Dems Tried, Now GOP Takes a Swing at Booting Santos

New York Republicans make good on threat to make a motion to expel freshman congressman
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2023 8:47 AM CDT
Santos' GOP Colleagues Move to Boot Him From House
Rep. Nick LaLota, R-NY, left, and Rep. Anthony D'Esposito, R-NY, speak about a motion to remove Rep. George Santos, R-NY, on Capitol Hill on Oct. 11 in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Earlier this month, a group of House Republicans announced they'd seek to purge a fellow New York congressman from their ranks, with one calling Rep. George Santos "a stain on the institution." Now, they're making good on their plans. The Hill reports that on Thursday, Rep. Anthony D'Esposito introduced a privileged resolution to expel Santos, a move that would require a two-thirds majority. That means "dozens of Republicans would have to turn on their colleague," in addition to all Democrats going along with the resolution, per the New York Times. Democrats in Congress had already tried to expel Santos in May, but House members instead voted to refer their Santos resolution to the House Ethics Committee (D'Esposito says that report should be done "very soon," per the Hill).

Esposito and other Republicans who in May had opted for the ethics probe instead of expulsion say their move now toward Santos' ouster is due to the fact that Santos' former treasurer, Nancy Marks, recently pleaded guilty to conspiring with Santos to inflate his campaign finance filings. Santos himself was hit with 10 new criminal charges, joining 13 older ones from May on misleading donors and misrepresenting his finances. Santos, who's been free on bail ahead of his trial, will be arraigned on Friday on Long Island on the revised indictment, per the AP.

Santos has already pleaded not guilty on the previous charges and said he plans to run for reelection next year. One of the issues underlying the Republicans' push to remove Santos: His expulsion would further narrow the very slim majority the House GOP has; a special election would be held to fill his seat. Per House rules, Esposito's Thursday resolution to expel Santos must be addressed within two legislative days, and members aren't due back in the chamber until Wednesday. House leadership could also opt to move to table the resolution or again refer it to a committee.

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What happens next week will also offer one of the first tests for new House Speaker Mike Johnson, who, according to Rep. Nick LaLota, said upon hearing of D'Esposito's plans, "Do what's right and do what's right for New York," per the Hill. As for Santos himself, he offered a typically defiant response on Thursday to the latest move against him. "Three points of clarification," he wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. "1. I have not cleared out my office. 2. I'm not resigning. 3. I'm entitled to due process and not a predetermined outcome as some are seeking." He then added: "God bless!" (More George Santos stories.)

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