2023 22:45 , John Bowden

At the very top of the list is a staggering stretch of dishonest financial behaviour. The congressman is, in short, accused of lying about loaning his own money to his 2022 congressional campaign, then “paying himself back” for those fake loans with real money.

Those fake loans topped $500,000 — no small amount. But that’s not the only fraud Mr Santos is accused of engaging in; he is accused of deceiving donors into giving money to RedStone LLC, ostensibly to support his campaign; in reality, that money was also used, according to the Ethics Committee, as a kind of slush fund for Mr Santos’s personal use.

He and his campaign are also accused of obtaining donors’ credit card numbers and stealing their identities.

Three House Democrats and 14 senators expelled in 1861 for backing Confederacy

Wednesday 29 November 2023 22:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Three House Democrats, Henry Cornelius Burnett, John William Reid, and John Bullock Clark, were all expelled alongside 14 Democratic senators for backing the Confederacy following the breakout of the US Civil War in 1861.

Since the Civil War, no senator has been expelled.

Only one expulsion occurred before 1861 – Senator William Blount, a founding father who signed the US Constitution and a member of what was then the Democratic-Republican party. He was ousted in 1797 for treason and conspiracy after he was accused of inciting a rebellion among the Muscogee Creek and Cherokee Native American tribes to help the British take over what was then the Spanish territory of West Florida.

His land speculations had landed him in significant financial difficulty.

“In an apparent effort to extricate himself, Blount concocted a scheme for Indians and frontiersmen to attack Spanish Florida and Louisiana, in order to transfer those territories to Great Britain,” the senate website states. “Unfortunately for the senator, a letter, in which Blount thinly disguised his desire to arouse the Creek and Cherokee Indians to aid his plan, fell into the hands of Federalist president John Adams.”

PHOTOS: Santos leaves Capitol as expulsion vote nears

Wednesday 29 November 2023 21:55 , Gustaf Kilander

U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) leaves the U.S. Capitol the day after two Democratic lawmakers moved to force a vote to expel him from the House of Representatives, in Washington, U.S., November 29, 2023 (REUTERS)
U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) leaves the U.S. Capitol the day after two Democratic lawmakers moved to force a vote to expel him from the House of Representatives, in Washington, U.S., November 29, 2023 (REUTERS)
U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) leaves the U.S. Capitol the day after two Democratic lawmakers moved to force a vote to expel him from the House of Representatives, in Washington, U.S., November 29, 2023 (REUTERS)
U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) leaves the U.S. Capitol the day after two Democratic lawmakers moved to force a vote to expel him from the House of Representatives, in Washington, U.S., November 29, 2023 (REUTERS)
US Representative George Santos (R-NY) is seen on a video camera screen as he sits in his vehicle while departing the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on November 29, 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)
US Representative George Santos (R-NY) is seen on a video camera screen as he sits in his vehicle while departing the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on November 29, 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

Botox, OnlyFans and a stay in the Hamptons: Key revelations from George Santos ethics report

Wednesday 29 November 2023 21:15 , John Bowden

A lengthy report from the committee published on Thursday stated that there was credible evidence to indicate that the Republican misused campaign funds for a wide range of personal expenses, committed fraud, and misled the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

It was a damning end to a months-long investigation which had, until now, been Mr Santos’s golden ticket to survive the repeated efforts by his fellow lawmakers — including Republicans from his own state — to kick him out of Congress. Now, his days in Congress are presumably numbered as it is overwhelmingly likely that the House will vote to expel him in the coming days.

Lawmakers tried as much only a few weeks ago, with Mr Santos being saved once again by colleagues who did not wish to set a precedent of prejudging a member under investigation by the Ethics Committee. The New York congressman was already facing numerous felony charges in New York under indictment from the Justice Department.

He will not run for re-election, according to a lengthy tirade posted to Twitter moments after the Ethics Committee report was released. Even that statement is a total reversal of a declaration he made to CNN’s Manu Raju less than a month ago in an interview.

