The House Ethics Committee has released a damning report accusing Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., of using campaign funds for a lifestyle of luxury, raising questions about financial transparency and ethical conduct.
According to the report, Santos, facing financial difficulties, allegedly employed campaign contributions for personal indulgences, including casino trips, high-end shopping, cosmetic procedures like Botox, and even payments to adult content platform OnlyFans.
The Investigative Subcommittee (ISC) detailed a pattern of expenditures that lacked a clear connection to bona fide campaign purposes. Santos, who purportedly struggled with debt and relied on high-interest credit cards, is accused of obstructing the investigation, hindering efforts to verify the legitimacy of certain expenditures.
Among the notable findings are:
Exotic Getaways: The committee flagged expenses related to a purported honeymoon in Las Vegas and a holiday in the Hamptons, suggesting questionable use of campaign funds for personal leisure.
Casino Splurges: Allegations include substantial amounts spent at Atlantic City resorts, with former staff attesting to Santos’ affinity for casino visits.
Cosmetic Procedures: Unverified spa services and cosmetic procedures, including Botox treatments, raised concerns, with specific expenses cited at Mirza Aesthetics and Virtual Skin Spa.
Financial Maneuvering: The report highlights suspicious financial activities, such as unaccounted cash deposits, dubious bank transfers, and substantial cash withdrawals for unspecified purposes.
Luxury Shopping: Funds were allegedly directed to luxury brands, including Hermès and Ferragamo, raising questions about the appropriateness of such expenses.
Santos responded vehemently, dismissing the report as a politically motivated smear campaign. However, the committee contends that without his cooperation, it was unable to fully verify the nature of these expenditures.
The revelations add fuel to the ongoing debate about campaign finance transparency and ethical conduct among elected officials.
As the ethics committee’s findings come to light, Santos faces scrutiny not only for his financial choices but also for potential violations of campaign finance regulations.