New resolution filed to expel GOP Rep. George Santos from Congress

The move comes one day after a scathing ethics panel report on his conduct.

November 17, 2023, 10:03 AM

Embattled GOP Rep. George Santos is facing another resolution to expel him from Congress.

Republican Rep. Michael Guest, chairman of the House Ethics Committee, filed the resolution on Friday -- one day after his panel released an explosive report stating a monthslong probe of the New York congressman "revealed a complex web of unlawful activity involving Representative Santos' campaign, personal, and business finances."

House investigators detailed how it said Santos used dollars donated to his political campaign for his own personal benefit, such as $2,900 labeled for "Botox" and $10,000 spent at high-end Ferragamo and Hermes store. Santos slammed the report as "disgusting politicized smear" and said he'd continue to defend himself, although he also announced after its release that he would not run for reelection.

Guest, in a statement, said the evidence discovered by the committee is “more than sufficient to warrant punishment and the most appropriate punishment is expulsion.”

PHOTO: Representative George Santos departs following a House Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 23, 2023.
Representative George Santos departs following a House Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 23, 2023.
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE

The resolution cites the panel's findings as well as the criminal charges brought against Santos, to which he's pleaded not guilty, and the prosecutions of his campaign treasurer and a former fundraiser.

It states that "given his egregious violations" Santos is unfit to serve as a U.S. representative.

Guest filed the expulsion resolution electronically as the House adjourned Friday for Thanksgiving recess. It is not a privileged resolution, meaning there is not a two-day time constraint to bring it to the floor for a vote, though that can change when lawmakers return on Nov. 28.

Santos late Thursday announced he would hold a news conference at the Capitol steps on Nov. 30. He encouraged all members to attend.

"I will continue to fight for what I believe in and I will never back down," Santos said.

This is the third effort to expel Santos from Congress -- an extremely rare move that's only occurred five times in the House in U.S. history, the most recent being in 2002.

Democrats first tried to force an expulsion vote in May, when Santos was first hit with federal charges of wire fraud, lying to officials and more. Republicans staved off that vote, however, by referring the matter to the House Ethics Committee.

A second expulsion attempt, this time brought by fellow members of the New York Republican delegation, made it to the floor earlier this month but failed to garner the two-thirds majority needed. The final vote was 179 for expulsion and 213 against.

It appears momentum is building to expel Santos following the House Ethics Committee's report, as some lawmakers who opposed the move now say they're in favor, including Colorado Republican Rep. Ken Buck and Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin.

House Speaker Mike Johnson reviewed the committee's report and "it's very troubling findings," his office said, but didn't weigh in on whether Santos should remain in office.

"As members from both parties, members of the Ethics Committee and Representative Santos return to Congress after the Thanksgiving break, Speaker Johnson encourages all involved to consider the best interests of the institution as this matter is addressed further," Raj Shah, the deputy chief of staff for communications for Speaker Johnson, said in a statement Thursday.

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