In that same statement Thursday, he called for Americans to call a Constitutional Convention to radically reform Congress. This is unlikely to occur, and particularly so if it is championed by a congressman who has now admitted to fabricating nearly the entirety of his background and is known to have lied about everything from being descended from Holocaust survivors to seeing his mother die on 9/11.

Let’s dive into the Ethics Committee’s final report, which was referred to the Justice Department, and see what Mr Santos now stands accused of doing.

Bush White House press secretary argues against ouster of Santos

Wednesday 29 November 2023 20:30 , Gustaf Kilander

‘George Santos represents the clear downfall of the Republican Party'

Wednesday 29 November 2023 20:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Democrat who filed motion to expel Santos says his criminal trial is ‘irrelevant'

Wednesday 29 November 2023 19:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Santos faces third expulsion vote this year

Wednesday 29 November 2023 19:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Troy Nehls says he’s voting no on expelling Santos

Wednesday 29 November 2023 18:55 , Gustaf Kilander

Santos says it’s ‘not cool’ to expel him on his wedding anniversary

Wednesday 29 November 2023 18:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Vote possibly pushed to Friday

Wednesday 29 November 2023 18:27 , Gustaf Kilander

Mr Santos said on a X spaces broadcast that if the vote takes place on Thursday, it would coincide with his second wedding anniversary, saying that it would be “kind of not cool”.

But on Wednesday afternoon, Speaker Mike Johnson told Axios, “I think it will be Friday”.

VIDEO: Santos facing third expulsion vote

Wednesday 29 November 2023 18:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Santos argues against his expulsion on House floor speech

Wednesday 29 November 2023 17:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Scandal-plagued New York Rep George Santos looks set to join an exclusive group of people as he has acknowledged that he’s likely to be expelled from Congress.

Mr Santos would be the first member of the House to be removed in modern times without first having been convicted of a crime.

Only five representatives have ever been expelled from the House in the course of US history:

Bribes, treason and hay bales: The chaotic history of expulsions from Congress

VIDEO: George Santos expects to be removed from Congress

Wednesday 29 November 2023 17:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Vote to expel ‘going to be overwhelming'

Wednesday 29 November 2023 16:30 , Kevin Freking

Santos is also accused of falsely reporting to the Federal Elections Commission that he had loaned his campaign $500,000 when he actually hadn’t given anything and had less than $8,000 in the bank. The fake loan was an attempt to convince Republican Party officials that he was a serious candidate, worth their financial support, the indictment said.

Whichever expulsion resolution is brought up for a vote this week, Garcia said the vote to expel would be bipartisan. “I think it’s going to be overwhelming,” he said.

‘I mean, put up or shut up at this point'

Wednesday 29 November 2023 16:00 , Kevin Freking

Expelling Santos would require support from at least two-thirds of House members voting. Garcia said he expects the House will reach that number easily, which would make Santos just the sixth member of the House to be removed by his colleagues, and only the third since the Civil War.

Many who voted against expulsion earlier this month said it was important to wait on the Ethics panel to complete its investigation.

“In modern times, it is House precedent that Representatives are only expelled after conviction of a felony,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said in a prepared statement. “In the matter involving Rep. Santos, the Ethics Committee has now found and documented conduct that is as serious as that of Members who on prior occasions have been expelled following felony convictions.”

Lofgren voted against expulsion earlier this month. She said precedents are important to follow, but “every precedent had a first time” and now she would vote to expel.

Johnson said in Florida on Monday that he had spoken to Santos at some length over the Thanksgiving holiday and talked to him about his options, but it was not yet determined how the House would proceed.

They spoke again Tuesday. Santos told reporters that Johnson asked how he was doing and whether he had made his decision.

“I said, yes. I mean, put up or shut up at this point,” Santos said.

He added that lawmakers want him to resign because they don’t want to set a precedent “to their own demise in the future,” a reference to expulsion before his federal case is resolved. Santos faces 23 counts, including charges that he stole the identities of donors to his campaign and then used their credit cards to ring up tens of thousands of dollars in unauthorized charges.

