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Rep. George Santos will not seek reelection

Rep. George Santos

Embattled Rep. George Santos said Thursday that he will not seek a second term in office after the House Ethics Committee released a scathing report accusing him of breaking several laws.

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Santos announced his decision in a social media post, writing, “my family deserves better than to be under the gun from the press all the time.”

The New York Republican has resisted calls for his resignation since reports surfaced that he had lied about his biography while running for Congress. He has since stepped down from his House committee assignments and faces criminal prosecution on charges related to his campaign finances.

On Thursday, the House Ethics Committee said in a statement that it found “substantial evidence” that Santos had stolen from his campaign and lied to donors and federal election officials. The panel said it was referring the evidence it uncovered to the Justice Department for further action.

“If there was a single ounce of ETHICS in the ‘Ethics committee’, they would not have released this biased report,” Santos wrote in a social media post Thursday after the committee released its report.

He added, “I will remain steadfast in fighting for my rights and for defending my name in the face of adversity. I am humbled yet again and reminded that I am human and I have flaws, but I will not stand by as I am stoned by those who have flaws themselves. I will continue on my mission to serve my constituents ... (as long as) I am allowed.”

Federal authorities have charged Santos with fraud and money laundering, accusing him of reporting non-existed contributions, stealing identities and using the credit cards of people who donated to his campaign without their authorization.

Santos has denied the allegations, which he has framed as politically motivated.

Two of the lawmaker’s former aides have pleaded guilty to federal charges connected with him. On Tuesday, one of his former fundraisers pleaded guilty to wire fraud after he was accused of impersonating an aide to former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in a plot to garner donations for Santos’ congressional campaign.

Last month, Santos’ former campaign treasurer pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the federal government. Authorities said Nancy Marks submitted false reports to the Federal Election Commission to get support from Republican Party officials.