Rep. George Santos removed from chamber after allegations of fraud and misconduct
Santos becomes only the sixth lawmaker ever forcibly removed from the House
Rep. George Santos, a New York Republican, has been expelled from the House of Representatives on Friday following a felony indictment for fraud, money laundering, and other crimes. This makes Santos only the sixth lawmaker ever to be forcibly removed from the chamber.
The vote to expel Santos comes after media reports and a scathing 56-page House Ethics Committee report revealed allegations of fabricated biography, donor fraud, and misuse of campaign funds to support a lavish lifestyle. The funds were said to be used for personal travel, Botox injections, and subscriptions to OnlyFans.
Previous attempts to expel Santos had failed, as many Republicans and some Democrats expressed opposition to removing a member who had not yet been convicted of a crime. However, the release of the House Ethics Committee report, which presented “overwhelming evidence of his misconduct,” shifted the votes against Santos.
The final vote to expel Santos was 311 to 114, with 105 Republicans joining nearly every Democrat in voting for his removal. Notably, several California representatives who had previously opposed Santos’ expulsion changed their stance and voted in favor of his removal.
Santos, despite denying any wrongdoing, attributed his removal to petty conflicts among his colleagues. He argued that he was not given due process since he had not yet been convicted of the charges against him.
The House Republican leaders refrained from urging their colleagues to vote for or against Santos’ removal. Speaker Mike Johnson allowed Republicans to “vote their conscience,” expressing concerns about setting a precedent by expelling a member without a federal conviction.
The expulsion of Santos weakens the Republican Party’s hold over the House, leaving them with just a 7-vote advantage. A special election is expected to be held next year to fill Santos’ vacant seat.
This is the third attempt to remove Santos from the House. The first two efforts failed to reach the necessary two-thirds majority. The current expulsion serves as a significant step towards accountability for Santos’ alleged misconduct.