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George Santos updates: Embattled lawmaker talks to House Speaker ‘about his options’ ahead of expulsion vote

George Santos updates: Embattled lawmaker talks to House Speaker ‘about his options’ ahead of expulsion vote

Scandal-plagued New York Republican Rep George Santos has acknowledged that he expects to be expelled from the House as soon as this week.

“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor,” Mr Santos, 35, said last week in a broadcast on the X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter.

In the X Space event hosted by Monica Matthews, a rightwing personality, Mr Santos said, “I have done the math over and over and it doesn’t look really good”. But he claimed that he would wear his expulsion “like a badge of honour”.

House Speaker Mike Johnson was asked on Monday if there would be a vote on the fate of Mr Santos this week.

“It remains to be seen. I’ve spoken to Congressman Santos at some length over the holiday and talked to him about his options, but … it’s not yet determined,” he said.

The latest blow of many to Mr Santos’s short yet tumultuous political career came in the form of a 56-page report from the House Ethics Committee released earlier this month which outlined “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos violated federal law.

Key Points

  • George Santos says he expects to be expelled from Congress

  • Santos has survived previous attempts to expel him

  • ‘I’m not running for re-election because I don’t want to work with a bunch of hypocrites'

  • Late-night shows eviscerate George Santos after damning ethics revelations

  • VOICES: The House has no more options but to expel George Santos

Speaker says he spoke to Santos ‘about his options'

Monday 27 November 2023 21:11 , Gustaf Kilander

House Speaker Mike Johnson was asked on Monday if there would be a vote on the fate of Mr Santos this week.

“It remains to be seen. I’ve spoken to Congressman Santos at some length over the holiday and talked to him about his options, but … it’s not yet determined,” he said.

House expulsions: James Traficant

Monday 27 November 2023 21:00 , Gustaf Kilander

The Ohio Democrat served nine terms in the House between January 1985 and July 2002 when he was booted from the lower chamber following his conviction on racketeering, bribery, and fraud. He was only the second lawmaker to be expelled from the House since the Civil War.

His September 2014 obituary in The Washington Post referred to him as “one of the most deliberately outrageous members of Congress in history”.

“Glib and voluble, he was known for wearing cowboy boots, skinny ties and out-of-date polyester suits and for a bouffant mound of hair that seemed to defy gravity,” Matt Schudel wrote at the time.

The Los Angeles Times referred to it as a “Planet of the Apes sort of hair helmet,” while Washingtonian magazine wrote that it was “a creature from Lake Erie before it was cleaned up”.

Before joining Congress, he served as the sheriff of Mahoning Country. He was put on trial in 1983 after prosecutors acquired a tape that included him saying he had accepted more than $100,000 in bribes from organised crime. But despite his complete lack of legal training, Traficant represented himself and managed to argue that he had collected the bribes as part of a sting operation and he was acquitted.

He became known for his brief, rambling speeches on the House floor, often ending with a Star Trek reference: “Beam me up, Mr Speaker.”

In 1997, he said: “Let us tell it like it is. When you hold this economy to your nosey, this economy does not smell so rosy. If there is any consolation to the American workers, I never heard of anyone committing suicide by jumping out of a basement window.”

The following year, he said: “Russia gets $15bn in foreign aid from Uncle Sam. In exchange, Uncle Sam gets nuclear missiles pointed at our cities, two tape decks and three cases of vodka. Beam me up.”

In 2002, Mr Traficant faced a 10-count felony indictment for racketeering, bribery and fraud, with federal prosecutors alleging that he required a number of his aides to pay him kickbacks each month of as much as $2,500 just to work for him. Yet other staff were required to bale hay on his Ohio farm or repair his Washington DC houseboat. He also faced allegations that he filed false tax returns and pushed businesses in his district to provide goods and services at no charge.

He once again acted as his own attorney, but this time he was convicted on all counts.

On 24 July 2002, he was removed from the House after a vote of 420 to one.

After making a comment about what he called the “political prostitutes” in Congress, he said: “I want to apologize to all the hookers of America for associating them with the United States Congress.”

When is the George Santos expulsion vote expected?

Monday 27 November 2023 20:30 , Ariana Baio

The House of Representatives is expected to meet this week to vote on whether lawmakers should expel the embattled New York Rep George Santos from Congress.

The vote will come nearly two weeks after the House Ethics Committee published a damning report containing “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos allegedly broke various federal laws.

The committee alleged that Mr Santos “knowingly” had his campaign committee file false and incomplete reports to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), used campaign funds for personal expenses, committed violations of the Ethics in Government Act and engaged in fraudulent conduct with a company he co-owned.

