Campaign Legal Center Responds to George Santos Expulsion Vote
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 311-114 to expel Representative George Santos of New York after a House Ethics Committee investigation found substantial evidence that he committed serious legal and ethics violations. Rep. Santos also faces a 23-count federal indictment that includes campaign finance crimes. Adav Noti, Senior Vice President & Legal Director at Campaign Legal Center, released the following statement in response to today’s vote:
“No one is above the law. The expulsion of Rep. George Santos after a House Ethics Committee investigation revealed substantial evidence that he engaged in criminal and unethical activity vindicates the voters’ right to financial transparency from their representatives and demonstrates that oversight bodies in Congress are critical to accountability.
The House Ethics Committee’s monthslong investigation into the Santos campaign was triggered by a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics – the only independent ethics investigatory body in Congress. Findings by the Committee released in mid-November detailed substantial evidence that Santos violated a slew of federal election laws, including conspiracy to commit perjury in filings with the Federal Election Commission. The Committee also noted Santos’s refusal to cooperate with the Committee’s investigation.
Santos’s expulsion shows the power and potential of ethics enforcement. While it should not take violations as egregious as those committed by Santos for this system to work effectively, it is also further proof that an independent investigatory body for the Senate is long overdue.
All Americans have the right to financial honesty from members of Congress, and to effective enforcement against any elected official who deprives the voters of that right.”
On January 9, 2023, Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that Rep. George Santos, his 2022 campaign committee and treasurer Nancy Marks violated federal campaign finance laws. The following day, CLC referred the complaint to the Department of Justice.
CLC’s complaint alleged, among other things, that Santos’s campaign falsely reported $705,000 in “personal loans” from Santos, and the information underlying Marks’s guilty plea appears to support that allegation: Prosecutors in Marks’s case have reportedly indicated that Marks and Santos conspired to fabricate $500,000 in loans made to the campaign in order to meet fundraising benchmarks. The superseding indictment against Rep. Santos includes new charges related to the loans.