Second Vote for Expulsion Looms for Indicted Rep. George Santos

In a rare move, a House Democrat, Rep. Robert Garcia of California, has initiated proceedings to force a second vote for the expulsion of indicted Rep. George Santos, a Republican from New York.

Santos, who previously survived an expulsion vote on November 1, faces renewed efforts after a scathing Ethics Committee report detailing deceptive practices, including falsifying campaign finance statements and using campaign funds for personal expenses. Santos, who pleaded not guilty to multiple federal charges, admitted to lying about his background.

Garcia introduced a “privileged” resolution to expel Santos, which requires Republican leadership to bring it to the floor for a vote within two legislative days. The move comes after many lawmakers, who initially voted against expulsion, expressed a shift in support following the release of the Ethics Committee report. A supermajority vote, or two-thirds, is necessary for expulsion.

The Ethics report accused Santos of knowingly providing false information to donors, filing inaccurate campaign finance statements, and misusing campaign funds for personal expenditures such as rent, trips, luxury items, and cosmetic treatments. While Santos denies any wrongdoing and predicts his removal, the pressure to expel him has increased among lawmakers who had reservations during the first vote.

Speaking to reporters, Garcia asserted that he has garnered sufficient support, including from Santos’ fellow New York freshmen, to secure the expulsion. The Ethics Committee Chairman, Michael Guest, introduced a separate expulsion resolution after the report’s release, but it remains unclear if it will be brought to a vote this week.

In a twist, Santos indicated that Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, had conversations with him about the possibility of resigning, a move Santos opposes.

“Expel me and set the precedent so we can see who the judge, jury and executioners in Congress are,” Santos said on X.

While some argue that Santos’ expulsion could risk the GOP’s slim majority, others, including former Ethics Committee Chair Zoe Lofgren, emphasize the need to act based on the detailed and bipartisan-supported report.

“Precedents of the House are important guidelines to ensure proper, consistent actions,” Lofgren said. “But every precedent had a first time, and precedents should not prevent the House from acting when prudence dictates the creation of a new precedent or a variation from precedent.”

“In the matter of Rep. Santos,” she added, “rigid adherence to the requirement of a felony conviction prior to expulsion would, in essence, delegate the responsibilities of the legislative branch to the executive and judicial branches.”

The vote for expulsion requires careful consideration, as Santos’ removal could impact the already narrow GOP majority in the House. With dynamics shifting, the coming days will determine Santos’ fate as lawmakers navigate the complexities of expulsion in the wake of legal challenges and ethical violations.

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