US Congressional Member Rep George Santos has been expelled from the House after more than a hundred Republicans joined almost all Democrats in voting to remove him from the chamber.
More than a hundred Republicans voted with nearly all Democrats to remove US Congressman George Santos from the chamber, thereby expelling him from his position.
After the House Ethics Committee laid out “substantial evidence” that Mr. Santos broke federal law in a stinging 56-page report, he became one of the rare politicians ever removed from office.
The defeated Mr. Santos proclaimed, “They just set new dangerous precedent for themselves” as he stepped down from the platform.
Mr. Santos’s expulsion required a two-thirds majority; 311 members supported it, 114 voted against it, and 2 were absent. No member of the GOP’s upper echelons supported the departure.
Mr. Santos expressed his satisfaction with the vote’s result when speaking on the House floor. “I am embracing my expulsion.”
This followed a press conference George Santos delivered hours earlier, during which he denied being a victim of “bullying,” saying, “if I leave, they win,” and refused to retire.
As the result of the vote became apparent, the 35-year-old from Queens hurried past a gaggle of reporters and into a waiting SUV, leaving the Capitol in a flash.
Upon the measure’s adoption, the House chamber erupted in scattered applause.
Over the course of his eleven months in office, Mr. Santos was the target of incessant criticism and several demands for his resignation from politicians on both sides of the aisle.
The New York Times revealed that he had lied about his Wall Street employment, college degrees, and Jewish background, which started his issues soon after he won elected to the House in November 2022.
There has been an accumulation of accusations since then. Claiming his mother died in the 9/11 terror attacks and deceiving Amish dog breeders in Pennsylvania are just two of the many allegations against him.
He faced 23 crimes charges in May, including public funds theft, money laundering, and wire fraud. He is currently undergoing trial, during which he disputes the charges.
The House ethics committee’s finding last month that he had used “every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit” was the last straw.
The panel’s numerous accusations included that he used campaign funds for things like Botox treatments, credit card debt, visits to the Hamptons, a New York seaside enclave, and OnlyFans, a platform where users pay for content, including pornography.
Only with the support of two-thirds of the House can an expulsion vote be considered.
Some lawmakers felt it would be a dangerous precedent to remove someone who had neither been prosecuted in court nor convicted of any crimes, therefore two earlier attempts to remove Mr. Santos were unsuccessful.
A Republican who opposed the expulsion, Jim Jordan, expressed concern about “who’s next” in an interview with the BBC.
“The voters elected him,” he declared. “You’ve got to be careful in taking a vote to kick out of Congress someone the voters sent to Congress.”
Along with George Santos, four Republican state senators from New York had been working to remove him from office.
“The precedent that is set is that we hold members of Congress to a higher standard,” stated Anthony D’Esposito.
“This should never have happened,” he chimed in. “He ought to have taken responsibility for his actions. What a fool he should have quit.
George Santos continued to refuse to resign in the days following the ethics committee’s report’s release, launching online attacks against his coworkers and daring them to fire him.
He informed reporters earlier this week that the establishment is based on hypocrisy. “If they want me to leave Congress, they’re going to have to take that tough vote.”
Reactions from his constituents were overwhelmingly positive; one individual even went so far as to remark “good riddance” when pressed for a comment.
George Santos formally resigned from Congress upon the gavel-out vote.
Some people dropped by his office on Friday to take selfies, but now his staff phones go to a generic voicemail and his official website is down.
Next to the entrance is a sign that reads, “Yes!” Aside from a single employee who stepped out for a second to retrieve some flowers left at the door, there were no indications that the business was even open.
In addition to losing his eligibility for a legislative pension from Congress, the New Yorker also loses his right to vote on legislation and his reliance on his government health care.
But, he retains the same access to the Capitol gym, the private House restaurant, and the Library of Congress that all former members of Congress enjoy.
Some believe he will plead guilty to avoid jail time in his next federal fraud trial in 2019, similar to what he did earlier this year in his home country of Brazil. If he does not, he could spend the next twenty years in prison.
Source: BBC, Yahoo News