November 17, 2023

Rep. Takano Statement on Ethics Report on Rep. George Santos

RIVERSIDE, CA -- Representative Mark Takano (D-Calif) released the following statement on the Ethics Committee report on Representative George Santos.

“I have read the report of the Investigative Subcommittee of the House Committee on Ethics regarding the conduct of Representative George Santos.  Its findings and conclusion are damning.

“While the Committee stopped short of adopting a Statement of Alleged Violation, which would be the next step toward the full Committee on Ethics issuing a sanction recommendation to the full House, it also unanimously voted to make public all of its evidentiary documents.  The ISC demurred from adopting an SAV because it did not want to risk interfering with the Justice Department’s ongoing criminal investigation of Mr. Santos. As one who was concerned about possibly setting a terrible new precedent in which the House risked expulsion of a member without adequate due process, I am struck by the ISC’s statement "…the House should take whatever action it deems appropriate in light of [the ISC’s] findings.” 

“The ISC further opined that while Mr. Santos is entitled to the full due process in a court of law, he should be held accountable to higher standards of conduct as a United States Representative. The House has rarely exercised its constitutional authority of expulsion, and ordinarily I believe this authority should be reserved for members who have been CONVICTED of serious crimes, with lesser sanctions being applied to bad conduct that falls short of criminality. The ISC revealed credible evidence of serious criminality. The ISC also reports “This matter [Mr. Santos’ conduct], however, is unprecedented in many ways.” I read the ISC’s explanation for why the full Committee on Ethics will not issue a recommendation on sanctioning his conduct as call for a new precedent to address a matter that is unprecedented. 

“In this particular case, waiting for a verdict in Mr. Santos’ criminal trial would undermine the integrity of our elections and risk conveying to the American people that Congress is unwilling or unable to hold its members to be accountable to the law and decent norms of campaigning.

“I thank my colleagues for their diligent and thorough bipartisan work in producing this report. Regarding the House of Representatives, Mr. Santos was accorded sufficient due process.  While the House is a not a court of law, a bipartisan investigation accorded Mr. Santos the opportunity to respond to the allegations made against him. I call on Mr. Santos to resign for his unprecedented bad conduct — which has brought discredit to the House — before another motion to expel him is made.  If he will not resign, I am prepared to vote for his expulsion."