A group of New York Republicans moved Wednesday to expel George Santos from the US House, marking a potential turning point in the saga of the freshman congressman whose alleged fraud and fabrications led to criminal charges and national notoriety.
(Bloomberg) — A group of New York Republicans moved Wednesday to expel George Santos from the US House, marking a potential turning point in the saga of the freshman congressman whose alleged fraud and fabrications led to criminal charges and national notoriety.
Santos said he didn’t know whether he would survive an expulsion vote.
“Nobody knows the answer to that,” he said.
The expulsion resolution follows a new federal indictment in New York that charged Santos with 10 new counts of credit card fraud and falsification related to his 2022 campaign fundraising. Among the new charges are allegations that Santos used straw donors to inflate his fundraising totals in order to defraud the Republican Party of matching funds to competitive House races.
Those behind the resolution include Anthony D’Esposito, Marc Molinaro, Mike Lawler, Nick LaLota, Brandon Williams and Nick Langworthy. Like Santos, all are freshmen Republicans from New York, elected from a more favorable congressional map last year.
The move ramps up pressure on House Republican leaders to punish Santos, with whom they have taken a largely hands-off approach despite months of accusations. A previous Democratic-led resolution to expel Santos was referred to the Ethics Committee, giving Santos a temporary reprieve while he defended the criminal charges.
Expulsion would require a two-thirds vote of the House, so it would need a significant number of Republican votes to pass. The House cannot act on the measure until a new speaker has been chosen.
“I predict this resolution is going to catch fire,” LaLota said.
LaLota said what Santos is known to be guilty of — lying about his background and defrauding voters — should alone be enough to expel Santos. But he also said the guilty plea of his campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, would garner additional support from Republicans.
With Republicans holding a narrow majority of the chamber, Santos’s vote could be key to electing a new speaker and passing a spending package to avoid a partial government shutdown in November.
Santos said earlier Wednesday that he won’t resign and will continue to run for reelection after federal prosecutors filed 10 new charges against him Tuesday.
The 35-year-old from Long Island faces charges in two more fraud schemes stemming from his 2022 congressional campaign, in which he lied repeatedly about his work experience, education and family history. Prosecutors now say he also stole the identities of his political donors, using their credit card numbers and financial information to inflate his campaign contributions and even his own bank account.
He’s also accused of conspiring with his campaign treasurer to falsify his federal disclosures in order to conceal the source of campaign funds and claim higher fundraising totals in order to get more matching money from the Republican party.
Santos spokeswoman Gabrielle Lipsky said Santos denies the latest charges, won’t accept a plea deal, won’t resign and will run for reelection. “I’m pretty much denying every last bit of charges,” Santos previously told CNN.
Read more: George Santos Faces New Charges Over Campaign Funding
Santos also has both Democratic and Republican challengers in next year’s election — including former Representative Tom Suozzi, a Democrat who represented much of the district in the past. Suozzi announced his candidacy on Tuesday.
–With assistance from Billy House.
(Updates with Santos comment beginning with second paragraph)
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