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Tipsheet

Rep. George Santos Is Indeed Under Investigation From House Ethics Committee

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Well, it's happened. After weeks of wondering whether anything would come out of Rep. George Santos' (R-NY) admitted lies and fabrications, as well as potential legal problems to do with campaign finance, the embattled congressman is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

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Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) confirmed as much to reporters on Tuesday morning. "Ethics is moving through, and if Ethics finds something, we’ll take action," he said. 

While other members, including other Republicans and fellow New Yorkers, have called for Santos to resign, McCarthy has not been among them. His answer that "we'll take action," which appears to be contingent upon if the committee finds any wrongdoing, is in response to being asked about calls for Santos to resign. 

Newsday, a Long Island outlet, noted that Ethics committee members have been hesitant to speak about the investigation and that it came about after constituents from Santos' district, which includes parts of Long Island and Queens, traveled to the Capitol to demand action:

The Republican chairman of the Ethics Committee and the panel's ranking Democrat have resisted calls to discuss the committee's actions regarding Santos, citing “confidentiality” rules surrounding pending investigations.

Santos' office referred questions to Santos' attorney Joseph Murray, who did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

McCarthy’s confirmation of the Ethics Committee investigation came as dozens of protestors from New York’s Third Congressional District headed to the U.S. Capitol by bus to deliver petitions to McCarthy and other House GOP leaders calling for Santos’ expulsion from Congress.

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A Siena College poll released last week showed that an overwhelming majority of voters in the district, by a margin of 78-13 percent, want him to resign. This includes 71 percent of fellow Republicans. The poll was conducted January 23-26, 2023, with 653 registered voters in the district. 

McCarthy's confirmation of the investigation comes a week after Santos stepped back from his committee assignments, which the speaker agreed was the right decision. 

While he has stepped back from committee assignments, Santos does not appear to be deterred by the investigation and told CNN he is "not concerned." He also questioned, "you’re saying that the freedom of speech of my constituents is a distraction to my work" and "do you think people are a distraction to the work I’m doing here?"

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