Indicted lawmaker George Santos expelled from House

 December 2, 2023

Rep. George Santos (R-NY), who was indicted on fraud charges after he allegedly lied about his resume and qualifications, was expelled from the House on Friday after months of defying calls from fellow Republicans in the House and in New York to step down.

The vote was  311-114 to expel Santos immediately, above the two-thirds necessary to expel a House member. He was only the sixth representative ever to be expelled from the House.

He was also the first person ever to be expelled from the House who didn't fight for the Confederacy or be convicted of a crime, which is kind of surprising given that there have probably been worse ethical violations in Congress.

A previous vote did not have enough support to reach a two-thirds majority, but it seems like Republicans have heard enough now.

"To hell with this place"

After the vote was completed, Santos walked out of the House with a number of journalists trailing him, no doubt hoping to get a juicy comment.

He obliged, said, "You know what? As unofficially already no longer a member of Congress, I no longer have to answer a single question from you guys."

"To hell with this place," he declared, and left.

A House staff member changed the locks to Santos's office door and removed his name from it by the end of the day on Friday. New York Governor Kathy Hokul (D) will have 10 days to call a special election to replace Santos, and that election will need to be held within 70 to 80 days of her call.

Santos's seat in the 3rd district is by no means a Republican stronghold--Biden carried it in 2020 by 9 points--so his replacement could end up being a loss for Republicans. Pundits are already calling it a bellwether race that could determine Republicans' chances of keeping a majority in 2024.

The allegations

Santos was elected in 2022 and was about 11 months into his term when he was ousted.

In December 2022, even before he was sworn in, reports that he had lied about his resume, wealth, and personal life began to come out.

Before 2023 even started, Santos was being investigated by Nassau County as well as the state. He was indicted in May on 13 charges of fraud after defiantly announcing his re-election bid in April.

It turns out Santos allegedly authorized donations to his campaign using credit cards of people who had previously supported him, but without permission to do so.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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