The committee will instead release details of its investigation and allow lawmakers to come to their own conclusions
The House Ethics Committee investigating New York Rep. George Santos will not recommend any punishment for the embattled Republican, committee chairman Michael Guest said Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters, Guest said the committee will release a report summarizing its monthslong probe into 35-year-old Santos, including evidence gathered, and allow lawmakers to review those details and come to their own conclusions.
Guest added that recommending sanctions against Santos “would have taken several more months," and that he expects there will be a subsequent expulsion effort following the release of the report.
"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, per ABC News.
Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy confirmed in February that the House Ethics Committee was investigating Santos after a sprawling New York Times report found that a large portion of his biography could not be substantiated.
Among the many controversies are allegations that Santos dramatically embellished his resume, mislead voters about his heritage, allegedly scammed a veteran out of $3,000 meant for his dog's cancer treatment, and allegedly stole puppies from Amish dog breeders (he vehemently denies the latter two).
The bombshell allegations sparked bipartisan backlash and prompted investigations by the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, Nassau County District Attorney's Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In May, Santos was arrested and indicted on 13 criminal counts alleging fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and making false statements; in October, prosecutors announced they had added 10 new charges to the indictment, bringing the total number of criminal counts against him to 23.
A recent effort to expel Santos from Congress, led by New York Republicans, failed in the House, though as Guest suggested, more efforts could soon be underway, particularly as two former aides to the Santos campaign have pleaded guilty to fraud charges in recent months.
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Despite the mounting controversies — Santos has refused to resign from Congress and in May, he filed paperwork to run for reelection in 2024. The Democratic congressman who previously represented the New York district announced in October that he would challenge Santos to reclaim the seat.
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