Controversial Republican politician George Santos will not run for re-election in 2024, after the House ethics committee released a damning report on his conduct.
The committee found the congressman for part of New York “blatantly stole from his campaign”, and used funds to make purchases at Hermès, Sephora and OnlyFans, the online platform used by sex workers.
The panel, which is split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, said on Thursday that Santos’ behaviour “warrants public condemnation, is beneath the dignity of the office, and has brought severe discredit upon the House”.
In a statement, Santos called the report a “politicized smear”, but said he would not seek a second term next year.
“My family deserves better than to be under the gun from the press all the time,” Mr Santos wrote in a post which called the report biased.
If there was a single ounce of ETHICS in the \u201cEthics committee\u201d, they would have not released this biased report. The Committee went to extraordinary lengths to smear myself and my legal team about me not being forthcoming (My legal bills suggest otherwise).\n\nIt is a disgusting\u2026
The ethics committee report tells a different story, finding that Santos spent campaign money on botox treatments, trips to Las Vegas and even his own rent.
It adds that he hired his own company, RedStone, to work for his campaign. The company paid him at least $200,000, which he used to make purchases from OnlyFans, Hermes and Sephora.
He ran a system in which he reported fictitious loans to his political committees so as to induce donors to make more campaign donations to him, it added.
He then diverted campaign money to himself to “repay” the fictitious loans, the report said.
And he also claimed to own multiple properties and a luxury car, it added.
However, the report said: “At no point does Representative Santos appear to have owned a Maserati, despite telling campaign staff otherwise.”
Now that we know George Santos spent campaign funds on OnlyFans, here\u2019s George Santos claiming he didn\u2019t know what it was. \n\nFox News host: \u201cYou just can\u2019t tell the truth.\u201d
It said: “He used his connections to high value donors and other political campaigns to obtain additional funds for himself through fraudulent or otherwise questionable business dealings.
“And he sustained all of this through a constant series of lies to his constituents, donors, and staff about his background and experience.”
The claims are not the first time Santos has been mired in scandal since his election. He has already been indicted for charges including conspiracy, wire fraud, false statements, falsification of records, identity theft and credit card fraud.
The report has led other congressmen and women to call for his expulsion from office.
Santos will not immediately be removed from his post as congressman. Instead, the report referred him to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution.