The charlatan and extreme right-wing New York Republican George Santos was expelled from the House of Representatives on Friday morning in a 311 to 114 vote which met the two-thirds super-majority required by the Constitution to do so.
The resolution to expel the fraudster Santos, who was elected in 2022 to the 3rd District of New York on the basis of a raft of lies about his biography, was moved by Democratic Congressman Robert Garcia (California). Those voting in favor of expulsion included 105 Republicans and 206 Democrats. The vote against was from 112 Republicans and 2 Democrats.
More than half of House Republicans, including recently-elected Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana and the rest of the party leadership, voted against the expulsion. The primary reason given was that, since the criminal case against Santos had not been decided, the measure would set a precedent of politically-motivated expulsions.
For example, Representative Nancy Mace, Republican of South Carolina, opposed the expulsion and said, “George Santos is an ass, but who, like every American, deserves the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law.”
During the debate on Thursday, Representative Clay Higgins, Republican of Louisiana, said he had concerns about how the Santos case was handled. “The totality of circumstance appears biased. It stinks of politics, and I’ll oppose this action in every way,” Higgins said.
Santos was charged by New York federal prosecutors with 23 felonies last spring and among the charges against included scamming political donors, lying to the Federal Election Commission and illegally receiving unemployment-insurance benefits. Santos pled not guilty to the charges and is scheduled to go on trial in September.
With his removal today, Santos became the sixth representative to be expelled by the House and the first congressman in history to be voted out without having been convicted of a felony or having been a member of the Southern Confederacy.
After the vote, Santos left the Capitol and on his way to an awaiting car, told CNN, “It’s over. The House spoke. That’s their vote. They just set a new dangerous precedent for themselves. To hell with this place.”
The vote passing the expulsion resolution was preceded by the issuance of a 56-page report by the House Ethics Committee less than two weeks ago. The report, adopted unanimously by Democratic and Republican members of the panel, said there was substantial evidence Santos stole money from donors and illegally used of thousands of dollars in campaign funds for personal benefit, such as visits to spas and luxury hotel stays in Las Vegas.
The report also said Santos spent campaign funds on personal credit-card purchases at Hermès, Sephora and OnlyFans as well as other purchases unrelated to his campaign. The Ethics Committee wrote that Santos, “sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal profit.”
After the Ethics Committee report was issued, Santos said he would not seek reelection but dismissed the document as a “politicized smear.”
Almost immediately following his victory in the 2022 election—Santos won a House seat in the wealthiest district in New York state—it emerged that the Republican had falsely claimed he was the grandson of Ukrainian Jews who had fled the Holocaust, that he graduated from Baruch College and New York University, and that he worked at the financial institutions Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. There was not a shred of evidence for these claims, or for numerous other assertions about his finances and personal wealth.
The fraud he perpetrated on voters in New York was initially exposed by a New York Times investigation. Later, other lies were revealed such as the fact that he claimed to have played volleyball at Baruch College which “slayed” Yale and became champions of the sport “across the entire Northeast Corridor.” Santos never attended Baruch College and Yale does not have a men’s varsity volleyball team.
Whatever the reasons given for the alignment of Republicans and Democrats against Santos, the crude nature of his lies and alleged crimes have shone a bright light on the degradation of bourgeois politics which his fellow corrupt members of Congress found too much of a distraction.
Meanwhile the capitalist parties and the corporate media have remained silent on his fascist politics. Responding to the events of October 7, Santos said he was concerned about US national security and suggested that those waving Palestinian flags and demanding an end to the genocide in Gaza should be investigated. He said he did not care “if we go into a police state for a couple of months,” while every inch of the US is searched.