New York Republican was kicked out of the House of Representatives in the wake of a damning ethics report

Disgraced former Republican lawmaker George Santos is already eyeing a return to Congress.

When he walked out of Congress for the final time on 1 December, Mr Santos — who was ousted House in a bipartisan vote after a damning ethics report and 23 federal criminal charges — was adamant he would never return, telling reporters, “Why would I want to stay here? To hell with this place.”

Now he has told New York radio host Frank Morano he would like his old job back one day.

“I’m not done with public service. I want to go back to Congress,” he said in an interview.

“I’m not saying today. I’m not saying tomorrow,” Santos continued. “I have a lot of things I need to take care of first … but I do have hopes of trying to regain the trust of the American people and going there because I will continue to expose and root out the rot in our federal government.”

Mr Santos has pleaded not guilty to the federal charges he faces but is in discussion over a plea deal, Brooklyn prosecutors disclosed in court filings earlier this week.

“The DOJ has been above board, beyond reproach, and professional throughout this entire matter,” Mr Santos said on the The Other Side of Midnight show. “The ethics committee was a political assassination, a joke of a process.”

“I’m not asking for people to like me,” he continued. “I’m not asking for people to have sympathy. I just want people to see the facts, and those are the facts.”