House Votes Republican George Santos Expulsion Effort Fails
Republican George Santos Expulsion Effort FailsRepublican George Santos Expulsion Effort Fails

Failed Effort to Oust Republican George Santos

The Republican-led effort to remove New York’s representative, Republican George Santos, from office failed on Wednesday night, as a group of lawmakers with ties to Mr. Santos’s ancestral state couldn’t convince their colleagues that his admitted lies and federal felony charges provided sufficient grounds for expulsion.

This, even as members of the House chastised Mr. Santos on Wednesday night for lying about his life story and falsely claiming condemnation for the Holocaust and 9/11, creating a perilous precedent.

Santos Removal Vote Postponed

Republicans had enough of a slim majority to remove Republican George Santos, but Speaker Mike Johnson, among others, elected to postpone the decision until results of the military trial or ongoing ethics investigations by the House were complete. Still, a movement to oust Mr. Santos drew opposition from many Democrats, to the point where his party was united in demanding his resignation.

House votes to refer Santos matter to Ethics panel
House votes to refer Santos matter to Ethics panel

In the end, with 179 votes in favor to 213 opposed, 19 members voted “present,” marking the second time in nearly a month that 35-year-old Mr. Santos narrowly survived a push to remove him. And he has cleared his path to stay in office because he is facing 23 federal felony counts, including allegations of involvement in fraudulent schemes.

Santos: Resolution Failure a Process Triumph

Republican George Santos said after the voting that he didn’t consider the resolution to be a victory. He declared, “This signifies a victory for the process.” “Republican George Santos is not in agreement.”

The resolution – which failed to garner the 80 votes needed to pass in contrast to the two-thirds majority – was introduced by Representative Anthony D. Sposito, the first Republican from a Long Island district to back it. It was also supported by four other Republicans from New York and had significant Democratic backing, who had pushed for it since Mr. Santos was first charged last year.

Every Democrat and 77 Republicans would have to vote to remove Republican George Santos, assuming all 433 members voted on the matter, and they were never at high risk: 24 Republicans voted to back Mr. Johnson’s theory and remove their colleague, while 31 Democrats voted to expel Mr. Santos.

Santos Criticizes GOP, Dems Urge Patience

Mr. Santos lashed out at those in his party who had voted to remove him. He remarked, “It’s disheartening to observe that most Democrats uphold the principles of the rule of law and the presumption of innocence.”

Representative Katie Porter of California, a Democrat who voted against the resolution, said that removing Mr. Santos prematurely, before the conclusion of either a military trial or ethical investigations, was inappropriate.

“We’ll have to take another look once the proceedings are done, once the work is done,” she said.

Republican George Santos’s Trial and Ethics Review Updates

Republican George Santos’s criminal trial is set to begin temporarily in September. The House Ethics Committee announced Tuesday that it was “expediting” its review of the allegations against Mr. Santos and would announce “its next steps in advance of its next organizational meeting on Nov. 17.”

After Wednesday’s vote, Representative Nick Lalota, a New Yorker who was part of Mr. Sposito’s coalition and a firm part of Mr. Sposito’s coalition, suggested that the committee had “backed off” on the idea of releasing the report until after the 2022 election, and said that he and Mr. Sposito would press for another vote on the matter. They expect to receive further support.

Santos's Trial and Ethics Review
Santos’s Trial and Ethics Review

Mr. Santos, who is running for re-election next year, also faces a Republican primary challenge in 2022 from local and national leaders who have said they won’t support him.

But he avoided becoming the first member of the House, without a criminal conviction, to be removed from office since he was ousted from the body only two months after taking office, and only eight months into his term.

Armstrong Questions Ethics Committee’s Role

Republican Representative Kelly Armstrong, who hails from North Dakota, had previously argued that they would fail on the substance of the allegations related to the move to oust Mr. Santos. “Why establish an Ethics Committee if you’re not going to assign them their responsibilities?” Mr. Armstrong said an hour before the vote. He added that Mr. Santos should resign, but that “the absence of an Ethics Committee or a penalty decision changes this from a moral vote to a political one. “This represents a highly important stride for 750,000 people.”

Federal prosecutors have charged Republican George Santos, who represents parts of Long Island and Queens, with 23 counts related to a series of financial schemes, alleging that he circulated false financial reports, collected unemployment benefits, identified benefit recipients in his scheme, committed credit card fraud, and falsely claimed $500,000 in personal loans for his campaign.

Santos Denies Charges Amid Impeachment

Mr. Santos has pleaded not guilty to all charges, and has denounced his impeachment proceedings as politically motivated and a “witch hunt,” as former President Donald J. Trump used the phrase when referring to his four impeachment cases.

But last month, Ms. Marks, his campaign’s former treasurer, pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States and told a court that she had conspired with Republican George Santos to provide false information about $500,000 in fake loans and other fictitious partnerships. Mr. Sposito and several other first-term Republicans from New York began the move to oust Mr. Santos on fragile legs in the districts, and were bolstered by a sweeping indictment by prosecutors who laid 10 more severe charges against Mr. Santos.

Santos Accuses Colleagues of Self-Interest

Mr. Sposito had said that “we are establishing a new example today, that we are against those who lie in the House of Representatives.” But Republican George Santos has attacked Mr. Sposito and his allies for putting political expediency over proper action, suggesting that they were more concerned about their own re-election campaigns in New York.

After the vote, he explained, ‘My colleagues in New York pursued this course of action due to its political expediency for them.’

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