Growing number of lawmakers say they’ll vote to expel Santos after Ethics report

A growing number of lawmakers are publicly saying they will vote to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), following the release of a scathing House Ethics Committee report.

Santos has survived two expulsion attempts, with some lawmakers who voted against ousting him earlier this month saying they were awaiting the panel’s determination.

Now, several of them say the New York Republican has had due process and they’ll vote differently next time around.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) told The Hill in a text message that he would vote to expel Santos.

“The report’s findings are extremely damning and I would vote to expel,” he wrote in a text message.

Raskin was among the 31 Democrats who voted against expelling Santos, saying at the time that doing so would set a bad precedent and noting only five members have ever been expelled — three for joining the Confederacy during the Civil War and another two after they were convicted on criminal charges.

Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-N.C.), who also previously voted against expulsion, issued a similar statement Thursday, saying, “Rep. Santos has received his due process. This report is fully damning. I will vote to expel him.”

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) on Thursday told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that he will now vote to expel Santos, after previously opposing the measure. Buck’s spokesperson confirmed his position in a statement and referred The Hill to his remarks on MSNBC.

“I’m hoping that George does the right thing and resigns and leaves Congress. The Thanksgiving break is a great time to do that, clean out his office,” he said.

“I did not vote in the past to expel George because I didn’t believe there was due process. He had been charged criminally with felonies, very serious matters, but he had not been found guilty,” Buck continued. “The Ethics Committee really, I think, gave him the opportunity. He did not avail himself of that opportunity. The Ethics Committee found that he did not cooperate with the investigation, and I think he’s been given the fair due process now.”

Rep. Deborah Ross (D-N.C.), a member of the Ethics Committee who voted present earlier this month, released a statement Thursday saying she would support an effort to expel Santos.

“The report released by the House Ethics Committee today is the result of a careful, thorough, bipartisan investigation. Without a doubt, it conclusively demonstrates Rep. George Santos is unfit to serve in this body,” Ross wrote in her statement. “I will vote to expel him from the U.S. House of Representatives when a resolution comes to the floor for a vote.”

The House Ethics Committee began its investigation in March 2023, after allegations that Santos lied about biographical details and allegations of misconduct related to his campaign’s finances began to surface. Santos was subsequently indicted on 13 federal charges in May 2023, and in October 2023, a superseding indictment levied another 10 criminal counts against the congressman, bringing the total to 23.

The initial charges included seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.

The more recent indictment alleged Santos was involved in two separate schemes related to his campaign. He was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of making materially false statements to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), two counts of falsifying records submitted to obstruct the FEC, two counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of access device fraud.

Santos has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Despite the weight of the charges Santos faced, a significant number of members of Congress opted not to expel him when the matter came to the House floor for a vote — first in May, one week after the indictment, and the second at the start of November, after the Ethics Committee issued a memo saying it planned to release its “next course of action” by Nov. 17.

The most recent effort to oust Santos from office came short of the two-thirds threshold required to expel a member from Congress, but the vote was not divided on clean party lines. Twenty-four Republicans voted for expulsion, while 31 Democrats voted against expelling him. Another 19 lawmakers voted present, 15 of whom were Democrats.

The report released Thursday, however, lays bare the evidence against him.

“The evidence uncovered by the Investigative Subcommittee (ISC) revealed that Representative George Santos cannot be trusted,” the report read. “At nearly every opportunity, he placed his desire for private gain above his duty to uphold the Constitution, federal law, and ethical principles.”

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