Following the report, Representative Michael Guest, the chairman of the Ethics Committee, filed a motion to expel Mr Santos from Congress.

Mr Santos, who was elected to New York’s 3rd Congressional District in 2022, said he is anticipating to be expelled.

“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor,” Mr Santos said during a live Spaces event on X.

The vote could happen as soon as Tuesday, 28 November, when members of the House return from their Thanksgiving holiday break.

In order to expel Mr Santos, the House needs two-thirds of its members to vote in favour of Mr Guest’s motion.

Earlier this month, a similar motion to expel Mr Santos brought by New York Republicans, failed on a 179 to 213 vote. However, this was before the House Ethics Committee report was released.

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The incredible rise and dramatic fall of George Santos

Monday 27 November 2023 20:00 , Bevan Hurley

Congressman George Santos’ tenure has been anything but dull — his rise to power and fall from grace have been equally mired in controversy.

After less than two years in Congress, his list of lies and scandals appears to have finally grown too long for him to defend anymore, as he announced he wouldn’t seek re-election in 2024 after the release of a damning House Ethics Committee report.

The committee said it found “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos had broken federal laws after finding “additional uncharged and unlawful conduct,” which included using campaign funds to make purchases at Hermes, Sephora and OnlyFans.

In 2022, Mr Santos was elected as the Republican Party’s first openly gay, non-incumbent member of Congress, and touted himself as a living embodiment of the American dream.

But he has since been exposed as a serial fabricator, and now an accused criminal.

Here’s what we know about the rise and demise of George Anthony Devolder Santos.

Bribes, treason and hay bales: The scattered history of expulsions from Congress

Monday 27 November 2023 19:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Scandal-plagued New York Rep George Santos looks set to join an exclusive group of people as he has acknowledged that he’s likely to be expelled from Congress.

“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor,” Mr Santos, 35, said last week in a broadcast on the X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter.

In the X Space event hosted by Monica Matthews, a rightwing personality, Mr Santos said, “I have done the math over and over and it doesn’t look really good”. But he claimed that he would wear his expulsion “like a badge of honour”.

The latest blow of many to Mr Santos’s short yet tumultuous political career came in the form of a 56-page report from the House Ethics Committee released earlier this month which outlined “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos violated federal law.

The report included allegations that Mr Santos used campaign money to pay for his personal expenses, such as Botox, and luxury purchases at Hermes and Ferragamo, as well as smaller sums spent on OnlyFans, food, parking, travel and rent.

The House can consider the motion to expel Mr Santos put forward by ethics panel chair GOP Rep Michael Guest as soon as Tuesday when lawmakers return from Thanksgiving break but when the vote may be taken up on the floor remains unclear.

Mr Santos would be the first member of the House to be removed in modern times without first having been convicted of a crime.

Only five representatives have ever been expelled from the House in the course of US history.

Late-night shows eviscerate George Santos after damning ethics revelations

Monday 27 November 2023 18:00 , Amelia Neath

Late-night show hosts seized the moment to give George Santos a huge roasting after a damming ethics report that revealed he spent campaign money on Botox and OnlyFans.

Mr Santos, who believes the report was a “dirty biased act and one that tramples all over my rights,” now faces a fresh motion to expel him from the House after his indictment of 23 federal charges in October as well as the new report.

Following the release of the document, the GOP New York representative announced in a series of tirades on X that he would not run for re-election in 2024. In the report, the House Ethics Committee accused the politician of lying about loaning personal money to his 2022 congressional campaign, then “paying himself back” for those fake loans with actual money.

He is also alleged to have spent donor money on personal indulgences such as Botox, Hermes merchandise, trips and an OnlyFans subscription.

Something that caught guest The Daily Show host Leslie Jones’ eye was the report noting Mr Santos’ “lavish” trips to Atlantic City. “Have you been to Atlantic City?” she inquired. “A ‘lavish’ trip there just means you don’t go home with bed bugs.”

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SNL stars can’t stop laughing in brutal George Santos skit

Monday 27 November 2023 16:00 , Martha McHardy

George Santos was roasted on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update after a House Ethics Committee report found he had spent tens of thousands of campaign dollars on Botox and OnlyFans.

In the scathing report, released on Thursday, Mr Santos was accused of lying about loaning personal money to his 2022 congressional campaign, then “paying himself back” for the fake loans with campaign funds.

He also used donor money to splash out on personal indulgences such as Botox, Hermes merchandise, vacations to the Hamptons and Las Vegas, and on OnlyFans.

