As members of the House of Representatives debated the expulsion of Rep. George Santos (R-NY) on Thursday, Rep. Max Miller (R-OH) stood and leveled a blockbuster allegation.
“I myself have been a victim of George Santos,” Miller declared, before turning to face Santos and adding, “You sir, are a crook.”
Miller elaborated on his claim in an email to colleagues shortly before the expulsion vote on Friday. TPM obtained a copy of the email, which was previously reported by Punchbowl. In it, Miller explained the “personal impact” Santos had on him.
“Earlier this year, I learned that the Santos campaign had charged my personal credit card — and the card of my Mother — for contribution amounts that exceeded FEC limits. Neither my Mother nor I approved these charges or were aware of them,” Miller wrote.
Miller went on to claim he had “seen a list of roughly 400 other people to whom the Santos campaign allegedly did this.”
TPM published the first report in January on indications the Santos campaign improperly charged donors’ credit cards. In October, Santos was indicted by federal prosecutors on charges of credit card fraud and identity theft for an alleged “scheme” to bilk donors. Miller’s email is the first indication of the full scope of the alleged fraud.
In the wake of a damning Ethics Committee report detailing alleged misuse of campaign funds by Santos, the House voted to expel Santos on Friday, making him the first person in history to be removed from Congress without being convicted of a crime or being part of the Confederacy. According to Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), Miller’s email was the final straw that convinced some House members who had been concerned about the precedent of expelling a colleague without a criminal conviction to vote for Santos’ ouster.
When Miller first alluded to his accusation on Thursday, Santos angrily demanded that the comment be “stricken from the record.” His request was rejected as “not timely.” Santos, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this story, blasted the remarks as “hypocrisy” in light of the fact that Miller has faced domestic violence allegations.
“We all have pasts,” Santos said.