Former New York Rep. George Santos has announced that he will leave the Republican party — which he said "continues to lie and swindle its voter base" its voter base — and run for Congress as an independent. 

Santos, who in December was expelled from the House of Representatives after a House committee reported fraud and misused campaign funds, made his announcement on Friday on X, formerly Twitter.

"The Republican Party continues to lie and swindle its voter base. I in good conscience cannot affiliate myself with a party that stands for nothing and falls for everything," Santos said, adding that he "will take my Ultra MAGA/Trump supporting values to the ballot in November as an Independent."

Santos announced during President Joe Biden's State of the Union address earlier this month that he was running for Congress again in New York’s First Congressional District, which encompasses Long Island's east end. The seat is currently held by Rep. Nick LaLota, a freshman Republican who was elected alongside Santos in 2022. Former CNN political commentator John Avlon and Nancy Goroff, chair of the chemistry department at Stony Brook University who previously challenged for the seat in 2020, are seeking the Democratic nomination.

The former Congressman was removed from the House in a 311-114 vote of his peers in December, following an in-depth examination of his murky history. He’s professed — and later walked back — a background claiming to have grandparents who survived the Holocaust, working for prestigious financial firms, holding two college degrees and having a mother who escaped the South Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11. He has, however, settled check fraud charges in Brazil, his family’s home country and one-time place of residence — charges that he had apparently evaded until his election to Congress in 2022.

Domestically, he is scheduled to face trial on 23 federal charges related to campaign ahead of the election.

Santos faces 23 charges related to embezzlement and fraud, accused of stealing identities of donors and defrauding them to benefit his own campaign and bank accounts, as well as filing false reports to the Federal Elections Commission, using campaign funds for designer clothes and personal expenses and improperly obtaining and using pandemic-era unemployment benefits.

In one case, Santos charged $12,000 to a donor’s credit card — without their knowledge or approval — transferring a "vast majority" into his personal bank account, the Justice Department said.

Santos has pleaded not guilty, continually denying the charges against him and pledging to fight "until the bitter end."

Since being kicked out of Congress, Santos has hustled to remain in the public eye. On Cameo, the service that allows people to buy personalized videos from famous (and infamous) celebrities, Santos advertises himself as a "former congressional 'icon'" and "the expelled member of Congress from New York City," now charging $350 a pop. 

He also made an appearance at the 2024 State of the Union address, during which he chatted up his former colleagues and tweeted out a promise to run in New York’s First Congressional District.

LaLota, who was fiercely critical of Santos and helped to expel from the body, called Santos "bizarre" and an "embarrassment." Santos, who previously represented New York’s Third Congressional District, which encompasses parts of Long Island and Queens, calls LaLota a "Republican in name only." 

In his Friday post, Santos tagged LaLota and Democratic candidate John Avlon, saying "ill [sic] see you boys in November," anchoring the post with a winking, kissy-face emoji.