Any day now the House is expected to vote, for a second time, on whether or not to expel Rep. George Santos.
The New York Republican was surrounded by scandal and controversy even before he was sworn into office earlier this year. But a damning new report from the House Ethics Committee might be the final straw that gets him kicked out of office.
Rep. Nick Langworthy, a fellow Republican and New Yorker, said, "It'll be very hard for people to say, yes, this individual should stay here in the ranks and make the critical decisions that are before us."
The report includes hundreds of pages of transcribed testimony, emails and bank records. The committee says the documents show Santos' financial disclosures were "filled with falsehoods" designed to make him look wealthy. And the report details a pattern of fraudulent spending, in which Santos is accused of using campaign funds for personal expenses. Some examples include $6,000 spent at Ferragamo stores, nearly $2,300 at resorts in Atlantic City and $1,400 at a spa in New York.
Expelling a member from the House requires a two-thirds majority vote. If this effort is successful, Santos will become just the sixth person ever to be kicked out of the House of Representatives.
But the congressman's pattern of deception stems back to his days on the campaign trail. Shortly after the 2022 midterms, reports emerged that he lied about his background. Some falsehoods include claiming his grandparents died in the Holocaust, lying about where he went to school and where he'd worked and claiming four of his employees died in the Pulse Nightclub shooting.
"If you're elected on a blatant foundation of lies, it's a disservice to not just your constituents but to our democracy. So he is such an exceptional case that it merits an exceptional remedy," said Democratic Rep. Pat Ryan from New York.
And Santos is facing legal trouble as well. In May, he was indicted on 13 counts, including wire fraud, money laundering and stealing public funds. Five months later, another 10 counts were added in a superseding indictment.
The previous House vote to expel Santos was rejected 179 to 213. Some members said an indictment shouldn't be grounds for kicking a member out of the House, noting Santos is entitled to the presumption of innocence.
But some of those who supported Santos the first time around have since changed their minds because of the Ethics Committee report. Santos has said he won't run for reelection, but so far has resisted calls to resign.
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