A resolution to expel U.S. Rep. George Santos from Congress was introduced Friday morning by Republican House Ethics Committee Chairman Michael Guest.
The resolution comes on the heels of a scathing 56-page report released Thursday detailing evidence Santos broke federal laws, stole from his campaign and delivered a “constant series of lies” to voters and donors on his way to winning a U.S. House seat.
“At nearly every opportunity, he placed his desire for private gain above his duty to uphold the Constitution, federal law, and ethical principles,” the report reads.
Santos has also pleaded not guilty to 23 federal charges, including allegations of fraud related to Covid-19 unemployment benefits, misusing campaign funds and lying about his personal finances on House disclosure reports.
Since he first entered office, Santos, has faced calls to resign from Democrats and Republicans throughout this year, and survived previous attempts to oust him from the House.
“We believe the report makes an incredibly strong case for his expulsion,” said Jody Kass Finkel, a Concerned Citizens’ organizer, a bipartisan non-profit organization dedicated to seeing Santos removed from office. “But we also recognize that expulsion is a momentous action that cannot be taken lightly by the house.”
Democrats first tried to force an expulsion vote in May, when Santos was first hit with federal charges of wire fraud and lying to officials.
Republicans deflected that vote by referring the matter to the House Ethics Committee. A second expulsion attempt, by fellow members of the New York Republican delegation, made it to the floor earlier this month, but failed to get the two-thirds majority needed. The final vote was 179 for expulsion and 213 against.
“The fact that it's taken 11 months for this type of resolution to be introduced by a significant plurality of the Congress is insane,” said Josh Lafazan, legislator for Nassau County’s 18th district. “My question to anybody on the fence is, what more do you need to see?”
Lafazan noted that many of Santos’ constituents who feel misrepresented aren’t reaching out to their representative for matters such as passport renewals, but instead are calling his office.
Lafazan added he believes It’s far less important who replaces Santos “because at least there will be a functioning member of Congress” for the remainder of his term.
Kellen Curry, a Republican running for Santos’s seat, said he believe the ethics report has had a galvanizing effect on building upon the last two resolutions for expulsion.
“If he doesn't resign, then I think he will be expelled once that vote does happen,” Curry said. “So much of what's going on with Santos is really in the past at this point. I think his announcement that he's not going to run for reelection is really the beginning of a new conversation.”
That “new conversation” Curry alludes to includes the possibility of a special election; something Governor Kathy Hochul told CNN she would be “happy” to call for.
“I’m very happy to have him resign,” Hochul told CNN in a clip posted on the social media platform X. “Stop the embarrassment that has befallen the people of his district and the State of New York. Just go away.”