House Republican: If George Santos broke campaign finance laws, 'he will be removed from Congress'

CNN anchor Jake Tapper interviews Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., about fellow Rep. George Santos. R-NY.
CNN anchor Jake Tapper interviews Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., about fellow Rep. George Santos. R-NY. (Screenshot: Twitter/@CNNSOTU)

Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the new chair of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, said embattled Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., would be ousted from Congress if it's determined that he broke campaign finance laws.

"I haven't even introduced myself to him because it's pretty despicable the lies that he told," Comer said on CNN's "State of the Union." "But at the end of the day, it's not up to me or any other member of Congress to determine whether he could be kicked out for lying. Now if he broke campaign finance laws, then he will be removed from Congress."

Comer made the comment when pressed on the growing calls for Santos’s resignation.

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After winning his election in November, Santos admitted to fabricating key parts of his biography, including his education and claimed work on Wall Street. But beyond that, Santos is accused of lying about a seemingly endless string of other life story events, including his supposed Jewish ancestry, relationships, the death of his mother and much more.

But the most damning revelation may be if Santos is found to have broken campaign finance laws. The New York Times and other outlets have unearthed unusual campaign spending that appears as if it was for Santos's personal use or otherwise, potentially in violation of regulations. There are also questions about how Santos accumulated enough of a fortune to lend his campaign $705,000; in 2020, he reported making a salary of just $55,000.

Federal and local prosecutors are investigating Santos to see if any crimes were committed.

Santos has steadfastly refused to resign and denies any criminal wrongdoing.

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"He's a bad guy. This is something that — it's really bad. He's not the first politician, unfortunately, to make it Congress, to lie," Comer said Sunday.

"He's going to be under strict ethics investigations, not necessarily for lying but for his campaign finance potential violations," he continued. "So I think that Santos is being examined thoroughly. It's his decision whether or not he should resign; it's not my decision. But certainly I don't approve of how he made his way to Congress."

The House has the ability to expel a member with a two-thirds majority, though that power has rarely been exercised in modern history. It's more common for lawmakers to resign when facing such widespread condemnation.

Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., says he will not resign from Congress
Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., says he will not resign from Congress. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

For now, Republican leaders in the House appear set to wait.

"The voters of his district have elected him. He is seated. He is part of the Republican conference," House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said last week. "He will be held accountable, exactly as anybody else in his body would be," McCarthy added.

"It will play itself out," House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik told CNN.