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Updated Nov 2, 2023, 8:56am EDT
politicsNorth America

George Santos escapes expulsion from the House

George Santos
REUTERS/Julia Nikhinson
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The News

George Santos, the embattled New York Republican accused of fabricating his resume and engaging in illegal campaign finance activity, survived an expulsion vote Wednesday.

The House voted against a resolution to expel Santos that was introduced by New York Republicans shortly after he was indicted earlier this month on new federal charges, including conspiracy, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and credit card fraud. Santos’ former campaign treasurer has already pleaded guilty and admitted to many of the allegations.

The vote was 213-179 against the motion. Thirty-one Democrats voted with 182 Republicans against the resolution. Nineteen lawmakers voted present.

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Prosecutors allege that Santos inflated his 2022 campaign’s fundraising numbers in an effort to qualify for certain perks, benefits, and support from Republican Party leaders.

The 35-year-old congressman pleaded not guilty at both his arraignments and has rejected calls from his colleagues to resign, saying that he had planned to rerun for his seat in 2024. A House Ethics Committee probe is separately investigating his conduct.

“People might not be happy with the process, but they do not have a right to create a predetermined outcome. There is a process in place. I am fighting to clear my name. I am fighting for due process,” Santos said following Wednesday’s vote.

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Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md. was among the Democrats who voted against expelling Santos. “This would be a terrible precedent to set, expelling people who have not been convicted of a crime and without internal due process,” he said in a statement.

Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, R-N.Y., who filed the expulsion resolution last week, said he was “disappointed my colleagues chose not to expel George Santos from Congress.”

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Know More

Santos came under intense national scrutiny after a New York Times investigation found that the congressman had allegedly made repeated false claims about his personal, professional, and financial background.

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He later confirmed that he had lied about obtaining degrees from Baruch College and New York University, as well as about jobs at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. Santos also claimed his grandparents survived the Holocaust and fled to Brazil, but genealogy records contradict those statements.

As Santos’ past actions came to light, the allegations revealed a pattern of fraud and scams.

In May, Santos signed a deal with Brazilian investigators admitting to forging two stolen checks in 2008, ultimately avoiding prosecution.

Santos has also denied allegations that he ran a fake animal charity to scam a disabled veteran by raising money for his sick dog’s cancer treatment and then disappearing with the funds.

A prospective staffer for Santos in February filed a police and House ethics complaint accusing Santos of making unwanted sexual advances and later denying him employment. Santos also denies these allegations.

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Step Back

Since the U.S. was founded, only a handful of federal lawmakers have faced the threat of expulsion or been removed from office by their colleagues. Most of them were convicted of serious crimes.

Three of those lawmakers were expelled at the onset of the civil war for supporting the Confederate rebellion. Another two were removed for allegations of bribery, with the most recent expulsion taking place in 2002.

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