Democrats Push for Expulsion Vote on Representative George Santos Amidst Scandal and Indictment

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 11: U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) departs the U.S. Capitol after a vote on May 11, 2023 in Washington, DC. Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York have charged Santos in a 13-count indictment that includes 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. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

In a move to hold Republicans accountable for their association with Representative George Santos of New York, Democrats initiated a vote to expel him from Congress. The resolution, introduced by Representative Robert Garcia in February, aims to remove Santos from office due to his alleged involvement in wire fraud, money laundering, stealing public funds, and lying to the government. Although the measure faces an uphill battle in the Republican-led House, Democrats hope to pressure Republicans into taking a stand on Santos’s conduct.

Representative Garcia emphasized the need to hold Santos accountable and stated that Republicans must decide whether they stand for truth and accountability or align themselves with a known liar. The resolution has gained the backing of Representative Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic minority leader, and as a privileged motion, it requires Speaker Kevin McCarthy to address it within two days.

While the likelihood of the resolution passing is low, Republicans will face a dilemma in defending Santos, particularly for members of the New York delegation who have called for his resignation. Despite Santos’s indictment and widespread criticism, House leadership, including McCarthy, have defended his right to serve in Congress. However, McCarthy has stated that he will not support Santos’s re-election.

Although some Republicans, including members of the New York delegation, have publicly called for Santos’s resignation, it remains uncertain how leading Republicans will respond to the expulsion resolution. They may attempt to table or delay the vote, both of which would require a majority of the House.

In response to the expulsion resolution, Santos accused Democrats of rushing to judgment and playing judge and jury without affording him a fair trial. However, the mounting evidence against him and the severity of the charges have raised significant doubts about his credibility.

If the expulsion resolution were to succeed, a special election would be held to fill Santos’s seat, with Governor Kathy Hochul of New York responsible for setting the date. Several candidates from both parties have already announced their plans to run for the seat, including Santos himself.

While the outcome of the vote to expel George Santos is uncertain, the resolution serves as a public display of the divisions within the Republican Party and the ongoing struggle for accountability and ethical conduct in Congress.