‘Near-certainty’ Santos will be out this week after 90 Republicans back ouster

Wednesday 29 November 2023 15:58 , Gustaf Kilander

‘I think what we should do is rid ourselves of the stain that is George Santos'

Wednesday 29 November 2023 15:30 , Kevin Freking

The Ethics Committee did not make any recommendations on how to deal with Santos, saying that doing so would involve a lengthy, trial-like process that would only give Santos more opportunity to delay accountability for his actions. The committee described Santos as uncooperative in its investigation.

Instead, the committee simply submitted its report to the House. Rep. Michael Guest, R-Miss., the panel’s chairman, then followed up with his resolution to expel Santos. Guest called the evidence uncovered in the investigation “more than sufficient to warrant punishment and the most appropriate punishment is expulsion.”

Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, a New York Republican whose congressional district borders Santos’ district, offered the Guest-sponsored resolution on the floor Tuesday. Generally, the sponsor would offer his own measure in the House chamber, but leadership decided it was important for members of the New York delegation to be seen leading the effort.

“He (Guest) knows how important it is for us New Yorkers, especially us freshmen, who ran in a state that’s been historically blue. We flipped seats that are important, that made this majority,” D’Esposito said. “And if we want to keep those seats, I think what we should do is rid ourselves of the stain that is George Santos.”

Because the resolution is privileged, Speaker Mike Johnson must address it within two days. The vote could occur as soon as Wednesday.

The Republican effort came hours after California Rep. Robert Garcia, a Democrat, moved to force an expulsion vote on Santos. He called it a necessary step in the event Republicans failed to act in light of the Ethics Committee’s findings.

“Whatever it takes to get that vote this week is what we’re doing,” Garcia said.

Lawmakers move to force a vote this week on expelling Rep. George Santos from the House

Wednesday 29 November 2023 15:00 , Kevin Freking

House lawmakers from both parties moved Tuesday to force a vote this week on the expulsion of Rep. George Santos, a Republican from New York who was the subject of a scathing ethics investigation released earlier this month and is facing nearly two dozen charges in federal court.

Santos responded to the competing expulsion resolutions by taking to the House floor and asking colleagues to understand what kind of precedent it would set for him to be removed before federal charges against him are resolved. He made clear he would not be resigning beforehand.

“This expulsion vote simply undermines and underscores the precedent that we’ve had in this chamber,” Santos said. “It starts and puts us in a new direction, a dangerous one.”

Santos has survived two prior expulsion votes. But a report released by the House Ethics Committee following a monthslong investigation has prompted new outrage. The report released Nov. 16 was unsparing in its criticism, concluding that Santos “sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit.”

“He 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,” the report said.

Santos was critical of the committee’s investigation, saying it was “incomplete, irresponsible and littered with hyperbole and littered with biased opinions.”

READ MORE

Disgraced lawmaker George Santos insists he won’t resign ahead of vote to expel him

Wednesday 29 November 2023 14:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Disgraced Republican congressman George Santos has said he “will not be resigning” ahead of a vote that could see him expelled from the House following a scathing ethics report.

Rather than step down from his seat, the 35-year-old scandal-ridden fabulist will now face the wrath of his fellow lawmakers after “substantial evidence” suggested that he violated federal laws.

The House Ethics Committee argued in a 56-page report that Mr Santos “knowingly” used his campaign committee to file false and incomplete reports to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), that he used campaign donations for personal expenses, that he violated the Ethics in Government Act, and that he committed fraud using a company he co-owned.

The report included allegations that Mr Santos used campaign money to pay for Botox, luxury purchases at Hermes and Ferragamo, as well as smaller sums spent on OnlyFans, food, parking, travel and rent.

Ethics panel chair GOP Rep Michael Guest filed a motion to expel Mr Santos shortly after the report was made public.

The exposed lawmaker then said he was expecting to be expelled, but on Tuesday reiterated on the House floor that he would not be voluntarily resigning.

“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor,” he said last week during a live broadcast on X Spaces.

A two-thirds majority of the House is needed to expel him. A vote could come as early as Wednesday.

