Metro Weekly

Republicans Introduce Resolution to Expel George Santos

The House is expected to vote next week on a resolution to expel gay Republican U.S. Rep. George Santos from Congress.

George Santos – Photo; U.S. House of Representatives; Exit Sign – Photo: Tareq Ismail, via Unsplash

A group of New York Republicans that previously promised to force a vote on expelling U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) from the U.S. House of Representatives has officially initiated the first steps to do so. 

Rep. Anthony D’Esposito called the measure to the floor as a privileged resolution on Thursday afternoon, which gives House leadership two legislative days to either expel the embattled Republican or refer the measure to committee.

Two-thirds of all House members must vote to expel Santos, the sole out gay Republican in Congress, while only a majority of members have to vote to refer the resolution to a committee, such as the House Ethics Committee.

Because the resolution is privileged, it takes precedence over other House business.

The House adjourned on Thursday afternoon, with plans not to return until next Wednesday, so the vote to expel Santos will likely not happen until Thursday, November 2.

What position to take on the resolution will be determined by House leadership, including recently elected House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.).

According to The Hill, D’Esposito informed Johnson of his plans to bring the resolution to the floor, to which Johnson reportedly responded, “Do what’s right and do what’s right for New York.”

The Republicans behind the resolution say they were compelled to act after Nancy Marks, Santos’s former campaign treasurer, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

As part of that conspiracy, Marks allegedly coordinated with Santos, planning to inflate his campaign finance reports in order to qualify for special funding for GOP candidates. 

Earlier this month, Santos was charged with 10 additional counts of financial wrongdoing, fraud, and identity theft for allegedly misrepresenting his campaign finances, charging donors’ credit cards multiple times, and falsely claiming that some of those charges were donations from relatives and associates.

The 10 new charges are in addition to 13 federal charges that were brought against Santos back in May.

Shortly after Santos was indicted on the original 13 charges, House Democrats, led by openly gay U.S. Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.), tried to force a vote to expel Santos from the U.S. House of Representatives.

At the time, congressional Republicans used a procedural maneuver to sidestep the vote, arguing that the ongoing House Ethics Committee should be allowed to conclude an investigation into alleged campaign finance violations and conflict of interest laws by Santos before any action is taken to potentially remove him from office.

Days after helping fellow Republicans choose a new House speaker, Santos on Friday pleaded not guilty to the latest charges against him during an arraignment in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Presiding Judge Joanna Seybert has scheduled a trial date for September 9, 2024. 

U.S. Rep. Nick LaLota (R-N.Y.), one of the Republicans backing the privileged resolution, told reporters that Marks’s guilty plea earlier this month appeared to confirm the alleged wrongdoing by Santos, thereby justifying taking action to remove the congressman from office.

LaLota, along with several of his fellow New York Republicans — all freshman lawmakers — has previously called on Santos to resign based both on his alleged financial dealings and his untrustworthiness, including fabrications he admitted to making about his life, family, work experience, college experience, and even his connection to global historical events like 9/11, the Holocaust, and the Pulse nightclub massacre.

While those same Republicans previously voted to defer Garcia’s expulsion resolution in May, choosing to defer to the House Ethics Committee — which is reportedly rumored to be wrapping up its invesigation of Santos “very soon,” per The Hill — they say circumstances have changed, necessitating Santos’s removal.

“I think the difference between this and what the Democrats had brought is that you have a guilty plea in court by his treasurer, confirming significant details and obviously a superseding indictment based on that conviction and guilty plea by his treasurer,” Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), who represents the Hudson Valley region of New York, told reporters.

While there’s some uncertainty concerning whether the House’s more far-right members will ever vote to expel a fellow Republican — let alone Santos, who has been among the most loyal GOP foot soldiers — LaLota suggested that the New York Republicans would oppose a motion to table the resolution and refer it to committee.

It remains unclear whether proponents of the resolution have the support of two-thirds of the House — which, if all of the lower chamber’s Democrats voted to expel Santos, would require 79 Republicans to side against the congressman.

If Santos is expelled, the GOP’s slim majority would become even smaller, making it all the more important for Republicans to be in unison when it comes to pushing through crucial legislation. Santos’s removal would also trigger a special election to fill the seat. 

Reached for comment, Santos referred The Hill to a post on X reading: “Three points of clarification: 1. I have not cleared out my office. 2. I’m not resigning. 3. I’m entitled to due process and not a predetermined outcome as some are seeking. God bless!”

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