WASHINGTON — Just ahead of the vote to expel George Santos from Congress, a fellow Republican congressman accused Santos of personally defrauding him and his mother.
In a letter sent to colleagues, which was obtained by NBC News, Rep. Max Miller, R-Ohio, said he learned earlier this year that Santos' campaign "had charged my personal credit card — and the personal card of my Mother — for contribution amounts that exceeded FEC limits. Neither my Mother nor I approved these charges or were aware of them."
Shortly after Miller made his accusations public, the House voted 311-114 to expel Santos.
Miller said that as a result, he has spent "tens of thousands of dollars" in legal fees dealing with the situation. He went on to say that he has seen a list of 400 people, including other Republican House members, he believes were also overcharged by Santos.
Santos' office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The two men traded barbs Thursday afternoon. "You, sir, are a crook," Miller said to Santos in remarks on the House floor. Santos responded by referring to a 2020 accusation against Miller by his former girlfriend, Stephanie Grisham, who served as White House press secretary under then-President Donald Trump.
Miller's letter came just ahead of the expulsion vote against Santos. Despite all members of House Republican leadership announcing that they wouldn't support removing him, an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote brought an end to his time in Congress.
"While I understand and respect the position of those who will vote against the expulsion resolution, my personal experience related to the allegations and findings of the Ethics Committee compels me to vote for the resolution," Miller wrote.
Santos has been accused by federal prosecutors of a wide-ranging effort to defraud donors and the Republican Party. He has denied any wrongdoing and insisted that he will be exonerated. A separate report by the House Ethics Committee also accused him of a variety of schemes to defraud donors and misuse campaign funds.
Santos has been charged with multiple federal counts, including identity theft, theft of public funds and money laundering related to campaign donations. His case is scheduled to go to trial in September.
Two former Santos campaign staffers have entered guilty pleas and are cooperating with prosecutors.
Among the allegations against Santos is that he listed fake personal loans to his campaign on required disclosures in order to qualify for additional funding from the RNC.
Santos was also accused of using credit card information obtained through his campaign to make unauthorized charges.