READ MORE

Botox, OnlyFans and a stay in the Hamptons: Key revelations from George Santos ethics report

Wednesday 29 November 2023 14:00 , John Bowden

The long-awaited House Ethics Committee investigation into embattled New York Rep George Santos is here, and boy is it a doozy.

A lengthy report from the committee published on Thursday stated that there was credible evidence to indicate that the Republican misused campaign funds for a wide range of personal expenses, committed fraud, and misled the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

It was a damning end to a months-long investigation which had, until now, been Mr Santos’s golden ticket to survive the repeated efforts by his fellow lawmakers — including Republicans from his own state — to kick him out of Congress. Now, his days in Congress are presumably numbered as it is overwhelmingly likely that the House will vote to expel him in the coming days.

Lawmakers tried as much only a few weeks ago, with Mr Santos being saved once again by colleagues who did not wish to set a precedent of prejudging a member under investigation by the Ethics Committee. The New York congressman was already facing numerous felony charges in New York under indictment from the Justice Department.

He will not run for re-election, according to a lengthy tirade posted to Twitter moments after the Ethics Committee report was released. Even that statement is a total reversal of a declaration he made to CNN’s Manu Raju less than a month ago in an interview.

In that same statement Thursday, he called for Americans to call a Constitutional Convention to radically reform Congress. This is unlikely to occur, and particularly so if it is championed by a congressman who has now admitted to fabricating nearly the entirety of his background and is known to have lied about everything from being descended from Holocaust survivors to seeing his mother die on 9/11.

Let’s dive into the Ethics Committee’s final report, which was referred to the Justice Department, and see what Mr Santos now stands accused of doing.

‘Bless their hearts’: George Santos reacts to House’s third attempt to expel him

Wednesday 29 November 2023 13:31 , Rhys Jones

New York Representative George Santos gave an assertive response to Congress’ threat of expulsion, stating that “he doesn’t care.”

A motion was put forward on Tuesday 28 November by Democratic Rep. Robert Garcia of California to expel Santos after a report from the House Ethics Committee accused him of campaign finance violations.

“Look, you all want a soundbite. This is the third time we’re going through this. I don’t care,” Santos told reporters.

Santos also insisted he isn’t whipping votes to keep himself in Congress.

Bribes, treason and hay bales: The chaotic history of expulsions from Congress

Wednesday 29 November 2023 13:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Scandal-plagued New York Rep George Santos looks set to join an exclusive group of people as he has acknowledged that he’s likely to be expelled from Congress.

“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor,” Mr Santos, 35, said last week in a broadcast on the X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter.

In the X Space event hosted by Monica Matthews, a rightwing personality, Mr Santos said, “I have done the math over and over and it doesn’t look really good”. But he claimed that he would wear his expulsion “like a badge of honour”.

The latest blow of many to Mr Santos’s short yet tumultuous political career came in the form of a 56-page report from the House Ethics Committee released earlier this month which outlined “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos violated federal law.

The report included allegations that Mr Santos used campaign money to pay for his personal expenses, such as Botox, and luxury purchases at Hermes and Ferragamo, as well as smaller sums spent on OnlyFans, food, parking, travel and rent.

The House can consider the motion to expel Mr Santos put forward by ethics panel chair GOP Rep Michael Guest as soon as Tuesday when lawmakers return from Thanksgiving break but when the vote may be taken up on the floor remains unclear.

Mr Santos would be the first member of the House to be removed in modern times without first having been convicted of a crime.

Only five representatives have ever been expelled from the House in the course of US history:

Bribes, treason and hay bales: The chaotic history of expulsions from Congress

From launching re-election bid to arrest and dropping out

Wednesday 29 November 2023 12:00 , John Bowden

17 April: Reelection bid

Despite his escalating scandals, Mr Santos launched his reelection bid.

In his campaign announcement, he made no mention of the investigations or his ballooning falsehoods.

“We need a fighter who knows the district and can serve the people fearlessly,” he said.

9 May 2023: Criminal charges

Things took a major turn on 9 May, when Mr Santos was hit with 13 federal charges from the Justice Department.

The embattled congressman was charged with seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.

10 May 2023: Arrest

The day after the indictment was filed, Mr Santos was arrested after surrendering to authorities at a federal court on Long Island.

