Having said he would leave Congress “graciously” were he expelled, disgraced former congressman George Santos appears out for revenge against those lawmakers who supported his expulsion in Friday’s landslide vote.
After his exit from the Capitol on Friday afternoon there was silence from the ex-Republican congressman.
That is, until 11.35pm when he took to his personal account on X and wrote of his intention to file ethics complaints against four of his former colleagues. The Independent has contacted their offices for comment.
First in his firing line was fellow New York Republican Rep Nicole Malliotakis.
Mr Santos made allegations of insider trading against the Staten Island congresswoman while making insinuations about her personal life. He added that he would be filing an ethics complaint about her.
“Let’s talk about hypocrisy,” he wrote. “Can someone ask Nicole MalioStockTips when did she become a savant in stock trading? The signature bank trades she did REEKS of insider trading much like Paul Pelosi’s every trade!
“Nicole is in it for herself! Just look at her record and it speaks for itself. Nicole MalioStockTips is a dirty dishonorable swamp creature selling the American people down a river for her own benefit.”
In a further catty dig, he said “@NMalliotakis the difference between you and I is that I don’t live in denial, I’m a PROUD GAY man and I’m not afraid to say it.”
In a separate tweet, he wrote: “Monday I will be filing an official complaint with the Office of congressional Ethics against @NMalliotakis regarding her questionable stock trading since joining the Ways and Means committee this Congress.
“Before joining the committee the congresswoman didn’t have an active trading habit or a high volume stake. The question is, what set of information is she trading with?”
He wasn’t done there. Three other tri-state area representatives are also in Mr Santos’s sights as his apparent revenge tour gets underway.
Next up was Republican Congressman Mike Lawler of upstate New York. Mr Santos wrote that the ethics complaint against him concerned “questionable campaign finance violations”.
“Congressman Lawler owns [a] portion of Checkmate Strategies and he uses the same firm that he is a beneficiary of to pay for services related to his campaign,” Mr Santos wrote.
“The concerning questions are; is Mr Lawler engaging in laundering money [from] his campaign to his firm then into his own pocket? I will let the Office of Congressional Ethics be the judge of that.”
Nate Soule, a spokesperson for Congressman Lawler, told The Independent: “Being attacked by a serial liar and con man like George Santos is a badge of honour. His bogus allegations against Congressman Lawler mirror ones made by Democrats over a year ago that were rebutted in a City & State story.”
“As he was embarking on his run for Congress, Mr Lawler and Checkmate Strategies reached out to the FEC through their attorneys at Squire, Patton, and Boggs LLC to ensure 100 per cent compliance with the law. After receiving a favourable response, Mr Lawler then went above and beyond, instructing the firm's accountants to firewall him from any profits resulting from his campaign,” he added.
“Since being sworn into Congress, Congressman Lawler no longer plays a role in the firm and is 100 per cent focused on his job serving the people of the Hudson Valley.”
The third congressman Mr Santos named is Nick LaLota, a Republican representing Long Island.
“It has been raised in the local media that congressman Lalota obtained his JD attending Hofstra in day school while he was supposed to be working at the Board of Elections at the same time,” said Mr Santos.
“The questionable actions are? Did Rep Lalota no-show to his tax pay funded job while going to school and if so he can potential have stolen public funds form the tax payers of NY.”
He added: “I will let the Office of Congressional Ethics determine the validity of this grave allegation raised in his local media.”
Will Kiley, a spokesperson for Rep LaLota, told The Independent: “George is just mad the Congressman has three actual degrees while he lied about having one.”
An independent investigation of the issue referred to by Mr Santos found no wrongdoing on the part of the congressman.
Finally, he turned his gaze on a Democrat, Congressman Robert Menendez, son of Senator Bob Menendez, currently under investigation regarding foreign donations to his campaign.
“While congressman Menedez has not been invoked by the diligent investigation of the DOJ into his father, there remains a question of what did he know and when did he know it, the complaint is to seek clarification from the freshman congressman on his involvement with his fathers overseas dealing over the years and any potential compensation he received,” he tweeted.
“I think it’s a fair point to make sure we weed out the doubt surrounding Rep Menendez and his business associations with his father. I will leave it to the office of congressional ethics to investigate the material I’ll be submitting to them.”
When reached for comment, Michael Zhadanovsky, communications director for Mr Menendez, told The Independent: “George Santos is neither Rep Menendez’s colleague nor a constituent so we will not expend any energy responding to his Botox-fueled fits of rage.”
Mr Santos also pondered whether any of his former colleagues would have the “testicular fortitude” to push for an expulsion of New York Democrat Jamaal Bowman for pulling a fire alarm in a House office building. A resolution seeking his expulsion was Mr Santos’s final act as a lawmaker.
“Let’s see who will be the Republican that will have the testicular fortitude to pick up my privileged motion to expel Bowman and reintroduce it!” he wrote.
Even before his revenge tour began, Mr Santos was hitting out online at lawmakers who had said they would vote to expel him — notably Republican Rep Brandon Williams of New York, who was caught on camera threatening his former campaign manager the night before the expulsion vote.
“Yup this is real congressional behavior!” tweeted Mr Santos. “He’s done similar to this to my staff inside an embassy event… I encourage the former staffer to file a OCE complaint tomorrow morning.”
Earlier that day, Mr Williams said of Mr Santos on CNN: “We don’t know who he is at all. He’s a dedicated, committed con man in the halls of Congress and has access to government secrets, to a lot of things that could be damaging to this country. He has to go.”
It will be seen on Monday as to whether Mr Santos goes ahead with his threats to file the complaints but his bio on X has been changed to the following: “My community service will be to clean up Congress of it’s corrupt frauds in a Bipartisan way. My road to redemption will be serving the American people!❤️🇺🇸”
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