WASHINGTON — The House Ethics Committee will release its report on Rep. George Santos before the end of the week, but it won’t offer any recommendations on what members should do about the scandal-plagued Republican, the panel’s chair said Wednesday.
“We are not going to make any recommendations to the House,” Ethics Committee Chairman Michael Guest, R-Miss., said. “That will be up to each individual member as to whether they feel like the information that’s obtained in the report, that is available in the public domain rises to the level of expulsion.”
Guest added that making a report recommending sanctions would have delayed the investigation into next year. The bipartisan committee had previously vowed to release the results of its investigation by Friday, Nov. 17.
Santos, of New York, said it would be “inappropriate” to discuss the pending report about him.
“Like I’ve said before, I’m staying in office,” Santos said Wednesday.
“I would certainly support expulsion again,” Rep. Nick LaLota, R-N.Y., said.
Rep. Marc Molinaro, R-N.Y., called Santos “a fraud.”
“He should not be a member of Congress,” Molinaro said. “I called for his resignation. I forwarded a vote to expel. I think this report, however, will give other members the opportunity to reflect, to affirm and confirm what we know.”
Santos is facing multiple federal charges, including wire fraud, identity theft, money laundering, lying to Congress and theft of public funds. He has pleaded not guilty and is set to go to trial in September of next year.
He, and many other Republicans, have argued that his future should be up to voters to decide, despite his many fabrications on his resume prior to his election to Congress.
The vote to expel him from the House two weeks ago failed, 179-213, with 19 members voting present, though some said they were waiting to see the Ethics Committee’s report before making a determination about his future.
Guest said that while he personally opposes expelling members of Congress, he expects that another motion to expel Santos will come up after the Ethics report is released.
New York Republican Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, who authored the last expulsion resolution, promised as much when it failed.
“In two weeks, we will read the ethics report, and, you know, you don’t need to be a retired New York City detective to understand that the report is probably not going to be good, and we’ll go from there,” D’Esposito said at the time.
The House left town on Wednesday afternoon for the Thanksgiving recess and will return on Nov. 28.