Third attempt to expel Santos to happen this week as congressman says he expects vote to pass

Third attempt to expel Santos to happen this week as congressman says he expects vote to pass
MoveOn, a progressive political action group, placed a 15-foot-tall inflatable balloon of George Santos on a strip of the National Mall directly in front of the U.S. Capitol Building. (Photo courtesy of @Sam_Jeske on X)

Two House resolutions were submitted Tuesday night to force a vote to expel Rep. George Santos as soon as this week.

Democratic Rep. Robert Garcia, of California, introduced a privileged resolution that requires a vote to remove the Republican within the next two legislative days.

Garcia was joined by fellow Democrat Rep. Dan Goldman, who submitted a resolution earlier this year to expel Santos, as did Garcia. 

The resolution joins one made by Rep. Michael Guest, the Republican House Ethics Committee chairman on Nov. 17 to expel Santos.

Later Tuesday night, Republican Anthony D’Esposito of New York’s 4th Congressional District also moved to force a vote on Guest’s resolution. 

“Today, I am once again calling for him to be expelled from Congress, as I have since the first day his lies were uncovered. Republicans no longer have any fictional excuse to protect Santos in order to preserve their narrow majority – to continue to do so would be a disgrace to the institution,” Goldman, who represents the state’s 10th Congressional District, said in a statement. 

Santos, who has long said he will not resign from his seat, has already survived two previous expulsion attempts but this will be the first vote to be held after the House Ethics Committee two weeks ago found “substantial evidence” that he violated federal law. ”

Ahead of the upcoming vote, members of MoveOn, a progressive political action group, placed a 15-foot-tall inflatable balloon of Santos, which dons glasses, a suit and a red tie that says “full of lies” on a strip of the National Mall directly in front of the U.S. Capitol Building.

Santos said on the House floor Tuesday night that if he is expelled he would be the first without being convicted in court. He would need to be expelled via a two-thirds vote in the House.

Only five members of the House have previously been expelled, three for disloyalty in the Civil War and two after being convicted of criminal activity. The most recent representative to be expelled was Ohio Democrat Jim Traficant in 2002, who was convicted on federal corruption charges.

“This expulsion vote simply undermines and underscores the precedent that we’ve had in this chamber,” Santos said. “It starts and puts us in a new direction, a dangerous one that sets a very dangerous precedent in the future.”

Santos also said previously that he expects to be removed from Congress when the House votes on these newest expulsion resolutions.

A two-thirds majority vote in the House is necessary to remove Santos, and previous members who voted against expelling Santos before the ethics committee released their findings have said they will vote to expel him. 

“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor,” he said Friday night during a conversation on X Spaces, the social media app formerly known as Twitter. “I’ve done the math over and over, and it doesn’t look really good.”

Santos also during the three-house livestream lashed out at his Republican colleagues, accusing them of misconduct such as voting while intoxicated, among other things. 

“They all act like they’re in ivory towers with white pointy hats and they’re untouchable,” Santos said. “Within the ranks of United States Congress there’s felons galore, there’s people with all sorts of shystie backgrounds.”

The 56-page report from the bipartisan committee concluded that Santos used campaign funds for personal purposes, defrauded donors and filed false or incomplete campaign and financial disclosures.

Santos, who represents northern Nassau County and a portion of northeast Queens, sought to “fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit,” the report said, adding that his campaign was maintained “through a constant series of lies to his constituents, donors, and staff about his background and experience.”

The Congressman said the findings were biased and that he will not be seeking re-election in 2024 on X.

Santos continued to call the findings “slanderous” during the livestream and said he was not running due to his frustration with the “sheer arrogance” of his colleagues and not due to external pressure.

Santos pleaded not guilty to the 10 newest charges against him including identity theft, credit card fraud and conspiracy in October. He also pleaded not guilty in May after being charged with 13 counts including wire fraud, money laundering and theft of public funds. 

The congressman’s trial date is set for September 2024.

If Santos is expelled, New York State law requires Gov. Kathy Hochul to issue a proclamation for a special election within 10 days of the seat becoming vacant, which can be as early as Wednesday or as late as Thursday. 

The special election would then occur 70 to 80 days following the proclamation, where members of the county party committees would nominate a candidate to run in the election to finish out Santos’ current term.

The Nassau County Republican Committee chairman is Joe Cairo and the County Democratic Committee chairman is Jay Jacobs. 

Among the Democrat field of candidates includes Tom Suozzi, who held the seat for six years before deciding not to run for re-election amid a gubernatorial campaign last year, and ex-state Sen. Anna Kaplan. Other Democrat candidates include Austin Cheng, Scott Livingston and Darius Radzius. Robert Zimmerman, the Democrat candidate for the seat in 2021, has been mentioned as a possible candidate.  

Among the Republican candidates mentioned or announced are state Sen. Jack Martins, Nassau County Legislator Mazi Pilip, Afghanistan war veteran and former  J.P. Morgan Vice President Kellen Curry, retired NYPD Det. Mike Sapraicone and Air Force veteran and personal injury lawyer Greg Hach. Other candidates include Queens small business owner Daniel Norber, Jim Toes,  president & CEO of the Security Traders Association; and Thomas Charles Ludwig, a resident of Farmingdale and retired special forces officer.

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