The Undoing of George Santos

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By Ketrin Agustine

Lying is one thing in politics. But lying and stealing for the sake of Ferragamo and Hermès?

In the end, it may have been the luxury goods that brought down George Santos.

Not the lies about going to Baruch College and being a volleyball star or working for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. Not the claims of being Jewish and having grandparents who were killed in the Holocaust and a mother who died of cancer as result of 9/11. (Not true, it turned out.) Not the fibs about having founded an animal charity or owning substantial real estate assets. None of the falsehoods that have been exposed since Mr. Santos’s election last year. After all, he did survive two previous votes by his peers to expel him from Congress, one back in May, one earlier in November.

At this point, the discussion around lies and politics is so familiar, it has become almost background noise.

But taking $6,000 of his campaign contributions and spending it on personal shopping at Ferragamo? Dropping another couple thousand at Hermès? At Sephora? On Botox?

Those revelations, documented in the House Ethics Committee report released Nov. 16, seemed simply too much. Despite the fact that Mr. Santos had announced that he would not seek re-election, despite the fact that he is still facing a 23-count federal indictment, Representative Michael Guest, the chairman of the House Ethics Committee, introduced a resolution the week before Thanksgiving calling for Mr. Santos’s expulsion from Congress. On Friday, the House voted in favor — 311 to 114, with two voting present — making Mr. Santos only the third representative since the Civil War to be ejected from that legislative body.

The Undoing of George Santos

George Santos Lost His Job. The Lies, Charges and Questions Remaining.

George Santos, who was expelled from Congress, has told so many stories they can be hard to keep straight. We cataloged them, including major questions about his personal finances and his campaign fund-raising and spending.


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