The House Committee on Ethics on Thursday announced that its members have unanimously voted to formally open an investigation into New York Representative George Santos over allegations of unlawful activity and failure to disclose information.
The ethics committee has established a bipartisan subcommittee to carry out the investigation. Ohio Representative David Joyce will serve as chair, while Pennsylvania Representative Susan Wild will be the ranking member. Completing the subcommittee will be Florida Representative John Rutherford and Maryland Representative Glenn Ivey.
The Republican lawmaker, since winning his seat in November, has been in the headlines for controversies surrounding his educational, professional, and personal background. He has admitted to lying in parts of his résumé but has maintained that he hasn’t committed any crimes.
In late January, Santos temporarily stepped down from congressional committee duties following a meeting with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. A joint complaint was filed by New York Representatives Dan Goldman and Ritchie Torres.
The ethics committee also noted that there will be no further public comment made on the investigation “except in accordance with Committee rules,” meaning there will likely be no updates until the panel completes its investigation.
Santos became a household name when the New York Times in December released a story that alleged that the résumé that won him a seat in congress was mere fiction. The publication found that Santos lied about where he went to college and his stint at Wall Street.
“Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, the marquee Wall Street firms on Mr. Santos’s campaign biography, told The Times they had no record of his ever working there,” the paper wrote. “Officials at Baruch College, which Mr. Santos has said he graduated from in 2010, could find no record of anyone matching his name and date of birth graduating that year.”
His financial disclosures were also questionable. The outlet pointed out that Santos reported a salary of $750,000 and more than $1 million in dividends from the Devolder Organization, which he claims is a family-owned firm that managed $80 million in assets, for which he did not disclose a list of clients. The Times also found the company somewhat mysterious and said that it did not have a website or a LinkedIn page.
Since then, many more allegations about the first-time lawmaker’s past surfaced, including stealing the proceeds of a GoFundMe campaign for a disabled US Navy veteran’s dying dog. He also allegedly stole puppies from Amish dog breeders in 2017.
A number of Democrats earlier called for Santos’s expulsion from congress. McCarthy said in January that Santos would be removed if the ethics committee finds that he broke the law. Santos, on the other hand, announced on Twitter that he is fully cooperating and that “there will be no further comment made at this time.”
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