House Ethics Committee Chair Michael Guest (R-Miss.) introduced a resolution to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) on Friday, less than 24 hours after the panel published its damning report on the embattled lawmaker.
The five-page resolution outlines the Ethics Committee’s sprawling report, which found “substantial evidence” that the first-term congressman “violated federal criminal laws.” It also cited the 23 federal criminal charges the New York Republican faces.
“The evidence uncovered in the Ethics Committee’s Investigative Subcommittee investigation is more than sufficient to warrant punishment and the most appropriate punishment, is expulsion. So, separate from the Committee process and my role as Chairman, I have filed an expulsion resolution,” Guest wrote in a statement.
Guest could call the expulsion measure to the floor as a privileged resolution when the House reconvenes after Thanksgiving, which would set the stage for a third referendum on ousting the embattled lawmaker.
If successful, the vote would put a bookend on Santos’s remarkable — and often mystifying — stint in Congress, and mark the culmination of the months-long push to boot the New York Republican from office amid mounting legal drama.
It would also have far-reaching historical and political implications. If expelled, Santos would become the sixth lawmaker ever removed from the House, and the first without having been convicted on criminal charges or accused of being disloyal to the Union. His ouster would also put Republicans down a member in the already slim House GOP majority, and it would trigger a special election in New York’s 3rd Congressional District.
The latest expulsion effort is already picking up steam. A number of lawmakers who opposed the previous effort to boot Santos have said they will now support his ouster, citing the scathing Ethics report.
“The report’s findings are extremely damning and I would vote to expel,” Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin (D) told The Hill in a text message Thursday.
Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-N.C.), who voted against expulsion earlier this month, similarly wrote in a statement Thursday: “Rep. Santos has received his due process. This report is fully damning. I will vote to expel him.”
The 56-page report found that Santos “blatantly stole from his campaign,” using official funds on a trip to Atlantic City, N.J., a trip to Las Vegas and on Botox and other cosmetic procedures. The panel said it was not able to verify if those expenses had a campaign purpose, but they appeared not to.
Santos also spent money from an outside strategy firm created to support his campaign on the luxury brand Hermes, payments for his personal credit cards and debt, and small purchases from OnlyFans, which is mainly used for adult content, according to the report.
Additionally, the committee’s body of work found Santos “reported fictitious loans to his political committees to induce donors and party committees to make further contributions to his campaign.”
“[T]he evidence uncovered by the Investigative Subcommittee (ISC) revealed that Representative George Santos cannot be trusted,” the report reads. “At nearly every opportunity, he placed his desire for private gain above his duty to uphold the Constitution, federal law, and ethical principles.”
If a vote is forced on Guest’s expulsion resolution, it would mark the third time the House weighs in on booting Santos from office.
Earlier this month, the vote on ousting Santos was defeated 213-179-19, falling far short of the majority support needed. In May, the chamber voted to refer a Santos expulsion resolution to the Ethics Committee, a move that was panned as largely redundant because the panel had already been looking into the congressman.