New York Republican Representative George Santos (left).
The House Ethics Committee inquiry into embattled American politician George Santos has been released, causing a significant stir in political and media circles. The committee's extensive report, published on Thursday, asserts that there is credible evidence suggesting the Republican inappropriately utilized campaign funds for various personal expenditures, engaged in fraudulent activities, and provided misleading information to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
The 35-year-old first-term Republican congressman from New York denied the allegations while announcing he would not stand for reelection. George Santos, who has falsely claimed to be Jewish and to have worked for Goldman Sachs, among other fabrications, has been indicted for allegedly stealing from campaign donors, credit card fraud, and identity theft. A bipartisan report from the House Ethics Committee, which has been investigating Santos since February, found that he "blatantly stole from his campaign."
"Representative Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit," the report said.
"He deceived donors into providing what they thought were contributions to his campaign but were in fact payments for his personal benefit."
"Representative Santos' conduct warrants public condemnation, is beneath the dignity of the office, and has brought severe discredit upon the House," the committee said.
According to The Financial Times, the 56-page report from lawmakers who spearheaded the investigation described several eyebrow-raising expenditures, including his use of campaign funds to pay for Botox. The committee also reported that a limited liability company linked to the campaign of Santos transferred tens of thousands of dollars to the congressman's personal accounts, with funds used to make purchases at Hermès, Sephora, and OnlyFans, the online platform used by sex workers.
It was also alleged that, as a congressional candidate, Santos misrepresented his finances in disclosure forms, including listing fake bank accounts, real estate investments, and a car loan for a Maserati that he did not appear to own.
(With inputs from AFP)