House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has selected Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS) to chair the House Ethics Committee where he can be expected to face scrutiny as his committee begins to look into a multitude of accusations made against newly-elected Rep. George Santos (R-NY).
According to the report, Guest will be handed 26 ongoing cases for consideration but "has not yet announced which, if any, of those will continue."
Guest represents an interesting choice having had to pay a fine previously for not reporting oil company-related stock trades in 2021 while serving on the committee. Add to that, as Roll Call points out, the Mississippi lawmaker raised objections to the official certification of electoral votes in 2020.
As the report notes, "The Mississippian entered Congress as a strong supporter of former President Donald Trump, who endorsed his 2020 run. Guest, in turn, has remained loyal to Trump, echoing some of the former president’s false claims about the 2020 presidential election. While the new Ethics chairman did condemn the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot carried out by Trump’s loyalists, he voted against certifying the electoral votes of Arizona and Pennsylvania."
But Guest parted ways with the majority of his GOP colleagues by joining with 35 other House Republicans to vote in favor of the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot, which hurt him in the polls. He faced a tight primary race in 2022 against Republican challenger Michael Cassidy, who painted him as inadequately loyal to Trump, but Guest ultimately prevailed.
With regard to Santos, New York Reps. Ritchie Torres (D) and Daniel Goldman (D) have filed a complaint asking for an investigation into his finances, writing to the committee that Santos should be scrutinized “for violations of the Ethics in Government Act by failing to file timely, accurate, and complete financial disclosure reports as required by law.”