The House Ethics Committee’s Republican chairman, Rep. Michael Guest of Mississippi, has taken a significant step by filing a resolution seeking the expulsion of GOP Rep. George Santos from Congress. This move follows the release of a scathing report by the Ethics Committee, accusing Santos of extensive wrongdoing. The resolution argues that the evidence presented in the committee’s report is more than sufficient to justify expulsion, asserting that Santos is “not fit to serve as a member of the United States House of Representatives.”
The House Ethics Committee’s findings reveal “substantial evidence” that Santos violated federal law. In a unanimous decision, the committee voted to refer the evidence to the Justice Department. Federal prosecutors have already charged Santos with a range of offenses, including conspiracy, false statements, wire fraud, falsification of records, aggravated identity theft, and credit card fraud. Santos maintains his innocence, entering not guilty pleas to all charges.
The resolution for expulsion is a critical development, leaving the fate of Santos in the hands of fellow lawmakers. This comes after the House faced two unsuccessful attempts to expel Santos previously, with the majority of Republicans voting against expulsion. However, the recent release of the Ethics Committee report, detailing the severity of Santos’ alleged violations, has heightened the scrutiny and pressure on the embattled representative.
The resolution states, “Given the intense public scrutiny surrounding Representative Santos and the ongoing activity at the DOJ, including indictments, the Ethics Committee decided to finish its work without going through a lengthier process that provides for the Committee to make a recommendation of punishment to the House.” The urgency of the resolution highlights the gravity of the allegations and the need for prompt action.
Santos’ political future has been further complicated by his decision not to seek reelection. This announcement comes as a reversal of his earlier stance that he would run for reelection even if expelled. The unfolding events underscore the serious legal and ethical challenges faced by Santos, with the resolution for expulsion representing a pivotal moment in his congressional career.
As the House is currently on recess until after the Thanksgiving holiday, any potential action on the resolution will occur upon lawmakers’ return to Washington. The dynamics within the House, particularly among Republicans, will play a crucial role in determining whether Santos will face expulsion from Congress.