The indictment was unsealed, revealing that federal prosecutors accuse Mr Santos of lying on financial disclosure forms he filed to the House when he became a candidate.

10 October 2023: Superseding Indictment

The Justice Department handed down a 23-count superseding indictment months later, adding the charges of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, wire fraud, aking materially false statements to the FEC, falsifying records submitted to obstruct the FEC, aggravated identity theft, and access device fraud.

The new charges revealed that Mr Santos allegedly stole his donors’ credit cards. In the case of one donor alone, Mr Santos is accused of trying to charge at least $44,800 to this contributor’s credit card without authorisation.

16 November 2023: Drops re-election bid

The House Ethics Committee released a report on the New York congressman, saying it had uncovered “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos broke federal laws.

The committee found that Mr Santos “knowingly” caused his campaign to file false FEC reports, used campaign funds for personal purposes, including OnlyFans, among other findings.

After the report’s release, Mr Santos announced he would not seek re-election in 2024. In a lengthy X post, he called the report a “disgusting politicized smear.”

2 March 2023: Ethics investigation

Wednesday 29 November 2023 11:00 , John Bowden

On 2 March, the House Ethics Committee announced it was investigating Mr Santos.

In a statement, the panel said that an “Investigative Subcommittee” will determine whether the freshman Long Island, New York, congressman may have “engaged in unlawful activity with respect to his 2022 congressional campaign; failed to properly disclose required information on statements filed with the House; violated federal conflict of interest laws in connection with his role in a firm providing fiduciary services; and/or engaged in sexual misconduct towards an individual seeking employment in his congressional office”.

20 February 2023: The Piers Morgan interview

Wednesday 29 November 2023 10:00 , John Bowden

In another attempt to move past the avalanche of scandals which have buried Mr Santos for weeks, the New York congressman appears for an interview with British broadcaster and notoriously tough interviewer Piers Morgan.

Prompted by Morgan to distinguish the difference between mere “embellishments” of his resume and outright dishonesty, Mr Santos tells the journalist: “I’ve been a terrible liar”.

23 January 2023: Poll shows majority of New Yorkers want Santos gone

Wednesday 29 November 2023 09:00 , John Bowden

Perhaps spelling Mr Santos’s final fate, voters in his district and elsewhere around the state signaled in a poll published Monday that they favour the congressman resigning rather than spending two years in office. Even a plurality of Republicans, 49 per cent, said so.

Wherever Mr Santos goes from here, it’s hard to see a path for the 34-year-old freshman to win a second term as he faces unprecedented condemnation from his colleagues in every corner of Washington and hungry rivals back home.

18 January 2023: Eula Rochard blows the lid off of ‘Kitara Ravache’

Wednesday 29 November 2023 08:00 , John Bowden

Just when everyone thought this story couldn’t get any weirder, a Brazilian drag performer by the name of Eula Rochard contacted a freelance reporter, Marisa Kabas, and supplied a picture of Mr Santos in drag.

The congressman, she said, performed in drag under the moniker “Kitara Ravache” when he lived in Brazil as a teenager.

Mr Santos would go on to deny this, but subsequent photos and videos emerged prompting another admission by the congressman, as well as this defeated quip: “Sue me.” It’s later discovered that a Wikipedia user who went by Mr Santos’s alias “Anthony Devolder” bragged about performing at a number of shows.

17 January 2023: Santos receives committee assignments

Wednesday 29 November 2023 07:00 , John Bowden

After days of reporters pressing House Speaker Kevin McCarthy about Mr Santos and whether he will be allowed to remain in Congress for two years, GOP leadership reveals that the extent of their punishment for Mr Santos’s countless lies will be assignments to smaller House committees with less desirable areas of expertise.

Mr Santos walks away from committee assignments with roles on two panels: the House Committee on Small Business, and the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

17 January 2023: Rep Ritchie Torres holds press conference with ‘Concerned Citizens of NY03’

Still working to keep the pressure on his in-state rival, Mr Torres brought a number of Mr Santos’s constituents to a press conference and touted his “SANTOS Act” — legislation that would force congressional candidates to supply basic information about their backgrounds to the federal government under penalty for perjury.

