The House of Representatives voted on Friday to expel New York Rep. George Santos in the face of what it called substantial evidence that he had fabricated his resume, committed wire fraud and identity theft, and violated financial disclosure laws.
The resolution on Santos’ expulsion passed by a vote of 311-114, far exceeding the two-thirds majority needed to remove a member from the House. One hundred and twelve Republicans and two Democrats voted against expelling Santos, who was seen putting on his jacket and leaving the House floor before the vote concluded but after it was clear he would be kicked out of Congress.
“The Constitution of the United States charges the House with policing the behavior of its own Members, and the House should take action against Representative Santos commensurate with his violations of Federal law and the Rules of the House,” text of the expulsion resolution reads. “Whereas given his egregious violations, Representative George Santos is not fit to serve as a Member of the United States House of Representatives: Now, therefore, be it resolved that … Representative George Santos, be, and he hereby is, expelled from the United States House of Representatives.”
Calls for Santos’ resignation began after he was caught lying to voters about his education, professional career, family history, and finances during his campaign.
Those calls only grew after Santos was indicted in May on 13 federal counts of fraud, embezzlement, theft, and false statements. That same month, he paid $4,800 to settle a lawsuit in Brazil after admitting to theft of checks and identity fraud in 2008.
However, two previous efforts to expel Santos had failed.
Republicans objected to a Democratic effort in May to expel Santos from Congress, voting instead to refer the matter to the House Committee on Ethics for what they claimed would be a 60-day investigation.
In October, five New York Republicans filed their own resolution to expel Santos following the unsealing of a 23-count superseding federal indictment that charged him with wire fraud, conspiracy, false statements, falsification of records, credit card fraud, and identity theft.
Their effort failed on Nov. 1 by a vote of 179-213, with 182 Republicans and 31 Democrats voting against expulsion and members saying they wanted to see the House Ethics Committee’s report.
“I know that Ethics has been a little busy, but, you know, it’s time that we see some results,” lead sponsor Anthony D’Esposito told reporters when the second resolution was introduced.
On Nov. 16, the Committee on Ethics released its report, which found “substantial evidence that Representative George Santos: knowingly caused his campaign committee to file false or incomplete reports with the Federal Election Commission; used campaign funds for personal purposes; engaged in fraudulent conduct in connection with RedStone Strategies LLC; and engaged in knowing and willful violations of the Ethics in Government Act as it relates to his Financial Disclosure (FD) Statements filed with the House.”
The next day, the chair of the Ethics Committee, Mississippi Republican Michael Guest, filed the expulsion resolution that ultimately passed.
Even though the resolution passed, more GOP lawmakers voted against expelling Santos than voted to remove him from office. GOP leaders House Speaker Mike Johnson, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, and House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik all voted against expelling Santos.
Santos is only the sixth person in history to be expelled from the House of Representatives. The last person to be expelled was Democratic Rep. James Traficant, who was booted from his Ohio seat in 2002 after he was convicted on numerous felony counts of accepting bribes, filing false tax returns, and racketeering.
Santos has yet to face trial, and he has denied breaking any laws.
With his removal, Republicans’ slim majority in the House has been narrowed even further to just three seats. Democrats have a chance to pick up a seat in the chamber in a special election in Santos’ former district, which President Joe Biden carried by 8 points in 2020.