Santos won’t seek re-election after critical ethics report
New York Republican Rep George Santos is facing a new motion to expel him from the House after the chamber’s Ethics Committee issued a damning report about the actions of the freshman congressman.
The report found that the 35-year-old had violated ethics guidelines, the rules of the House and criminal laws, and that he had been aware that he was crossing the line.
He claimed that he’s the victim of “dirty” politics after announcing that he won’t seek re-election in 2024.
He later complained that he has suffered a “year from hell” and claimed that he’s a victim of the “poison” from the ethics committee.
Lamenting that he was just trying to “serve my country” by running for Congress, he claimed that his “rights” had been taken from him.
10 October 2023: Superseding Indictment
The Justice Department handed down a 23-count superseding indictment months later, adding the charges of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, wire fraud, aking materially false statements to the FEC, falsifying records submitted to obstruct the FEC, aggravated identity theft, and access device fraud.
The new charges revealed that Mr Santos allegedly stole his donors’ credit cards. In the case of one donor alone, Mr Santos is accused of trying to charge at least $44,800 to this contributor’s credit card without authorisation.
John Bowden18 November 2023 02:00
9 May 2023: Criminal charges
Things took a major turn on 9 May, when Mr Santos was hit with 13 federal charges from the Justice Department.
The embattled congressman was charged with seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.
10 May 2023: Arrest
The day after the indictment was filed, Mr Santos was arrested after surrendering to authorities at a federal court on Long Island.
The indictment was unsealed, revealing that federal prosecutors accuse Mr Santos of lying on financial disclosure forms he filed to the House when he became a candidate.
John Bowden18 November 2023 01:00
17 April: Reelection bid
Despite his escalating scandals, Mr Santos launched his reelection bid.
In his campaign announcement, he made no mention of the investigations or his ballooning falsehoods.
“We need a fighter who knows the district and can serve the people fearlessly,” he said.
John Bowden18 November 2023 00:15
2 March 2023: Ethics investigation
On 2 March, the House Ethics Committee announced it was investigating Mr Santos.
In a statement, the panel said that an “Investigative Subcommittee” will determine whether the freshman Long Island, New York, congressman may have “engaged in unlawful activity with respect to his 2022 congressional campaign; failed to properly disclose required information on statements filed with the House; violated federal conflict of interest laws in connection with his role in a firm providing fiduciary services; and/or engaged in sexual misconduct towards an individual seeking employment in his congressional office”.
John Bowden17 November 2023 23:30
Gustaf Kilander17 November 2023 22:45
20 February 2023: The Piers Morgan interview
In an another attempt to move past the avalance of scandals which have buried Mr Santos for weeks, the New York congressman appears for an interview with British broadcaster and notoriously tough interviewer Piers Morgan.
Prompted by Morgan to distinguish the difference between mere “embelishments” of his resume and outright dishonesty, Mr Santos tells the journalist: “I’ve been a terrible liar”.
John Bowden17 November 2023 22:00
23 January 2023: Poll shows majority of New Yorkers want Santos gone
Perhaps spelling Mr Santos’s final fate, voters in his district and elsewhere around the state signaled in a poll published Monday that they favour the congressman resigning rather than spending two years in office. Even a plurality of Republicans, 49 per cent, said so.
Wherever Mr Santos goes from here, it’s hard to see a path for the 34-year-old freshman to win a second term as he faces unprecedented condemnation from his colleagues in every corner of Washington and hungry rivals back home.
John Bowden17 November 2023 21:30
17 January 2023: Rep Ritchie Torres holds press conference with ‘Concerned Citizens of NY03’
Still working to keep the pressure on his in-state rival, Mr Torres brought a number of Mr Santos’s constituents to a press conference and touted his “SANTOS Act” — legislation that would force congressional candidates to supply basic information about their backgrounds to the federal government under penalty for perjury.
18 January 2023: Eula Rochard blows the lid off of ‘Kitara Ravache’
Just when everyone thought this story couldn’t get any weirder, a Brazilian drag performer by the name of Eula Rochard contacted a freelance reporter, Marisa Kabas, and supplied a picture of Mr Santos in drag.
The congressman, she said, performed in drag under the moniker “Kitara Ravache” when he lived in Brazil as a teenager.
Mr Santos would go on to deny this, but subsequent photos and videos emerged prompting another admission by the congressman, as well as this defeated quip: “Sue me.” It’s later discovered that a Wikipedia user who went by Mr Santos’s alias “Anthony Devolder” bragged about performing at a number of shows.
John Bowden17 November 2023 21:00
‘They gathered 170,000 documents in this investigation’
Gustaf Kilander17 November 2023 20:30
17 January 2023: Santos receives committee assignments
After days of reporters pressing House Speaker Kevin McCarthy about Mr Santos and whether he will be allowed to remain in Congress for two years, GOP leadership reveals that the extent of their punishment for Mr Santos’s countless lies will be assignments to smaller House committees with less desirable areas of expertise.
Mr Santos walks away from committee assignments with roles on two panels: the House Committee on Small Business, and the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
John Bowden17 November 2023 20:00