The House must vote by Thursday to expel Rep. George Santos (R-NY) after Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA) filed a privileged resolution Tuesday to boot the embattled Republican.
Garcia’s resolution is privileged, giving the House two legislative days to vote on the consequential resolution.
The historic expulsion vote comes weeks after a brutal report from the House Ethics Committee on its investigations into Santos but before the colorful New Yorker has had the opportunity to address his charges in court.
“It’s time for truth and justice to be restored to the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Garcia. “I’ve joined forces with Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY) to force another expulsion vote against George Santos.”
It's time for truth and justice to be restored to the U.S. House of Representatives. I've joined forces with @RepDanGoldman to force another expulsion vote against George Santos.
— Congressman Robert Garcia (@RepRobertGarcia) November 28, 2023
Goldman is best known for serving as the lead Democrat attorney in the first quest to impeach Trump, an impeachment widely believed by Republicans to be politically motivated.
In a Twitter/X Space over the Thanksgiving break, Santos acknowledged his almost certain expulsion. Days earlier, Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS), chairman of the ethics committee, introduced a resolution to expel Santos.
“The evidence uncovered in the Ethics Committee’s Investigative Subcommittee investigation is more than sufficient to warrant punishment, and the most appropriate punishment is expulsion,” Guest said.
Guest’s resolution was not privileged. Santos had chastised Guest to force a vote on the resolution, calling for him to “be a man and stop being a p****.”
Garcia’s actions Tuesday mean Guest will no longer need to act.
The ethics committee report included evidence Santos knowingly filed false reports with the Federal Election Commission, used campaign funds for personal purposes including subscriptions to OnlyFans and botox treatments, and willfully violated ethics laws as it relates to his Financial Disclosure (FD) Statements filed with the House.
Yet recent House precedent allows for members charged with crimes to defend themselves in a court of law.
Rep. Jim Traficant (D-NY) was the most recent member of the House to be expelled, occurring over two decades ago.
Traficant was ultimately convicted of ten felonies including bribery, racketeering, and tax evasion. But the House did not take action until his conviction.
The convicted Congressman kept his seat, but he did not vote on the House floor until the ethics committee completed an investigation, ultimately recommending expulsion.
The House only expelled Traficant after his convictions and a lengthy subsequent investigation by the ethics committee.
In Santos’s case, the ethics committee chose not to make a recommendation, citing the need to move expediently to publish its findings.
Despite no official recommendation, the chairman of the committee, Guest, filed a resolution in his capacity as a Congressman to expel Santos, making clear he was not doing so in his role as chairman but sending a clear message nonetheless.
For Santos, Guest’s affected niceties and conventions matter little.
Before Traficant, the most recent expulsion from the House was in 1980, years before Santos was born.
Rep. Michael Myers (D-PA) was expelled by his colleagues after being videotaped taking a bribe from undercover FBI agents in the infamous ABSCAM scandal dramatized in the 2013 film American Hustle.
Caught red-handed, Myers had little defense.
For Santos, it must appear he has no allies left. The far-left group MoveOn flew a Santos-caricatured balloon in front of the Capitol Tuesday, urging members to expel the congressman.
A 15-foot-high balloon of Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) was seen tumbling around Capitol Hill ahead of the congressman's likely third vote on his expulsion.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 28, 2023
Santos should know by Thursday how many colleagues will buck Democrats and his fellow Republicans like Guest.
The expulsion requires a two-thirds vote.
Follow Bradley Jaye on Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.