House rejects effort to expel George Santos

November 1, 2023

House lawmakers Wednesday evening overwhelmingly rejected a measure to expel legally embattled freshman Rep. George Santos (R-NY) by a vote of 179-213. 

Under the Constitution, expulsion requires a two-thirds vote in favor, meaning nearly 80 Republicans would have had to vote with all 212 Democrats to expel Santos. Instead, 135 Republicans and 31 Democrats voted against the measure.

The vote came after a group of Santos’ fellow House Republicans from New York, led by Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, moved last week to force a vote on a resolution to expel Santos from Congress.

Earlier Wednesday, D’Esposito and four other New York Republican House members—Reps. Nick LaLota, Anthony D’Esposito, Marcus Molinaro, Brandon Williams and Mike Lawler—pressed their case, writing a letter to the House GOP conference, stating, “This issue is not a political one but a moral one….This is a question of right and wrong.”

Despite surviving Wednesday’s vote, Santos’ troubles are far from over. He is facing a September 9, 2024 trial date on 23 separate felony counts, including wire fraud, identity theft, credit card theft, money laundering and falsely reporting to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) that he had loaned his campaign $500,000; in fact, he hadn’t given anything while maintaining less than $8,000 in the bank.

Santos has pleaded not guilty to all counts. 

And on Tuesday House Ethics Committee leaders said they plan to announce their “next course of action” in their investigation into legally embattled Rep. George Santos (R-NY) by November 17.

The committee launched an investigation into alleged misconduct by Santos back in March.

A special legislative subcommittee has been looking into “whether Representative George Santos may have: engaged in unlawful activity with respect to his 2022 congressional campaign; failed to properly disclose required information on statements filed with the House; violated federal conflict of interest laws in connection with his role in a firm providing fiduciary services; and/or engaged in sexual misconduct towards an individual seeking employment in his congressional office.”

Ahead of Wednesday evening’s House vote, Santos spoke defiantly on the floor of the chamber, saying, “One can’t say that they are pro-Constitution and at the same time act as judge, jury and executioner. Where is the consistency?”

He noted during his speech that the last time a lawmaker was expelled from the House, that person had been criminally convicted—James Traficant (D-OH) in 2002, who had been convicted of 10 corruption-related felonies related to his requiring his staffers to pay him and do other jobs outside of their congressional duties in exchange for employment.

Following Wednesday evening’s vote, Santos hailed its failure to expel him as a “victory for due process.”

Santos filed for reelection in 2024 on March 14. 

PHOTO: House vote on measure to expel George Santos

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