By Moira Warburton
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A group of New York state Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives will introduce a motion to expel indicted fellow Republican George Santos from the chamber, two of the members said on Wednesday.
The move comes a day after federal prosecutors filed 23 fresh criminal counts against the first-term U.S. representative, accusing him of inflating his campaign’s fundraising numbers and charging campaign contributors’ credit cards without their consent.
Santos, who represents a district including parts of New York City and its eastern suburbs, has been enmeshed in scandal since his November 2022 election, first facing accusations that he fabricated much of his resume and then criminal indictment.
But with a narrow 221-212 majority, the House’s Republican leadership has not taken action.
Santos pleaded not guilty to an initial May indictment and has said he will do the same for the new one.
The charges against Santos include false statements, aggravated identity theft and credit card fraud, accusing him of using the credit card information of people who had already donated to his campaign to make additional contributions.
“He has no business being in the halls of the House of Representatives. He’s an immoral person, he’s an untrustworthy person, he’s scammed hundreds of thousands of voters,” Representative Nick LaLota, a Republican who also represents a New York suburb, told reporters on Wednesday.
A motion to expel would require support from two-thirds of members in the House, meaning 290 votes. Democrats have repeatedly called for Santos to be expelled, and over a dozen Republicans have done the same.
“If they want to be judge, jury and arbitrator of the whole goddamn thing, let them do it,” Santos said on Wednesday.
LaLota said the group did not yet have support from the required two-thirds of the House, but predicted the resolution would “catch fire.”
It is unclear when the motion would get a vote on the House floor, given that Republicans are currently trying to elect a new nominee for speaker after eight Republicans sided with all Democrats to oust Kevin McCarthy in a historic first last week.
(Reporting by Moira Warburton; Editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis)