Rep. George Santos, the embattled New York Republican who has faced legal troubles and admitted to lying about his background, managed to avoid expulsion from the House of Representatives on Wednesday. The expulsion resolution, led by fellow New York Republicans, cited George Santos as “not fit to serve” and required support from a supermajority of two-thirds of voting lawmakers to pass. However, the final tally fell short of even a simple majority, with 179 in favor of expulsion, 213 against, and 19 voting present. This bipartisan vote reflected a divided House, with Democrats and some Republicans opposing expulsion.
Defiant Response from Santos
George Santos, undeterred by the vote, addressed reporters and described the outcome as a victory for due process, not just for him but for his constituents. He affirmed his commitment to continue serving the 3rd Congressional District of New York and vowed to fight to defend himself. George Santos also criticized his colleagues from New York, suggesting that their decision to support expulsion was politically motivated. He emphasized that now is not the time to set a dangerous precedent and highlighted that the last expulsion from the House occurred over 20 years ago and involved a member who had been criminally convicted.
George Santos, who pleaded not guilty to federal fraud charges, is scheduled to stand trial in September. The legal battle and George Santos’ political future remain uncertain as he navigates the complex landscape of ethics investigations and possible expulsion.
The Ethics Committee and Due Process
Newly appointed Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana expressed concerns that George Santos’ expulsion could further erode the GOP’s narrow majority in the House. He emphasized the importance of due process and highlighted that the House Ethics Committee was actively investigating the case. The bipartisan committee, which has conducted an extensive review, is expected to announce its next steps by November 17. It has engaged with numerous witnesses, reviewed thousands of documents, and authorized subpoenas.
George Santos asserted that he has cooperated with the Ethics Committee’s investigation, although he had not personally spoken with investigators. He indicated his willingness to accept the committee’s decision, even if he disagrees with it, while noting that he may continue to fight his legal battle in court.
Potential Future Actions
Freshman Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, who authored the expulsion resolution, hinted that there could be another vote to expel George Santos after the Ethics Committee releases its findings. The resolution’s fate may depend on the contents of the committee’s report, which is expected to shed light on the ethical and legal aspects of George Santos’ case. D’Esposito suggested that the report may not be favorable to George Santos, raising the possibility of a renewed push for expulsion.
Rep. George Santos’ survival in the House despite a bipartisan effort to expel him highlights the complex dynamics of ethics investigations, due process, and political considerations. The divided vote reflects the challenges of addressing ethical violations in a politically polarized environment. The future of this legal and political saga remains uncertain as George Santos navigates the intricacies of both the courtroom and the House of Representatives.