In a significant move on Capitol Hill, House Ethics Chairman Michael Guest, a Mississippi Republican, has introduced a resolution aimed at expelling GOP Representative George Santos of New York from Congress. This comes in the wake of a damning report released by the Ethics Committee following its investigation into Santos’s actions.
Growing Momentum for Expulsion
The resolution to expel Congressman Santos is expected to be a focal point of discussion among lawmakers at the end of this month, as they return from the Thanksgiving holiday. While Santos has managed to survive previous attempts to oust him from the House, this latest effort seems to be gaining momentum.
Following the completion of the ethics investigation, a notable number of Republicans who had previously withheld support for expulsion have indicated their intention to vote in favor of it. Expelling a member of Congress is a rare occurrence, as it requires a two-thirds majority vote in the House to succeed. As of now, 13 GOP lawmakers have publicly expressed their support for expelling Santos since the release of the Ethics Committee’s report, and this number is expected to grow in the coming days.
Ethics Committee’s Findings
The Ethics Committee’s report revealed more than what was initially known about Santos’s actions. It uncovered additional instances of “uncharged and unlawful conduct” by the congressman, which go beyond the criminal allegations already pending against him. These newly discovered allegations will be immediately referred to the Justice Department for further investigation. The committee’s conclusion was damning, stating that Santos had “sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit.”
Santos, who has been a member of Congress since January, made a significant announcement in response to the committee’s report. He declared that he would not seek reelection, though he remained defiant and vehemently denounced the investigation, referring to it as a “biased report.”
Legal Troubles Mount
Apart from the expulsion resolution, Santos is facing serious legal challenges. He has pleaded not guilty to a total of 23 federal charges, which include allegations of fraud related to Covid-19 unemployment benefits, misusing campaign funds, and providing false information about his personal finances on House disclosure reports.
In early November, a previous Republican-led effort to expel Santos did not succeed. Many lawmakers expressed concern about expelling a member who was still in the midst of an ongoing legal battle and lacked a criminal conviction. Prior to the vote, Santos emphasized his right to the “presumption of innocence.”
Background of the Expulsion Resolution
The House’s decision to pursue this expulsion resolution stems from a vote that took place in May, where the House voted to refer a resolution, led by Democrats, to expel Santos to the Ethics Committee.
The House Ethics Chairman’s introduction of the resolution to expel George Santos from Congress marks a significant development in a growing controversy surrounding the New York congressman. The coming weeks will see intense debate and discussions among lawmakers, as they consider the rare and serious step of expelling one of their own.