George Santos faces expulsion vote: Timeline of lies, investigations and calls for resignation

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Embattled New York Republican Rep. George Santos‘ days in Congress may be coming to an end.

The freshman lawmaker is facing what could be a third and final expulsion vote this week after the House Ethics Committee released a report finding evidence Santos broke federal laws and misused campaign funds.

Santos’ colleagues in the House have attempted to oust the New York lawmaker twice previously after he admitted to lying about his background and in the wake of federal prosecutors filing 13 charges related to wire fraud and money laundering.

His tenure representing the wealthiest district in New York has been full of lies, investigations and calls for resignation. Here’s a timeline of his last year in Congress and on the campaign trail:

November 2022

Santos is elected in the 2022 midterms to represent a New York district encompassing parts of Long Island.

He defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman, flipping the once-blue district that voted for President Joe Biden in 2020. Santos lost in the same district to the Democratic incumbent just two years earlier.

George Santos faces expulsion vote

December 2022

The New York Times reports several falsities related to Santos’ background.

The reporting alleged Santos lied about where he went to college and working for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. It also included accusations of falsifying records related to his financial standing.

The outlet The Forward also raised concerns over Santos’ claim that he was Jewish.

Santos, several weeks later, admitted to fabricating his job experience as well as lying about attending college, telling the New York Post “my sins are embellishing my resume.”

He later told the New York Post he never claimed to be Jewish, clarifying he meant he was “Jew-ish.”

The fabrications uncovered by the Times’ reporting led to several local and state investigations and inquiries by the end of the month.

The local Long Island district attorney’s office in Nassau County opened an investigation into Santos. New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ office said it was “looking into a number of issues” involving Santos.

January 2023

Congressman George Santos (R-NY) holds a press conference on the House Triangle outside of the United States Capitol on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, in Washington, DC.

Reaction to Santos’ lies continues as some organizations, as well as elected officials, begin to call for more investigations and the resignation of the New York lawmaker.

Some called upon the Federal Election Commission to investigate Santos’ campaign finances.

The Campaign Legal Center, a non-partisan advocate for voters, filed a complaint with the FEC. The organization also sent the complaint to the Department of Justice. It alleged Santos concealed sources of his 2022 congressional campaign, falsified reports on his 2022 campaign spending and illegally used campaign funds for personal expenses.

End Citizens United, a political action committee that focuses on money in politics, filed three complaints with the FEC over Santos’ campaign finances.

Santos’ background came into question outside of the United States when law enforcement authorities in Brazil, where Santos’ parents were born, reopened an investigation into Santos’ alleged use of a stolen checkbook in 2008. The investigation previously went dormant because Brazilian authorities were unable to locate Santos.

The mysteries surrounding Santos’ background led several of colleagues − from both sides of the aisle − to begin pressuring the New York lawmaker to step down.

A group of Nassau County Republicans that Santos represents and the New York State Conservative Party chair called for Santos to resign.

In the House, New York Democratic Reps. Ritchie Torres and Daniel Goldman asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate the Long Island lawmaker.

Santos told his Republican colleagues at the end of the month he would step down from his House committee seats until the allegations have been resolved. He remains adamant he will continue to serve his full two-year term.

February 2023

Progressive activists with MoveOn display a 15-foot inflatable of Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., as they call for his expulsion from Congress on Capitol Hill November 28, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

A former aide accuses Santos of sexual harassment.

The aide filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee claiming Santos inappropriately touched him in the New York lawmaker’s private office.

Santos denied the sexual harassment allegation. “It’s comical,” he told CNN. “Of course, I deny that claim.”

Separately, Santos later in the month defends parts of his records during an interview on broadcaster Piers Morgan’s talk show.

He tells Morgan he has been a “terrible liar” and claims he wants to be the “most transparent member of Congress.”

March 2023

The House Ethics Committee votes to investigate Santos over several allegations that he engaged in “unlawful activity” during his 2022 campaign, did not disclose required information on statements filed with the House, violated federal conflict of interest laws and engaged in sexual misconduct.

The evenly split bipartisan panel voted unanimously to establish a subcommittee of two Republicans and two Democrats to investigate the allegations.

April 2023

Santos announces his reelection campaign ahead of 2024.

May 2023

Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., walks into the House Republican cloakroom at the U.S. Capitol on November 28, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

Federal prosecutors file 13 charges against Santos, including seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds and two counts of lying to the House of Representatives

Santos surrendered to authorities in Long Island and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He reiterated his innocence, calling the investigation a “witch hunt.”

Following the arraignment, Rep. Robert Garcia, D-Calif., sought to force an additional vote to expel Santos from the House. It failed to pass and instead was referred to the lower chamber’s ethics committee.

October 2023

Congressman George Santos (R-NY) holds a press conference on the House Triangle outside of the United States Capitol on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, in Washington, DC.

One of Santos’ former campaign staffers, Nancy Marks, pleads guilty in connection to the federal investigation into the New York lawmaker. Marks, who served as campaign treasurer, resigned from the campaign in January after revelations about Santos’ fabricated background.

She pleaded guilty to conspiring with a congressional candidate to commit wire fraud, making materially false statements, obstructing the administration of the Federal Election Commission and committing aggravated identity theft.

Santos faces a new 23-count federal indictment − this time accusing him of stealing the identities of campaign donors and using their credit cards. It replaces the previous indictment that charged him with lying to Congress and embezzling campaign money.

November 2023

Congressman George Santos (R-NY) holds a press conference on the House Triangle outside of the United States Capitol on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, in Washington, DC.

The House Ethics Committee releases its report concluding there is “substantial evidence that Representative Santos violated federal criminal laws.”

Its release follows the House’s second attempt to expel Santos, which failed by a vote of 179-213.

The report includes over 170,000 pages of documents, testimony from witnesses and financial statements. It also found evidence that Santos sought to “exploit” his House campaign for his personal benefit, stole from his own campaign, deceived donors and lied about his campaign finances.

The committee plans to refer all evidence to the Department of Justice.

Santos blasted the report, calling it “biased.”

Also in November, Santos’ second campaign staffer pleads guilty to criminal charges − this time related to wire fraud. Samuel Miele, a fundraiser for the Santos campaign, was indicted for allegedly impersonating the chief of staff for former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

Santos announces he will not be seeking reelection in 2024 for a second term “as my family deserves better than to be under the gun from the press all the time.”

In the wake of the House Ethics report and guilty pleas from two Santos’ campaign staffers, Democratic Reps. Robert Garcia of California and Dan Goldman of New York filed a privileged resolution to force a third vote on the House floor to expel Santos set to take place this week.

The New York lawmaker, who has refused to resign, remained defiant arguing that his colleagues in the House are bullying him out of Congress.

He has said he will take take his expulsion in stride and “wear it like a badge of honor.”

 

John, a renowned name in business journalism, leverages over a year of experience to provide top-notch news coverage and analysis.

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