DuBois Weather

On Air Now

George Santos target of ethics complaint by New York Democrats

(NEW YORK) — New York Democratic Reps. Daniel Goldman and Ritchie Torres on Tuesday filed an official complaint with the House Committee on Ethics calling for an investigation into New York Republican Rep. George Santos.

“The House of Representatives has an obligation to police itself, and this is just the start of our mission to hold George Santos accountable to his constituents and the American people,” Goldman said in a statement to ABC News.

“George Santos, by his own admission, is an outright fraud. He has admitted that he didn’t graduate college, didn’t work on Wall Street or in private equity, doesn’t own property, and isn’t Jewish — all of which he asserted in order to dupe the voters in Queens and Nassau County,” Goldman continued.

A copy of the complaint obtained by ABC News shows the Democrats are requesting the ethics panel investigate Santos’s financial disclosures for possible violations of the Ethics in Government Act — which requires officials to timely, accurately and completely submit reports.

“Mr. Santos’s financial disclosure reports in 2020 and 2022 are sparse and perplexing,” the complaint reads. “At a minimum, it is apparent that he did not file timely disclosure reports for his most recent campaign. Moreover, his own public statements have contradicted some information included in the 2022 financial disclosure and confirmed that the 2022 financial disclosure failed to disclose other required information.”

A watchdog group on Monday alleged Santos violated federal campaign finance laws by concealing the true sources of campaign donations and illegally using campaign funds for personal expenses. The group called on the Federal Election Commission to investigate.

Santos on Tuesday maintained he’s done “nothing unethical” as he responded to the complaint being filed by his Democratic colleagues from New York.

“They are free to do whatever they want to do,” Santos told reporters. Asked if he’s worried about the move, which will trigger an investigation by the panel, Santos said, “I am not. I have done nothing unethical.”

Torres and Goldman hand-delivered a copy of their complaint to Santos, who was in his office, on Tuesday morning.

ABC News pressed Santos multiple times on Monday about the latest round of allegations.

“Did you misuse campaign finances?,” he was asked. “You’re accused of fabricating almost every single part of your life, why do you deserve to represent the people of New York?”

Santos did not answer the questions and asked for “personal space.”

When asked why he wouldn’t answer questions he said, “I’ll be addressing the media soon.”

When questioned when that would be, he responded, “On my time.”

Santos, after winning his election in New York’s 3rd Congressional District, admitted to fabricating much of his background after the lies were reported by multiple media outlets. Claims that he attended a prestigious private high school, graduated from Baruch College and worked for Goldman Sachs have all been disproven.

He’s now also facing multiple investigations from New York Attorney General Letitia James, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and other offices.

With a razor-thin majority in the House, Speaker Kevin McCarthy can only afford to lose a few votes from his own party. McCarthy has avoided directly addressing any of the revelations about Santos, ignoring most questions from reporters.

Pressed again as he left the chamber on Monday night, McCarthy told reporters he was handling it “internally.”

“I’m sure, at times, I’ll come tell you,” he said.

When asked if any repercussions should be taken against Santos, McCarthy said “Let me get through everything and I’ll let you guys know.”

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., was pressed Tuesday about whether Santos should be a member of the 118th Congress.

“When you saw him seated last week, there were no challenges to that. This is something that’s being handled internally,” Scalise said. “Obviously, there were concerns about what we had heard and so we’re gonna have to sit down and talk to him about it. And that’s something that we’re going to deal with. Just like there’s a lot of other things we’re going to deal with.”

Republican leaders are set to soon finalize committee assignments for the new Congress. Some of those assignments are are expected to go to Santos.

“I’ll take whatever I get. I’m not a picky person. I came here to serve the people,” Santos said Tuesday.

ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel, Lauren Peller and Trish Turner contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.