(CNN) The House Ethics Committee announced Thursday that it will officially move forward with an investigation into embattled Rep. Jorge Santos as the New York Republican faces mounting legal troubles and calls for his resignation. For lying extensively About his biography and biography.
The ethics committee said in a news release that it voted to create an investigative subcommittee with the authority to find out about a number of issues, including whether Santos engaged in illegal activities related to his 2022 congressional campaign.
According to the release, the investigative committee will have the authority to determine whether Santos “may have engaged in illegal activity in connection with his 2022 congressional campaign; failed to properly disclose required information on reports filed in Congress, violated federal conflict of interest laws.” connection with his role in an organization providing fiduciary services; and/or sexually assaulted a person seeking employment in his congressional office.”
Santos responded to the announcement on Twitter.
“The House Committee on Ethics has opened an investigation, and Congressman Jorge Santos is fully cooperating,” his office’s Twitter account wrote. “No further comment will be made at this time.”
Santos told CNN in early February He was “not worried” about a House ethics investigation or New York constituents calling for his resignation.
“Are you saying that my constituents’ freedom of speech is interfering with my work?” Santos said. “Do you think people are interfering with the work I do here?”
In a recent interview with Piers Morgan, Santos suggested that the local grassroots campaigns calling for his ouster are not representative of the district. But a poll was released on Monday by Siena College 66% of New Yorkers wanted him out — including 58% of Republicans.
“The ‘good’ news for Santos is that even in these hyper-partisan times, he has found a way to get Democrats, Republicans and independents to agree on political figures,” pollster Steven Greenberg said in a poll release. “The bad news for Santos is that he is the political figure they agree with, and they look favorably on him.”
Aside from outright lies about his personal life, education and professional records, Santos has been implicated in shady business dealings in 2020 and 2021, including a stint with Harbor City Capital Corporation. “In an April 2021 complaint against the company. (Santhos is not listed in the complaint.)
However, investigations into his campaign finances could be more damaging. CNN reported late last year Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating issues surrounding his wealth and more than $700,000 in loans he took out for his successful 2022 campaign. Santos has repeatedly said the campaign money was received legally. But a complaint by a campaign watchdog called into question the source of that funding drop. Two years ago, Santos reported a salary of $55,000 and no assets.
In addition, the campaign’s accounting has come under intense scrutiny, especially after it was revealed that his former treasurer had listed dozens of expenses. Just a penny below the legal limit For keeping receipts.
That treasurer has been replaced by Nancy Marks. But the true identity of her successor remains a mystery.
On the Hill, Santos also now has to answer For an allegation by a prospective employee She claims Santos made unwanted sexual advances toward her during a private meeting in the congressman’s office. The accused claims that shortly after he refused Santos, he was denied a job. Santos has denied the claims.
An individual, Derek MyersIn the House ethics complaint, Santos said he “touched” her groin before calling her home and that her husband was out of town, according to a copy of the document provided to CNN last month.
Santos rejected repeated calls for his resignation, including from fellow Republicans and local Republican officials. He played it quiet when asked if he plans to seek re-election despite filing the necessary paperwork to keep the option open.
GOP leaders in Washington stopped short of calling for her to leave, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy allowed her to sit on a pair of House committees. However, Santos made the choice Get out of those jobs Anger at his lies intensified in late January.
The panel is expanding its investigation into Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
The ethics committee said in a statement Thursday that it is expanding its investigation into New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and whether she accepted impermissible gifts as a member of Congress. The committee released a report from the Office of Congressional Ethics that said Ocasio-Cortez “may have accepted impermissible gifts in connection with her attendance at the 2021 Met Gala.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s counsel in a statement to the committee said, “Although no ethics violations were found, the Office of Congressional Ethics (‘OCE’) identified delays in paying vendors for expenses associated with the Congresswoman’s visit to the Gala. The Congresswoman finds these delays unacceptable, and He has taken several steps to ensure that nothing happens again.”
“Even after OCE’s thorough review of the Congresswoman’s personal communications, there is no record that the Congresswoman refused to pay these expenses,” David Mitrani wrote in the letter. “To the contrary, there are numerous clear, documented communications prior to OCE’s review that demonstrate the Congresswoman’s understanding that these expenses must be paid for out of her own funds. I would dismiss this matter.”
This story has been updated with additional updates.
CNN’s Christine Wilson and Melanie Sanona contributed to this report.