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.
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.
The ethics probe began in March of this year after allegations arose against Mr Santos of campaign finance misconduct and that he made up large parts of his resume. In May, he was indicted in a federal Long Island court on 13 charges followed by another 10 charges in a superseding indictment filed in October.
Before the release of the ethics report, Mr Santos survived two motions to remove him. One of them was put forward by fellow New York Republicans, but Mr Santos prevailed by a vote of 179 to 213.
Ahead of a possible new vote on his expulsion, Mr Santos said he had “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 honor”.
Rep. Robert Garcia introduces resolution to expel George Santos from Congress
While calling the report “slanderous” and arguing that it was politically motivated, Mr Santos still previously announced that he would not seek re-election in 2024, possibly hoping to head off efforts to boot him to allow him to serve his full term.
If forced out Mr Santos will become only the third Member of Congress to be expelled since 1861.
The first openly gay Republican elected to the chamber, Mr Santos said he felt like the “it girl” when he won the third congressional seat in the Empire State in 2022. He added that everybody wanted him “until nobody wanted me”.
Following the release of the Ethics report, Mr Santos said, “Due process is dead”, arguing that the report was “flawed” and that it was “an affront against my rights”.
“The amount of hyperbole in this document is daunting. Every single person I’ve had discussions about it with – I have spoken to prominent Democrats who were troubled by the work of this committee,” he said. “It was designed to smear me, it was designed to force me out of my seat. That is what the intention of this report was. This report wasn’t a finding of facts.
“I will stand for expulsion. I want to see them set this precedent because this precedent sets a new era of due process, which means you are guilty until proven innocent,” he added. “We will take your accusations and use it to smear, to mangle, to destroy you and remove you from society. That is what they are doing with this.
“This report is an affront against my rights and it should worry each and every single one of you guys.”
“I’m not running for re-election, not because this was a damning report,” he said last week. “I’m not running for re-election because I don’t want to work with a bunch of hypocrites. I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor.”
Mike Bedigan contributed reporting to this story