11 January 2023: The GOP dam breaks

Wednesday 29 November 2023 06:00 , John Bowden

10 January 2023: Rep Ritchie Torres and colleague formally request ethics probe

Not keen to let his new feud against George Santos go, Mr Torres and his New York ally Dan Goldman file a request for the House Ethics Committee to probe Mr Santos’s improper filing of financial disclosure forms.

11 January 2023: The GOP dam breaks

This marked the day that George Santos finally said goodbye to any immunity he had from attacks originating within his own party.

The Nassau County Republican Party held a press conference formally denouncing him as a member of Congress; it was attended by one of Mr Santos’s fellow GOP members, Anthony D’Esposito, who became the first sitting Republican to call for his ouster.

2 January 2023: Brazilian authorities come back to haunt George Santos

Wednesday 29 November 2023 05:00 , John Bowden

Happy New Year! While most Americans ring in the new year with champagne and late-night celebrations, George Santos wakes up the day after New Year’s Day to learn that he is now the only sitting member of Congress to face a serious international criminal investigation.

The New York Times, citing a spokesperson for prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro, reports that authorities intend to prosecute him for allegedly stealing a checkbook from an acquaintance of his mother and using it to make several purchases. The congressman has denied this.

28 December 2022: Nassau County’s district attorney launches a probe

Wednesday 29 November 2023 04:00 , John Bowden

Nassau County’s district attorney delivered a sharp statement just before the new year, insisting that “no one is above the law and if a crime was committed in this county, we will prosecute it.”

Again, it wasn’t clear what specific crime Mr Santos would supposedly be investigated for allegedly committing. But the district attorney of Nassau County is a Republican, and therefore her statement served as the first crack to appear in a dam protecting Mr Santos from the wrath of his own party.

“The numerous fabrications and inconsistencies associated with Congressman-Elect Santos are nothing short of stunning. The residents of Nassau County and other parts of the third district must have an honest and accountable representative in Congress,” Anne T Donnelly said.

26 December 2022: Rep Ritchie Torres calls for Santos to be investigated

Wednesday 29 November 2023 03:00 , John Bowden

Congressman Ritchie Torres, a fellow New Yorker of the opposite party of Mr Santos, became the first member of Congress to speak about the issue in late December. On the 26th, he called for the House Ethics Committee to investigate the surge in wealth that Mr Santos self-reported.

26 December 2022 (evening): Santos is eviscerated by Tulsi Gabbard

Apparently unsatisfied with the grilling he received in local New York media hours earlier, Mr Santos appeared on Fox News for the first time. Clearly expecting a friendly interview, the congressman-elect was instead subjected to a reprimanding from former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, sitting in for Tucker Carlson.

“Do you have no shame?” she questioned him at one point during the excruciating confrontation.

27 December 2022: Rep Ritchie Torres calls for Santos to step down

A day later, Mr Torres ups his criticism of Mr Santos as more and more of the DC journalism world is consumed by coverage of the New York Republican.

Reposting a clip of Mr Santos’s beatdown from Ms Gabbard broadcast the previous evening, Mr Torres told his new colleague: “George, you can be an ally of the Jewish community w/o pretending to be Jewish and w/o pretending to have family members who died in the Holocaust.”

“Stop embarrassing yourself and RESIGN,” he added.

Santos insists he won’t resign ahead of vote to expel him

Wednesday 29 November 2023 02:15 , Mike Bedigan

Despite a looming vote that could see him expelled from the House following a scathing ethics report, the disgraced Republican congressman has said he “will not be resigning” ahead of a vote that

Rather than step down from his seat, the 35-year-old scandal-ridden fabulist will now face the wrath of his fellow lawmakers after “substantial evidence” suggested that he violated federal laws.

