The House Ethics Committee said Thursday it had begun a formal investigation into Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., the contentious congressman engulfed in months of scandal.

The committee established an investigative subcommittee Thursday, after weeks of alluding to the possibility of an official investigation. Santos, who has admitted to numerous lies about his background and faced scrutiny over his campaign and personal finances, will now face a thorough investigation led by Republicans and Democrats.

In a release announcing the subcommittee, the panel said it voted unanimously to investigate Santos on a host of allegations, including possible "unlawful activity" surrounding Santos' 2022 successful House campaign, failure to disclose all required information on House forms, a potential violation of conflict of interest laws and an allegation of sexual misconduct.

The committee noted that the presence of an investigation "does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred."

If the panel discovers that Santos committed ethics violations, punishments could range from a reprimand to expulsion from the House of Representatives, depending on the extent of the conduct.

Santos has not officially commented on the announcement, save for a tweet from his official Twitter account saying the congressman "is fully cooperating. There will be no further comment made at this time."

Since the New York Times uncovered Santos' extensive lies in December, the freshman congressman has been unable to escape intense criticism from both sides of the spectrum. Several of his Republican House colleagues have called for his removal from the post, along with a growing list of New York Republicans who demand his resignation.

During last month's State of the Union address, Sen. Mitt Romney was caught on camera lambasting Santos, afterward labeling him "an embarrassment."

The House Ethics Committee is far from the only institution investigating Santos' lies, as federal prosecutors, the Campaign Legal Center, New York Attorney General Tish James and the Republican district attorney in Nassau County have all expressed interest in the troubled representative.