A group of Republican congressmen from New York plan to introduce a resolution on Wednesday to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) from the House.
The resolution, led by Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-N.Y.), is cosponsored by every GOP freshman member from New York. They are Reps. Nick LaLota, Mike Lawler, Marc Molinaro, Nick Langworthy and Brandon Williams.
“He has no business being in the halls of the House of Representatives,” LaLota said of Santos to reporters Wednesday morning.
“He’s an immoral person. He is an untrustworthy person. He scammed hundreds of thousands of voters, hundreds of donors. He’s stolen millions of dollars,” LaLota said. “This is the most provable case of election fraud that we have before us. He is a fraudster.”
“He should be out of Congress right away,” he added.
Santos, who is also a freshman from New York and is perhaps best known for lying about his entire background, was newly indicted on Tuesday on charges of stealing the identities of his campaign donors and ringing up tens of thousands of dollars on their credit cards.
The new indictment, which includes 23 counts, replaces a previous indictment from May that charged Santos with stealing money from his campaign and cheating his way into unemployment benefits that he didn’t qualify for. He pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Santos’ office did not respond to a request for comment about some in his party planning to try to expel him.
He did, however, release a strangely worded statement suggesting that it would set “a dangerous precedent” if he were expelled from the House without first being found guilty of committing crimes.
“Amidst this chaotic mix, more wrenches are being thrown, further complicating matters,” Santos said.
House Republican leadership, which is in complete disarray at the moment, has yet to signal any interest in expelling Santos. The reason is obvious: The GOP holds a razor-thin majority in the House as it is, and without Santos, Democrats would have that much more wiggle room to stop Republicans from passing things they don’t like.
But LaLota said he expects momentum behind the GOP’s new push to expel Santos. Two-thirds of the House would have to vote in favor of kicking out Santos for it to take effect.
“I predict this resolution is going to catch fire,” he told reporters. “Many people feel how we do. And what my colleague Mr. Esposito said, ‘He’s a stain on this institution.’”
They’ve already got support for their resolution from one member: Democratic Rep. Robert Garcia (Calif.), who introduced his own resolution in February to expel Santos. He used a procedural maneuver to force the House to vote on it in May, and every Republican ― including all of the New York GOPers now calling for expelling Santos ― voted to refer the matter to the ethics committee, where nothing has come of it.
“Great to hear that the New York Republican Freshmen are finally ready to expel fraudster George Santos from Congress,” Garcia said in a statement. “Months ago, every single one of them voted against expelling Santos. He has been able to get away with his fraud and lies for far too long while House Republicans have sat by and protected him.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee called out the New York Republicans for their sudden change of heart in expelling Santos.
“Aside from being late to the party, we have a pressing question for spineless New York Republicans whose own party has left the House speakerless in the midst of a toothless and gutless resolution,” DCCC spokesperson Ellie Dougherty said in a statement. “Is your increasing vulnerability the reason that you’ve changed your tune since first having the opportunity to expel criminally-indicted George Santos back in May?”
Of the six New York Republicans backing the Santos expulsion resolution, five are considered vulnerable in 2024.