Hoyer Presses Ethics Committee to Release George Santos Findings

August 31, 2023 by Dan McCue
Hoyer Presses Ethics Committee to Release George Santos Findings
FILE - Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., speaks to reporters outside the Capitol, in Washington, May 17, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON — Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., is calling on the House Ethics Committee to release its findings regarding Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y.

“More than enough time has passed for the Ethics Committee to conduct a fair and accurate assessment of the veracity of the allegations against Rep. Santos and of the scope of his misconduct,” Hoyer said in a letter to committee chair Michael Guest, R-Miss., and ranking member Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa.

“Regardless of your committee’s ultimate determination, I urge you to release your committee’s findings expeditiously,” the former House majority leader said.

Santos’ political career appeared all but over after The New York Times published a post-election exposé in December 2022 revealing that the congressman-elect, whose full name is believed to be George Anthony Devolder Santos, had made extensive false statements about his personal and professional life.

Since then, the lawmaker, who represents parts of Long Island and Queens, New York, has been slapped with an array of federal charges. 

According to an indictment handed down last spring, Santos faces charges of wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and false statements to the House of Representatives.

The indictment also alleged Santos received more than $24,000 in unemployment insurance benefits while he was still employed at an investment firm.

But given the Republicans’ slim majority in the House and the vagaries associated with California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s election as speaker, Santos has somehow managed to hold on to his job.

In February, the bipartisan House Ethics Committee announced it was launching its own investigation into Santos to determine whether he violated campaign finance laws when running for Congress against Democrat Robert Zimmerman.

In addition, the committee said, it would also look into whether Santos failed to properly disclose required information to the House, violated laws prohibiting conflicts of interest in his past role at a financial firm and engaged in sexual misconduct with a job applicant for his congressional office.

In opening its investigation, it stressed that an inquiry did not in itself mean any of the alleged misdeeds had occurred.

Santos later tweeted that he was “fully cooperating with the investigation.”

In June, an investigative panel established by the Ethics Committee announced it was expanding the scope of its investigation to look into allegations that Santos fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance benefits.

At the time the panel also revealed that it had already issued more than 30 subpoenas and more than 40 voluntary requests for information and that it would try to bring its inquiry to a conclusion in an “expeditious” timeframe.

At the time, even members of Santos’ own party predicted he’d be expelled or would have resigned by the August recess. 

With the recess ending on Sept. 12, neither of those things has happened — no doubt inspiring Hoyer’s letter.

“From lying about his family history to deceiving voters about his professional credentials, Santos has proven to be a pathological liar time and time again. Soon, the judicial process may find him guilty of criminal behavior as well,” the Maryland Democrat said.

“Based on publicly available information, I — like many of my fellow members and Americans — believe he is undeserving of the public trust. That’s why I believe that the House ought to act swiftly and transparently on this issue,” Hoyer concluded.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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