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House Democrats ask for ethics investigation into George Santos
A pair of Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday filed a complaint asking the House Committee on Ethics to investigate Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) after he admitted to falsifying large portions of his background during his congressional campaign.
The complaint, which was first reported by The New York Times, was filed by Democratic Reps. Daniel Goldman and Ritchie Torres, both of New York. In their letter to the ethics committee, Goldman and Torres wrote that Santos broke the law when he failed to "file timely, accurate, and complete financial disclosure reports as required by law," describing Santos' reports from 2020 and 2022 as "sparse and complexing."
Goldman and Torres also claimed that Santos "misled voters in his district about his ethnicity, his religion, his education, and his employment and professional history, among other things." While these lies about his resume may not technically be illegal, the lawmakers wrote that Santos "failed to uphold the integrity expected of members of the House of Representatives" as a result.
However, the House Committee on Ethics typically investigates misconduct from current members of Congress, whereas Santos' lies occurred prior to his taking office. Despite this, Jonathan Entin, a constitutional law professor at Case Western Reserve University, told BBC News that any potential criminal charges brought against Santos related to his financial disclosures could be "sufficient" for him to be expelled from the House.
Even if Santos doesn't face charges, Casey Burgat, director of the Legislative Affairs program at George Washington University, told BBC News that Republicans may eventually decide that "keeping him in their conference does more harm than good for their general party reputation."