The House Ethics Committee will not call for the expulsion of Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) from Congress in its public report on the investigation into his actions, which will be released later this week.
Ethics Committee chair Michael Guest (R-Miss.) told reporters on Wednesday that the report will not include a recommendation of formal punishment, such as expulsion, for the New York representative, who has become infamous for his serial lies, because doing so would have extended the investigation into the next year.
For months, the investigative subcommittee has been looking at whether Santos engaged in unlawful activity and lied about significant aspects of his personal and professional background during his campaign, Forbes reported.
Santos has been indicted a New York federal court on 23 charges of fraud, money laundering, identity theft and making false statements. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The first-term congressman, who plans to run for reelection next year, allegedly stole the identities of his campaign donors and used their credit cards without authorization, ringing up thousands of dollars of charges, with some of the money ending up in his own bank account.
Though the committee investigation began earlier this year, the House has attempted to oust Santos multiple times with no success.
The first two attempts were led by Democrats who cited Santos’ admissions to lies he told during his campaign. The latest attempt, which occurred earlier this month, was led by Republicans and failed 179 to 213.
Despite the ethics committee opting not to recommend formal punishment in the upcoming report, another expulsion attempt from Congress could still be on the horizon for Santos, Guest predicted.
Rather than recommending punishment, the investigation subcommittee will unveil evidence and details from the probe — which included interviews with at least 40 witnesses, a review of 170,000 pages of documents and more than a dozen subpoenas — which members can use to decide for themselves whether Santos should be removed from Congress, ABC News reported.
“The investigative subcommittee decided that they were going to compile the report, they would release the report to the members, into the public, and based upon that, then our members can take whatever action that they felt necessary,” Guest said, according to ABC News.
HuffPost reached out to Santos’ office for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
Santos is scheduled for a criminal trial in September 2024, just two months before elections. He has previously said the committee’s investigation and pending report will not deter him from completing his term and that expulsion from Congress will not keep him from running for reelection.