New York Republicans are looking to expel Rep. George Santos from the House

Nov 1, 2023, 4:11 PM

Rep. George Santos is escorted by police as he leaves Central Islip Federal Courthouse in Central I...

Rep. George Santos is escorted by police as he leaves Central Islip Federal Courthouse in Central Islip, New York, on May 10. Photo credit: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters/File

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. George Santos faces a vote Wednesday evening to expel him from the House as part of an effort led by fellow New York Republicans who are anxious to distance themselves from a colleague infamous for fabricating his life story and accused of stealing from donors, lying to Congress and receiving unemployment benefits he did not deserve.

To succeed, their resolution needs the support of at least two-thirds of lawmakers, meaning numerous Republican lawmakers would have to break ranks with newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson, who has said Santos should get his day in court. Johnson, R-La., also recently told Fox News that if Congress is going to expel members because they are charged with a crime or accused of wrongdoing, “that’s a problem.”

Congress has rarely resorted to the most extreme punishment at its disposal. The House has expelled only five members in its history — three during the Civil War and two after their convictions on public corruption charges. It would be groundbreaking for the House to kick out Santos before his case in federal court is resolved.

Some Republicans, however, say they have seen enough of Santos and will support the expulsion effort.

Department of Justice files superseding indictment against Rep. George Santos

Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., said he believes in due process, but also thinks Santos misrepresented himself to New York voters and they never would have elected him if they had “known the true George Santos.”

“We don’t need the Santos charade all the way through the 2024 election cycle. I think the Congress needs to take action now,” Womack said.

Santos has called the expulsion campaign a political tactic and has pledged to keep fighting to stay in Congress.

“I will not beg for my constitutional rights,” he said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “I will let my colleagues make their decision without my interference.”

The New York lawmakers in the expulsion resolution laid out the array of charges Santos is facing in federal court, saying the charges indicated Santos engaged in serious financial fraud throughout his 2022 campaign for the House. It also said he deceived voters regarding his biography and is “not fit to serve his constituents as United States Representative.”

“He made up this whole story,” Rep. Nick LaLota said of Santos last week. “He’s admitted that he’s made up his whole story. That is basis enough for an expulsion. You don’t get to come here based on lying to all your voters.”

Rep. George Santos’ former campaign treasurer will plead guilty to a federal felony, prosecutors say

In May, Republicans under then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California sidestepped a Democratic-led effort to expel Santos. While 204 Democrats voted against a motion to refer the matter to the House Ethics Committee, House Republicans stood unified behind the effort that delayed action on Santos’ conduct.

Johnson, who took the speaker’s gavel last week, has made it clear he would prefer not to oust Santos at this point, despite the many charges against the congressman, as Johnson struggles to control a very slim majority.

The committee issued a statement Monday promising to release an update on the investigation by Nov. 17. The statement described a thorough investigation into Santos, and sent a clear signal to rank-and-file Republicans who may be reluctant to expel one of their own before the courts and the committee have weighed in.

“He’s only been charged. He hasn’t been found guilty of anything. We have due process in America,” said GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee who opposes the expulsion resolution.

But in a sign that not everyone in GOP leadership shares that view, the third-ranking Republican, Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, joined the New York Republicans on the floor last week when they introduced the resolution.

Democrats also could be more divided than they were during the previous expulsion effort against Santos. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., called it a complicated vote because she would like to wait for the committee to release its findings first.

“If there is a report forthcoming, I think we owe it to ourselves to give ourselves a couple of weeks so that we are all operating off the same information,” she said.

Rep. Mike Lawler, another New York Republican bringing the resolution, has argued that the House now has enough evidence to expel Santos, even if Santos’ criminal trial has not concluded. Lawler pointed to a guilty plea that the ex-treasurer for Santos made for a fraud conspiracy charge related to Santos’ campaign.

“So you have now a conviction in this case, that very clearly lays out what he did and how he did it,” Lawler said.

Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, the lead sponsor of the resolution, said he spoke with Johnson over the weekend about their efforts and the speaker did not ask him to pull the resolution.

“He has been very clear that you need to do what you think is right and you need to do what you think is right for the people of New York,” D’Esposito said.

Santos faces 23 charges in federal court. His trial has been scheduled for September next year. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Also on Wednesday evening, the House is expected to consider resolutions to censure Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

Passengers check in at San Francisco International Airport on May 24, 2024 in San Francisco, Califo...

Rebekah Riess, CNN

TSA sets new record Friday for most travelers screened in a single day

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it set a new record for most travelers screened in a single day on Friday, according to a post from the agency on X, formerly known as Twitter.

8 hours ago

President Joe Biden at the US Military Academy commencement ceremony in West Point, New York, on Ma...

Aileen Graef, Athena Jones and Shania Shelton, CNN

Biden touts expansion of NATO and actions in the Middle East during West Point commencement

President Joe Biden touted the expansion of NATO, his actions in the Middle East and progress in lowering military sexual assaults in a commencement address to the West Point graduating class Saturday.

12 hours ago

FILE - Boeing's Starliner capsule atop an Atlas V rocket is seen at Space Launch Complex 41 at the ...

Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press

Boeing’s 1st astronaut flight now set for June after a review of small leak on new capsule

Boeing is now aiming for its first astronaut launch at the beginning of June, after spending the past few weeks struggling with more problems on the space capsule.

12 hours ago

$20 bills...

Hannah Schoenbaum Associated Press

Utah man declined $100K offer to travel to Congo on ‘security job’ that was covert coup attempt

The friend of a prominent Congolese opposition leader’s son said he turned down a six-figure offer to travel there from the U.S. as part of the family’s security detail in what turned out to be a failed coup attempt.

14 hours ago

Local police have warned residents to keep their pets inside and not to approach the animal. (Tiffa...

Rebekah Riess and Zoe Sottile, CNN

A pet primate is on the loose in South Carolina

South Carolina authorities are searching not for a fugitive prisoner or a stolen vehicle, but rather for a resident’s wayward primate

14 hours ago

Colorado State Capitol Building, partially obscured by trees, on East Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colo...

Jesse Bedayn, Associated Press/Report for America

Colorado governor signs bills regulating funeral homes after discovery of 190 rotting bodies

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed two bills into law Friday that overhaul state oversight of the funeral home industry after a series of gruesome discoveries, including 190 discomposing bodies in a facility, families being sent fake ashes and the unauthorized sale of body parts.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

New York Republicans are looking to expel Rep. George Santos from the House