Gustaf Kilander has the full story:

Disgraced lawmaker George Santos insists he won’t resign ahead of vote to expel him

26 December 2022: Santos spills the beans

Wednesday 29 November 2023 02:00 , John Bowden

After days of crying foul and denouncing reporters as political hatchet-men through his attorney, George Santos finally came clean. Turns out, those journalists weren’t lying or launching “attacks” — Mr Santos really did lie about working at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, he really did lie about being Jewish, and he really did lie about attending college.

But those lies, he said, were mere attempts to “embellish” his resume — a practice he faulted Americans of all political shades for supposedly engaging in.

And he remained adamant about serving two years in Congress, despite the criticism.

VIDEO: ‘Bless their hearts’: George Santos reacts to House’s third attempt to expel him

Wednesday 29 November 2023 01:30 , Gustaf Kilander

22 December 2022: The New York Attorney General’s office announces a probe

Wednesday 29 November 2023 01:00 , John Bowden

Letitia James’s office joined the fray just one day after The Forward’s investigation was published, with prosecutors clearly feeling the pressure to examine whether any of Mr Santos’s actions had risen from the level of mere dishonesty to criminal fraud or worse.

No official charges have been filed against Mr Santos, and it remains unclear what criminal charges he could actually face.

21 December 2022: The Forward dives in

Wednesday 29 November 2023 00:00 , John Bowden

Just two days after the Times published its investigation, Jewish-American news agency The Forward went public with its own findings.

At the top of the list was a lie that Mr Santos had apparently told just a month earlier: That he is Jewish. That ended up being a lie he had told on multiple occasions, in multiple forms. It even expanded, in some instances, to claiming that his maternal grandparents had fled from the Holocaust.

Such things are easily verifiable, and a review of several genealogy websites by The Forward revealed that Mr Santos’s maternal grandparents were born in Brazil.

While far from the only fiction he told to get elected, this may prove to be the most damaging (if not surely the most offensive) of the congressman’s fictions. It has already led to his blacklisting from future Republican Jewish Coalition events, as well as condemnations from across the political spectrum.

19 December 2022: The New York Times jumps on the story

Tuesday 28 November 2023 23:00 , John Bowden

In an expansive investigation, the Times summarises its findings in a headline: George Santos’s background is “largely fiction”.

The first revelation of Mr Santos’s lies came in the form of an avalanche. In this one story, he was accused of lying about working for two different companies, attending a college, and even potentially about managing a “family firm” and controlling millions in assets.

Mr Santos couldn’t (or wouldn’t) answer for most of the revealed falsehoods, which led other reporters at competing outlets to smell blood in the water.

8 November 2022: George Santos wins his second bid for Congress

Tuesday 28 November 2023 22:00 , John Bowden

Following a defeat in 2020, George Santos finally saw success in his bid to join the House of Representatives in 2022, following more than a year of campaigning. New reports indicate that he was fundraising at Mar-a-Lago and in other GOP circles as early as mid-2021 with the help of operatives for Rep Elise Stefanik, chair of the House GOP conference.

He was swept to victory easily, with Democrats in the state spending little to oppose him.

GOP possibly hoping for Santos to resign to avoid having to expel him

Tuesday 28 November 2023 21:54 , Gustaf Kilander

VIDEO: ‘This is the third time we’re going through this. I don’t care’

Tuesday 28 November 2023 21:39 , Gustaf Kilander

6 September 2022: The North Shore Leader begins probing Santos’s finances

Tuesday 28 November 2023 21:15 , John Bowden

Just two months before he would go on to be elected as a member of Congress, George Santos was the subject of a story in a small Long Island-area newspaper called The North Shore Leader. With no suggestion of how it occurred, the Leader pointed out that Mr Santos’s financial disclosure forms had indicated a shocking surge of wealth in just two years’ time.

“Controversial US congressional candidate George Santos has finally filed his Personal Financial Disclosure Report on September 6th - 20 months late - and he is claiming an inexplicable rise in his alleged net worth to $11 million,” wrote the paper’s reporter, Maureen Daly.

“Two years ago, in 2020, Santos’ personal financial disclosures claimed that he had no assets over $5,000 - no bank accounts, no stock accounts, no real property. A net worth barely above “zero”, Daly reported.

