Rep. George Santos (R), who has admitted to fabricating key details of his biography, is the target of a new ethics complaint filed by two of his Democratic colleagues in the New York congressional delegation, Reps. Ritchie Torres and Daniel Goldman.
In a letter to the House Ethics Committee on Tuesday, Torres and Goldman detail discrepancies in Santos’s biography — saying he misled voters about “his ethnicity, his religion, his education, and his employment and professional history, among other things” — and in his financial disclosure forms.
The Democrats described Santos’s disclosure forms as “sparse and perplexing,” noting that his public statements have contradicted some of the information he reported in the forms.
“Given the revelations about his biography, as well as the public information pertaining to his financial disclosures, Mr. Santos has failed to uphold the integrity expected of members of the House of Representatives,” Torres and Goldman wrote. “We therefore respectfully request you investigate this matter to determine the extent of these violations and take appropriate action as soon as possible.”
Santos told reporters Tuesday that he is not concerned about the ethics complaint. “I’m not, I have done nothing unethical,” Santos said, according to The Hill, adding that his New York colleagues are “free to do whatever they want to do.”
The letter is the latest call for an investigation of Santos by various entities.
A complaint filed Monday by the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center to the Federal Election Commission accused Santos of wide-ranging campaign finance violations. The alleged wrongdoing includes masking the true source of his campaign’s funding, misrepresenting his campaign’s spending and using campaign resources to cover personal expenses.
The congressman’s deceptions have sparked an investigation by the district attorney’s office in Nassau County, N.Y. Authorities in Brazil are also seeking to revive a fraud case against Santos dating from 2008.
As probes into Santos multiply, questions about how his campaign raised and spent money are coming into sharp focus.
He reported loaning his campaign more than $700,000 in the 2021-22 cycle despite having only $55,000 in earned income during his previous run for Congress in 2020, according to a financial disclosure. The Campaign Legal Center called his claims of earning millions over the previous two years from the Devolder Organization “vague, uncorroborated, and noncredible in light of his many previous lies.”
Asked Tuesday whether Santos should be a member of Congress, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) said the matter was being addressed “internally.”
“Well, you saw him seated last week,” Scalise said at a news conference. “There were no challenges to that. This is something that’s being handled internally. Obviously, there were concerns about what we had heard. And so we’re going to have to sit down and talk to him about it. And that’s something that we’re going to deal with, just like there’s a lot of other things we’re going to deal with.”
The House Ethics Committee is a bipartisan panel. It was unclear whether it would launch an investigation into the complaint.