The congressman, who was indicted on 23 federal charges in October, has claimed the report is a “dirty biased act and one that tramples all over my rights”. He is now facing a fresh motion to expel him from the House.

On Saturday’s SNL, comedian Bowen Yang appeared on the show as the congressman as he was asked about the scandal by Weekend Update co-host Colin Jost.

“George, this is serious. They’re calling for your expulsion,” Mr Jost said.

“Well then, girl, ‘expul’ me!” Mr Yang’s Mr Santos replied.

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VOICES: The House has no more options but to expel George Santos

Monday 27 November 2023 14:10 , Eric Garcia

It might finally be over for Rep George Santos (R-NY) and, moreover, the House Republican conference might finally be out of excuses to keep him in the House.

On Friday, Rep Michael Guest (R-MS), the chairman of the House Ethics Committee, filed a resolution to expel the embattled and disgraced freshman Republican. This came a day after the committee released its damning report detailing Mr Santos’s misdeeds. (My colleague John Bowden wrote a list of the most outrageous parts of the probe.)

While many of the headlines noted how Mr Santos used campaign cash to pay for expensive meals, shopping trips to Sephora, Botox purchases and Only Fans sessions, fraud lies at the heart of the probe, specifically the fact he lied to the Federal Election Commission, with one of his staffers pretending to be a staffer for now-deposed speaker Kevin McCarthy. Similarly, he also lied about loans he made to his own campaign to qualify for assistance from the national Republican Party campaign apparatus.

As a result, Mr Guest’s resolution could easily be said to be speaking for the entirety of the committee.

It might easy to dismiss this effort by Mr Guest given that he is a conservative Republican from Mississippi who voted to overturn the 2020 election. Similarly, some may roll their eyes considering the House has already had two failed attempts to expel Mr Santos. But those efforts differ wildly from the current expulsion push.

The first time came when Reps Dan Goldman and Ritchie Torres, both New York Democrats, led a motion in May that the House majority immediately referred to the Ethics Committee.

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‘I’m not running for re-election because I don’t want to work with a bunch of hypocrites'

Monday 27 November 2023 14:08 , Mike Bedigan

Despite his explosive criticism of the report, Mr Santos acknowledged that he may soon be exiting the House, having already said that he won’t seek re-election in 2024. “I’m not running for re-election, not because this was a damning report,” he said.

“I’m not running for re-election because I don’t want to work with a bunch of hypocrites.

“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor.”

The House Ethics Committee began its investigation in March 2023, after allegations of campaign finance misconduct and that Mr Santos lied about biographical details surfaced.

Last week’s report found that the 35-year-old had violated ethics guidelines, the rules of the House and criminal laws, and that he had been aware that he was crossing the line.

Mr Santos was indicted on 13 federal charges in May 2023, and in October, a superseding indictment brought another 10 criminal counts against him, bringing the total to 23.

Santos has survived previous attempts to expel him

Monday 27 November 2023 14:06 , Mike Bedigan

Mr Santos has survived two expulsion attempts already, but some members of the GOP have indicated that they will vote differently, following the publishing of the report.

In an interview on X Spaces on Thursday, Mr Santos declared that “due process is dead” and described the report as “flawed”, before launching a searing attack on the document which he said was “an affront against my rights”.

“The amount of hyperbole in this document is daunting. Every single person I’ve had discussions about it with – I have spoken to prominent Democrats who were troubled by the work of this committee,” he said.

“It was designed to smear me, it was designed to force me out of my seat. That is what the intention of this report was. This report wasn’t a finding of facts.”

He continued: “I will stand for expulsion. I want to see them set this precedent because this precedent sets a new era of due process, which means you are guilty until proven innocent.

“We will take your accusations and use it to smear, to mangle, to destroy you and remove you from society. That is what they are doing with this.

“This report is an affront against my rights and it should worry each and every single one of you guys.”

George Santos says he expects to be expelled from Congress

Monday 27 November 2023 13:55 , Mike Bedigan

George Santos says he expects to be expelled from the House of Representatives, in the wake of a scathing report from an ethics committee accusing him of campaign finance violations.

The New York congressman said he felt like the “it girl” when he was first elected in 2022 – as the first openly gay Republican – and that everybody wanted him, “until nobody wanted me.”

Last week the long-awaited House Ethics Committee investigation into the embattled congressman was published.

It stated that there was credible evidence to indicate that the Republican misused campaign funds for a wide range of personal expenses, committed fraud, and misled the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

House Ethics panel chairman GOP Rep Michael Guest of Mississippi filed a motion for Mr Santos’ expulsion a day later. The chamber can take up the motion on 28 November upon lawmakers’ return from Thanksgiving recess.

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