It was an important story, but drew little notice either from other journalists or local Democratic Party officials.

VIDEO: Rep. Robert Garcia introduces resolution to expel George Santos from Congress

Tuesday 28 November 2023 20:59 , Benji Salmon

Santos speaks out as expel motion filed: ‘God bless their hearts'

Tuesday 28 November 2023 20:50 , Gustaf Kilander

Mr Santos was caught by reporters in the halls of Congress on Tuesday, saying “Look, you all want a sound bite... If they want to send me home, if they think this was a fair process, if they think this is how it should be done and if they’re confident that this is a constitutional way of doing it God bless their hearts”.

From a resume of lies to an OnlyFans scandal: George Santos’s many, many controversies

Tuesday 28 November 2023 20:30 , John Bowden

Facing a mountain of scandals and lies, George Santos announced on 16 November that he would not seek re-election.

His decision came in the wake of a damning report by the House Ethics Committee, which found that the embattled New York Republican engaged in “uncharged and unlawful conduct.”

Mr Santos has in fact been charged, too. In May, he was arrested and charged with 13 federal criminal counts, including wire fraud, money laundering, and theft of public funds. A superseding indictment was later handed down in October, increasing the federal charges against Mr Santos to 23.

In addition to the myriad of legal troubles, Mr Santos has also been accused of lying about his personal history. He has claimed that he played as a star volleyball player at Baruch College, worked at Goldman Sachs, has ancestors who fled the Holocaust, and that his mother died during 9/11; none of these claims have been substantiated.

Dogged by surely one of the oddest scandals to hit American politics in the last few years, Mr Santos has been facing calls for his expulsion and resignation even before he was seated as representative for New York’s 3rd Congressional District.

Let’s take a look back at how Mr Santos’ scandal-plagued political career evolved, from the beginning to now.

Botox, OnlyFans and a stay in the Hamptons: Key revelations from George Santos ethics report

Tuesday 28 November 2023 19:45 , John Bowden

The long-awaited House Ethics Committee investigation into embattled New York Rep George Santos is here, and boy is it a doozy.

A lengthy report from the committee published on Thursday stated that there was credible evidence to indicate that the Republican misused campaign funds for a wide range of personal expenses, committed fraud, and misled the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

It was a damning end to a months-long investigation which had, until now, been Mr Santos’s golden ticket to survive the repeated efforts by his fellow lawmakers — including Republicans from his own state — to kick him out of Congress. Now, his days in Congress are presumably numbered as it is overwhelmingly likely that the House will vote to expel him in the coming days.

Lawmakers tried as much only a few weeks ago, with Mr Santos being saved once again by colleagues who did not wish to set a precedent of prejudging a member under investigation by the Ethics Committee. The New York congressman was already facing numerous felony charges in New York under indictment from the Justice Department.

He will not run for re-election, according to a lengthy tirade posted to Twitter moments after the Ethics Committee report was released. Even that statement is a total reversal of a declaration he made to CNN’s Manu Raju less than a month ago in an interview.

In that same statement Thursday, he called for Americans to call a Constitutional Convention to radically reform Congress. This is unlikely to occur, and particularly so if it is championed by a congressman who has now admitted to fabricating nearly the entirety of his background and is known to have lied about everything from being descended from Holocaust survivors to seeing his mother die on 9/11.

Let’s dive into the Ethics Committee’s final report, which was referred to the Justice Department, and see what Mr Santos now stands accused of doing.

House GOP unlikely to back Democratic effort to oust Santos

Tuesday 28 November 2023 19:43 , Gustaf Kilander

Republicans are unlikely to back the Democratic resolution to oust Mr Santos, with the filing by Reps Robert Garcia and Dan Goldman putting pressure on House Ethics chair GOP Rep Michael Guest to make a push on his own measure to remove the 35-year-old.

While Mr Guest has introduced a measure to remove Mr Santos, he didn’t do so using a procedure that forces a quick vote, but he has told Politico that he’s set to do just that.

VIDEO: California Democrat introduces resolution to expel Santos

Tuesday 28 November 2023 19:38 , Gustaf Kilander