Some New York Republicans say they’re going to push ahead with a formal resolution to expel embattled Rep. George Santos, Republican of New York, now that the House is open after its three-week speaker stalemate.
Santos’ New York House colleagues announced a measure last week to boot him from Congress, afterto a federal indictment that accuses Santos of committing fraud and conspiracy.
The New York Republicans said they expect to move ahead with the measure as early as this week.
Santos faces an arraignment court proceeding on the newest charges Friday morning at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York.
The expulsion resolution was announced last week by two of Santos’ fellow Long Island Republicans, Reps. Anthony D’Esposito and Nick Lalota. D’Esposito said he expected the measure would catch on “like wildfire” among fellow House members, in light of the newest allegations.
On Oct. 10, the Justice Department announced the new federal charges against the congressman. Prosecutors said Santos is being charged with identity theft, making charges on his own donors’ credit cards without their authorization, “lying to the FEC and, by extension, the public about the financial state of his campaign.” Santos allegedly “falsely inflated the campaign’s reported receipts with nonexistent loans and contributions that were either fabricated or stolen,” prosecutors said.
LaLota told CBS News he’s looking for co-sponsors for the expulsion resolution. He said he expected momentum will build quickly for the measure, with the reopening of the House floor to business and proceedings. “It’s all organic,” he said. “Everybody knows the facts of the case. The facts are not good for Mr. Santos. That’s why I expect Democrats and Republicans to remove him as soon as possible.”
Rep. Marc Molinaro, a Republican who represents a district in New York’s Hudson Valley, said he expects a quick timetable for a vote on the measure. He told CBS News, “George Santos is a liar and a fraud who should not be a member of Congress. Since he won’t resign and with the House Ethics Committee not moving at the pace we had hoped, we’re adjusting our approach and pushing forward a resolution to expel him.”
Rep Brandon Williams, a New York Republican who represents a district near Syracuse, told CBS News, that earlier this year he predicted “we would see George Santos in front of a judge in handcuffs.”
“That prediction and belief is becoming clearer every day,” he went on to say. “It’s time for Santos to go.”
An expulsion resolution requires a two-thirds vote of the entire House. The measure does not need to go through a time-consuming committee process to reach a floor vote.
The House Ethics Committee has already launched a probe of Santos. One New York House Republican told CBS News he expects a report on Santos from the Ethics Committee will be coming “soon.”
Santos has maintained his innocence and said he has no plans to resign his House seat. He pleaded not guilty at his first arraignment proceeding. In denying the most recent charges involving some of his own donors, Santos told reporters, “Why would I want to hurt the same people who went out of their way to get me here?”
Prosecutors also alleged that Santos and ex-campaign treasurer Nancy Marks filed false financial reports to the Federal Election Commission that inflated the campaign’s fundraising numbers in an effort to qualify for certain perks, benefits and support from Republican Party leaders.