In a historic vote, the House decided on Friday to expel GOP Representative George Santos, making him the sixth lawmaker ever to face such a severe action within the chamber. The expulsion concludes a tumultuous tenure for the freshman New York congressman, and this form of punishment is rare, requiring a two-thirds majority vote.
Despite surviving previous attempts to remove him, Santos faced mounting pressure for expulsion following the release of a House Ethics Committee report. The report detailed that the congressman had “sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit.”
The resolution passed with a vote of 311 to 114, seeing 105 Republicans aligning with the majority of Democrats in favor of expulsion. Two Democrats voted against the resolution, and two Democrats voted present.
Following the vote, Santos told CNN, “It’s over.” While he had earlier declared that he would not seek reelection after the ethics report, he remained adamant about not resigning, denouncing the investigation as a “disgusting politicized smear.”
Apart from the ethical concerns, Santos is separately facing 23 federal charges, including allegations of fraud related to Covid-19 unemployment benefits, campaign fund misuse, and false statements about his personal finances on House disclosure reports.
Adding to the controversy, Santos has drawn attention for fabricating significant portions of his life story, including elements of his resume and biography. Despite these challenges, he remained defiant, arguing that he was being bullied and expressing concerns about the potential precedent expulsion might set without a conviction in a court of law.