House expels Rep. George Santos

WASHINGTON — The House voted on Friday to expel Republican Rep. George Santos of New York after a blistering ethics report on his conduct heightened lawmakers’ concerns about the scandal-plagued freshman. Santos became just the sixth member in the chamber’s history to be ousted by colleagues, and the third since the Civil War.

The vote to expel was 311-114, easily clearing the two-thirds majority required. House Republican leaders opposed removing Santos, whose departure leaves them with a razor-thin majority, but in the end 105 GOP lawmakers sided with nearly all Democrats to expel him.

The expulsion marked the final congressional chapter in a spectacular fall from grace for Santos. Celebrated as an up-and-comer after he flipped a district from Democrats last year, Santos’ life story began to unravel before he was even sworn into office. Reports emerged that he had lied about having Jewish ancestry, a career at top Wall Street firms and a college degree, among other things.

Then, in May, Santos was indicted by federal prosecutors on multiple charges, turning his presence in the House into a growing distraction and embarrassment to the party.

Santos joins a short list of lawmakers expelled from the House, and for reasons uniquely his own. Of the previous expulsions in the House, three were for siding with the Confederacy during the Civil War. The remaining two occurred after the lawmakers were convicted of crimes in federal court, the most recent in 2002.

Seeking to remain in office, Santos had appealed to colleagues to let the court process play out. He warned of the precedent they would set by expelling a member not yet convicted of a crime.

“This will haunt them in the future,” Santos told lawmakers on Thursday evening as they debated his removal.

As it became clear Friday that he would be expelled, Santos appeared resigned to his fate. He placed his overcoat over his shoulders and shook hands with conservative members who voted against his expulsion. House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., who voted against expelling Santos, was solemn as he announced the result of the vote and declared the New York seat vacant.

Outside the Capitol, trailed by a crush of reporters and cameras, he quickly ducked inside a vehicle and left.

Santos’ fellow Republicans from New York were front and center in the effort to boot him. Among them were fellow freshmen who serve in key swing districts and had helped the GOP take the House majority. They sought to generate as much political distance as they could from Santos, whose lies about his past made him a pariah in the House before he even took the oath of office.


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