Santos communications director resigns following scathing Ethics report

Gabrielle Lipsky, the communications director for Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), has resigned from the congressman’s office, a source familiar with the situation confirmed Friday to The Hill.

Lipsky resigned after the House Ethics Committee published a damning report following its investigation into Santos, which found “substantial evidence” that the New York Republican “violated federal criminal laws.”

Lipsky began serving in Santos’s congressional office in January 2023 after working on his congressional campaign from April 2022 through November 2022.

Semafor was the first to report her resignation.

Her resignation comes as Santos faces increased political pressure on Capitol Hill, with a third expulsion attempt on the horizon. Rep. Michael Guest (R-Miss.), the chair of the Ethics panel, introduced a resolution Friday to expel Santos. He could call the legislation to the floor as a privileged resolution when the House returns to Washington following the Thanksgiving holiday, which would force leadership to act on the measure within two legislative days.

“The evidence uncovered in the Ethics Committee’s Investigative Subcommittee investigation is more than sufficient to warrant punishment and the most appropriate punishment, is expulsion. So, separate from the Committee process and my role as Chairman, I have filed an expulsion resolution,” Guest wrote in a statement Friday.

Additionally, Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) — who forced the first vote on expelling Santos, which ended with a referral to the Ethics panel — said he plans to submit a privileged resolution to oust Santos when the House returns Nov. 28. Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.), who filed an Ethics complaint against Santos, said he plans to do the same.

The Ethics Committee report found that Santos “blatantly stole from his campaign,” spending official funds on a trip to Atlantic City, N.J., a trip to Las Vegas and on Botox and other cosmetic procedures. The panel said it was not able to verify if those expenses had a campaign purpose, but they appeared not to.

Santos also utilized money from an outside strategy firm established to support his campaign at the luxury brand Hermes, to make payments for his personal credit cards and debt, and to make small purchases at OnlyFans, which is largely used for adult content, according to the report.

The Ethics panel did, however, say it was unable to substantiate a claim from a prospective staffer that accused Santos of sexual harassment. The panel questioned the credibility of that prospective staffer, whose employment offer was rescinded because of concerns over pending felony wiretapping charges.

Santos slammed the Ethics Committee in a statement on X following the release of the report, calling its work “biased” and “a disgusting politicized smear that shows the depths of how low our federal government has sunk.”

The congressman also announced that he would no longer seek reelection but said he would continue to serve in his seat until no longer able to.

“I will continue on my mission to serve my constituents up until I am allowed. I will however NOT be seeking re-election for a second term in 2024 as my family deserves better than to be under the gun from the press all the time,” Santos wrote.

Santos is also facing 23 federal criminal counts on allegations that he misled donors, fraudulently received unemployment benefits, lied on House financial disclosures, inflated his campaign finance reports and charged his donors’ credit cards without authorization. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts, and his trial is set for September 2024.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.