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George Santos Substantial Misconduct

House Ethics Committee Report: Serious Violations Attached to George Santos' Actions

Lindokuhle Mkhize

Lindokuhle Mkhize

22 November 20234 min read

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House Ethics Committee Report: Serious Violations Attached to George Santos' Actions

U.S. House Office of Photography, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In a political bombshell, the House Ethics Committee's report on George Santos has revealed "substantial evidence" of misconduct. This announcement could have severe repercussions on his political career as the allegations against him in the ethics report will likely reshape the political scene.

Congressman george santos office

Known for upholding legislative norms, the House Ethics Committee had thoroughly investigated Santos' dealings. The roll-out of their scathing report on Santos has made ripples in politics. The "substantial evidence," as outlined by the report, suggests significant violations of federal law and points towards wrongdoing that might even be criminal.

On November 16, 2023, the Chairman of the Committee on Ethics, Representative Michael Guest, along with the Ranking Member, Representative Susan Wild, presented a report to the House of Representatives detailing allegations against Representative George Santos. 

According to the statement, the evidence indicates that Santos knowingly filed false or incomplete campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission, misused campaign funds for personal purposes, engaged in fraudulent conduct concerning RedStone Strategies LLC and willfully violated the norms of the Ethics in Government Act with regards to his Financial Disclosure Statements. Additional uncharged and unlawful conduct by Santos is currently under criminal investigation.

On November 14, 2023, the House Ethics Committee unanimously voted to adopt a report issued by the Investigative Subcommittee (ISC). As quoted from the report, Santos has allegedly been involved in "knowingly causing his campaign committee and political committees to file false or incomplete reports with the Federal Election Commission," "used campaign funds for personal purposes," involved himself in "fraudulent conduct in connection with RedStone Strategies LLC," and breached the Ethics in Government Act concerning his Financial Disclosure Statements.

Breakdown of Santos' alleged misconduct

The ISC's dedicated investigations resulted in an extensive record representing over 170,000 pages of documents that iterated the breadth of Santos' wrongdoing. The report depicts Santos as having "sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his financial profit" with campaign money and having “deceived donors into providing what they thought were contributions to his campaign but were payments for his benefit.”

As per the Committee's statement, Santos' consistent lack of cooperation became highly evident throughout the investigation. He could have responded to multiple opportunities to submit a signed statement, testify voluntarily, and provide pivotal documents, thwarting the investigation instead of assisting it as he had claimed to the public.

The audit by The Federal Election Commission added fuel to the accusations against Santos, claiming that he leveraged his position to enhance his family's financial profit. The specifics of this facet of the investigation remain under wraps. Still, it adds another layer of assertions to Santos' purported misconduct.

In light of the allegations against Santos, the Commission became involved, scrutinizing Santos's campaign funding. House investigators found evidence that Mr. Santos used campaign funds for personal purposes, defrauded donors, and filed false or incomplete campaign finance and financial disclosure reports, according to a 56-page report the House Ethics Committee released on Thursday. Their review could reveal to what extent, if any, Santos may have manipulated his financial standing.

The Committee, on finding "overwhelming evidence of his misconduct," recommended an immediate public condemnation of Santos, whose actions have been summarized in the report as "beneath the dignity of the office and to have brought severe discredit upon the House."

In response to the ethics committee's findings, George Santos has made the striking announcement that he will not seek re-election. The decision resonates with the gravity of the damning report that implicates him of misconduct, potentially marring his political career irreparably.

A brief history of George Santos

Before he became a notorious national figure under House Ethics Committee scrutiny, George Santos was known for his long-standing political career. A senior politician from the Democratic Party, Santos has represented the constituency of New York's 6th Congressional District for nearly two decades. His politics and policies have primarily focused on progressive social reforms, economic justice, and environmental protection.

Over the years, Santos established a reputation for his impassioned speeches and ambitious policy-making. He gained significant national attention when he spearheaded the Revolutionary Climate Act, which transformed him into a high-profile figure in environmental and green energy politics.

Further heightening his political profile, Santos publicly hinted at a potential run for the presidency in the near future. He was seen as a promising candidate with his strong pro-reform agenda and charismatic public persona. However, the revelation of the House Ethics Committee's findings has cast a dark cloud over his ambitions, making his political future uncertain. His announcement of withdrawal from re-election was shocking and marked a significant downturn in his political trajectory.

In the wake of the Ethics Committee's report, Santos' opponents have found a renewed impetus to continue with their expulsion efforts. Their political campaigns to remove him from his position have been bolstered, setting the stage for an intense political standoff.

To avoid disrupting the ongoing criminal investigations of the DOJ, the ISC sustained regular communications with them. Despite the delay necessitated by such coordination, the Committee and the ISC felt the severity of the evidence required urgent public disclosure.

A call for house review

The Committee has strongly urged "all Members of the House to carefully read the ISC's Report," which uncovers serious campaign finance violations and fraudulent practices by Santos. They are advised to implement appropriate measures based on these findings to uphold the "Constitutional mandate to police the conduct of the federal government and its Members."

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Lindokuhle Mkhize, a skilled creative copywriter and content lead at Trademarkia, brings a wealth of experience in driving innovation and managing teams. With previous success in starting and growing the Innovation and Marketing department at her former creative agency, Lindokuhle boasts expertise in leadership and delivering compelling content. Based in South Africa, Lindokuhle's work focuses on key themes of creativity, effective communication, and strategic marketing.