Updated Mar 2, 2023 - Politics & Policy

GOP Rep. Santos officially under investigation by House ethics panel

George Santos sitting.

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) watches proceedings during the fourth day of elections for Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The House Ethics Committee on Thursday announced an investigation into embattled Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) over revelations about his sweeping fabrications on the campaign trail.

Why it matters: House Republican leadership, which has hinted at the existence of the probe, said its findings will ultimately determine the Long Islander's fate as he's faced calls to resign.

  • Santos said on Twitter that he was "fully cooperating" with the probe and would not offer further comment.
  • A spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

State of play: The committee's five Democrats and five Republicans voted unanimously to establish a subcommittee to investigate Santos, according to a press release.

  • The probe will look at allegations including “unlawful activity” stemming from his 2022 campaign, improper financial disclosures and violations of federal conflict of interest laws.

The details: A month after he was elected to the House, the New York Times reported that Santos had lied about vast swaths of his background including where he went to school, previous jobs and his financial status.

What they're saying: Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), who has called on Santos to resign, said in a statement: “This ethics investigation is long overdue and I look forward to a swift and thorough review.”

  • “As I've said before, George Santos' conduct is embarrassing and unbecoming. If he had any dignity, he would resign,” Lawler said.
  • Reps. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) who filed the ethics complaint against Santos with Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.), called for the investigation to proceed "quickly and expeditiously" in a statement, adding, "If he does not fully cooperate as required, he should immediately be expelled from Congress.”

Flashback: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in January: "If ... when we go through Ethics and he has broken the law, then we will remove him."

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.

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