Expelling George Santos: The Battle for Accountability in New York Congress


A New York Republican lawmaker has taken significant action against his fellow colleague, George Santos, in an attempt to expel him from Congress. The motion was introduced in the House of Representatives, with the aim of forcing a vote on the matter.

The reasons behind this expulsion attempt stem from the recent filing of twenty-three federal criminal charges against Santos. These charges accuse him of inflating his campaign’s fundraising numbers and illegally charging donors’ credit cards. It is an alarming development for Santos, who is currently serving his first term in Congress.

During the House session when the motion was introduced, tensions ran high. Republican Representative Anthony D’Esposito found himself being heckled by his New York Republican colleagues, namely Nick LaLota, Marc Molinaro, and Mike Lawler. D’Esposito, determined to make his point, declared that Santos is not fit to serve his constituents as a United States representative.

George Santos, a son of Brazilian immigrants, represents a district that encompasses parts of New York City and its suburbs. Since his election in November 2022, Santos has faced several scandals. Initially, allegations arose regarding the falsification of a significant portion of his academic record. Subsequently, a criminal indictment was issued against him, further marring his reputation.

Despite the charges, Santos vehemently maintains his innocence. He refutes the allegations from his initial indictment in May and has made it clear that he will do the same regarding the new charges. Currently, Santos is on bail for $500,000 and is slated to return to court on Friday to address the accusations against him.

Though facing adversity, Santos remains resilient. He firmly denies the claim that he emptied his office, asserting that he will not give up. Emphasizing the importance of due process, he affirms that a predetermined outcome is not acceptable. These statements caught the attention of many, and Santos gained significant traction on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter).

According to House rules, lawmakers have a limited timeframe of two legislative days to act on a privilege motion. The next vote on this matter is expected to take place on Thursday. Despite holding a two-seat majority over the Democrats, the Republican leadership in the House has not pursued any action against Santos. This decision raises questions about how newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson will handle the situation. It is possible that Johnson, along with other Republican party leaders, may attempt to block an expulsion vote.

The intention to seek Santos’ expulsion was initially announced by D’Esposito and his fellow New York Republican colleagues on October 11th. However, due to a leadership vacuum resulting from Kevin McCarthy’s ouster as speaker, the House was inactive for a three-week period.

Santos is facing serious charges, including making false statements, committing aggravated identity theft, and engaging in credit card fraud. These charges stem from allegations that he used the credit card information of individuals who had already donated to his campaign in order to solicit additional funds. The seriousness of these accusations has prompted many, including LaLota, to call for Santos’ expulsion from Congress, declaring that it is the logical step to take.

For the motion to pass, it needs the backing of two-thirds of the House of Representatives, which equates to at least 290 votes. Democrats have repeatedly demanded Santos’ removal from the party, and their advocacy has been echoed by over a dozen Republicans. The upcoming vote will determine whether Santos will continue to hold his seat in Congress or face expulsion amidst the mounting criminal charges against him.