House Democrats Move to Censure George Santos

July 17, 2023

House Democrats were set to file a resolution to censure legally embattled Rep. George Santos (R-NY) on Monday.

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) told the New York Times that Santos had “disgraced the institution, and the institution should speak with one voice against his misconduct.”

“If you are a member of Congress who has informally condemned Mr. Santos, then you should have no trouble formally censuring him,” Torres added.

The resolution has little chance of passing in the Republican-led House. In May, House Democrats unsuccessfully attempted to force a vote to expel Santos, who is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee regarding whether he may have “engaged in unlawful activity with respect to his 2022 congressional campaign,” among a series of allegations. 

Meanwhile, Santos has pleaded not guilty to 13 criminal counts at the federal court in New York’s Eastern District on May 10 on charges that include: seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives. Wire fraud is the most serious count, carrying a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. If Santos is found guilty of multiple counts, it would be up to a judge to decide whether he should serve his sentences concurrently or consecutively.

Though the House has only voted twice to expel a lawmaker in recent decades—a move that requires a two-thirds majority approval—25 members of the lower chamber have been censured in its history. 

Most recently the Republican-led chamber in June voted along party lines to censure Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) over his role in investigating former President Trump. 

And in 2021, when Democrats controlled the House, they voted along party lines to censure Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) for posting an edited anime video that depicted him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and President Biden.

The Democrats’ censure resolution against Santos targets his multiple lies about his personal and professional background, including false claims that he’s the grandson of Jewish Holocaust survivors, that his mother died in the 9/11 terror attacks, and that he previously worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.

Santos filed for reelection in 2024 on March 14.

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