WORLD NEWS The swift rise and fall of Rep. George Santos:...

The swift rise and fall of Rep. George Santos: A timeline


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The House Ethics Committee issued a report Thursday finding “substantial evidence” that Rep. George Santos of New York violated campaign finance and government ethics laws. The committee unanimously voted to refer evidence it collected on the freshman Republican to the Department of Justice, but it did not take any action against Santos.

“Santos’ conduct warrants public condemnation, is beneath the dignity of the office, and has brought severe discredit upon the House,” the committee stated.

Santos, who is already facing a 23-count federal indictment for alleged crimes including money laundering and theft of public funds, subsequently announced that he is no longer seeking reelection in New York’s 3rd District. He remained defiant, however, calling the committee’s report a “disgusting politicized smear” and vowing to pursue his “conservative values in my remaining time in Congress.”

Rep. George Santos leaves Federal Court on May 10, 2023 in Central Islip, New York. (Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Santos’s decision to call it quits marks yet another turning point in a saga that began shortly after the political novice won an upset victory in a Democratic-leaning swing district on suburban Long Island. Weeks later, media reports exposed a number of lies Santos had told about his background.

Here are the key moments in Santos’s short-lived, tumultuous political career.

Aug. 17, 2020: In his first campaign for office, running unopposed in the Republican primary, Santos wins the Republican nomination for Congress in New York’s 3rd District.

Nov. 3, 2020: Santos loses to Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi.

Jan. 6, 2021: Santos speaks at then-President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C. He claims without evidence that his election was stolen, saying, “They did to me what they did to Donald J. Trump: They stole my election.”

Rep. George Santos speaks to reporters in Washington.

Rep. George Santos speaks to reporters in Washington on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images) (CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag)

June 10, 2021: Santos announces his second congressional bid. His campaign website biography states that he graduated from Baruch College in New York and was employed at Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.

Sept. 6, 2022: Santos files his personal financial disclosure report, claiming assets of $11 million, a massive increase in his net worth since 2020, when he reported just $5,000 in a bank account.

Nov. 8, 2022: Santos beats Democrat Robert Zimmerman in the race to represent New York’s 3rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Nov. 19, 2022: Santos tells the Republican Jewish Coalition summit his election means that “now there will be three” Jewish Republican members of Congress, implying that he is of Jewish heritage.

Nov. 21, 2022: In an interview with WNYC, Santos says he “lost four employees” in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., in 2016.

Dec. 19, 2022: The New York Times reports Santos lied about his résumé. Baruch College and New York University, which he also claimed a degree from, say they have no record of him attending. Citigroup and Goldman Sachs tell NBC New York he never worked at their companies. A Times review finds none of the 49 Pulse victims worked with Santos. Santos’s lawyer issues a statement accusing the Times of “attempting to smear his good name.”

Santos leaves a House Republican Conference speaker election meeting in October.

Santos leaves a House Republican Conference speaker election meeting in October. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/via Getty Images) (CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag)

Dec. 21, 2022: The Forward produces evidence refuting Santos’s claims that his grandparents fled the Holocaust and that he has Jewish ancestry.

Dec. 26, 2022: Santos admits in interviews to having embellished his résumé, while telling WABC radio he has not “ever committed any crimes.” He tells the New York Post “I never claimed to be Jewish… I said I was ‘Jew-ish.’

Jan. 2, 2023: The New York Times reports that “Brazilian law enforcement authorities intend to revive fraud charges against” Santos over a checkbook he allegedly stole in 2008.

Jan. 9, 2023: The Campaign Legal Center files a complaint with the Federal Election Commission accusing Santos of illegally using campaign cash to pay for personal expenses and submitting false information about campaign contributions.

Jan. 10, 2023: Reps. Dan Goldman and Ritchie Torres, both Democrats from New York, file a complaint with the House Ethics Committee over Santos’s alleged failure to comply with financial disclosure requirements.

Rep. Susan Wild, ranking Democrat on the House Ethics Committee.

Rep. Susan Wild, ranking Democrat on the House Ethics Committee. (Alex Wong/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Jan. 11, 2023: Republican officials from Santos’s district and four House Republicans from New York call for Santos to resign. Santos tells reporters, “I will not resign.”

Jan. 18, 2023: News outlets post immigration records showing that Santos’s mother was not in the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001, after he had claimed that she was in the World Trade Center that day. A disabled veteran also accuses Santos of having stolen thousands of dollars raised for his service dog.

Feb. 9, 2023: Santos is accused of sexual harassment by a prospective staffer.

March 2, 2023: The House Ethics Committee announces it is opening an investigation into Santos’s campaign finances and the allegation of sexual misconduct.

May 9, 2023: Federal prosecutors charge Santos with seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives. Santos denies the allegations and pleads not guilty.

May 17, 2023: The House votes down a Democratic bill to expel Santos from Congress, referring the matter to the Ethics Committee.

Rep. Dan Goldman, at a podium, and Rep. Ritchie Torres, left, call for Santos to be expelled from Congress.

Rep. Dan Goldman, right, and Rep. Ritchie Torres, left, call for Santos to be expelled from Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images) (CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag)

Oct. 5, 2023: Former Santos campaign treasurer Nancy Marks pleads guilty to conspiring with Santos to fraudulently inflate his campaign finance reports.

Oct. 10, 2023: Santos is hit with 10 more federal charges for allegedly stealing campaign donors’ credit card information and making purchases on their cards.

Nov. 1, 2023: The House votes down a measure to expel Santos. Although the bill was sponsored by New York Republicans, it is overwhelmingly supported by Democrats and opposed by the GOP.

Nov. 14, 2023: Sam Miele, a former Santos campaign staffer, pleads guilty to wire fraud for impersonating then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy when soliciting contributions for Santos.

Nov. 16, 2023: The House Ethics Committee releases its investigation report, and Santos drops out of his campaign for reelection.


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