Speaker McCarthy anticipates Ethics Committee probe into Santos

Speaker McCarthy anticipates Ethics Committee probe into Santos
U.S. Rep. George Santos. (Photo courtesy of Santos)

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on Tuesday he anticipates Congress’ Ethics Committee to conduct a probe into the allegations made against U.S. Rep. George Santos.

“There are questions, I expect them to get answered,” McCarthy told CNN.

McCarthy previously told reporters that the Ethics Committee had launched an investigation into Santos before an aide for the speaker confirmed no investigation has begun.

Last month, McCarthy told reporters Santos would go before the Congressional Ethics Committee “if there are concerns” about his behavior and would be “held accountable exactly as anybody else” in Congress would be if something is found to be wrong.

The potential committee probe would be the latest in a string of investigations launched and complaints filed against the newly-elected congressman who has lied about his personal, professional and financial background.

The FBI is currently investigating Santos’ role in allegedly scamming a homeless, disabled veteran out of thousands of dollars that would have been used to care for the man’s service dog.

Richard Osthoff said that he met Santos, who introduced himself as Anthony Devolder, in 2016 while living in a tent on the side of a New Jersey highway.

Osthoff’s service dog, Sapphire, was suffering from a life-threatening stomach tumor, treatment for which would cost $3,000, the veteran told Patch.

A veterinary technician told Osthoff to use Friends of Pets United, a pet charity headed up by Santos under the Anthony Devolder alias.

Osthoff said he never saw any of the funds after a GoFundMe was set up and subsequently deleted once it got close to hitting the $3,000 goal.

Sapphire died in January 2017, he said.

“I went through two bouts of seriously considering suicide, but thinking about leaving her without me saved my life,” Osthoff told Patch. “I loved that dog so much, I inhaled her last breaths when I had her euthanized.”

Osthoff said Santos informed him that the money would not be used for Sapphire, but rather “for other dogs.”

Santos faces a pair of new complaints filed by a watchdog group and two of his Democratic colleagues from New York.

The Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit organization that aims to advance democracy through the law, questioned the newly elected congressman’s influx of wealth after he reported a salary of $55,000 in 2020, which rose to $750,000 in 2022 and $1 million to $5 million in dividends.

The organization also called the congressman’s $705,000 loan to his campaign into question, claiming he falsified reports on nearly 40 expenditure filings under $200.

The center filed the complaint with the Federal Election Commission and to the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice several weeks ago.

Democratic U.S. Reps. Ritchie Torres and Daniel Goldman filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee several weeks ago for allegedly violating the Ethics in Government Act, saying the Republican must be held accountable for deceiving voters and Congress.

The Ethics in Government Act, officials said, was created to “preserve and promote the integrity of public officials and institutions,” which Torres and Goldman believe Santos has failed to adhere to. The two described financial reports submitted in 2020 and 2022 as “sparse and perplexing” in the complaint.

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