George Santos, the twice-indicted Congress member who previously admitted to parlaying a fabricated life story into a seat on Capitol Hill, will remain in Congress, as the resolution introduced by Rep. Anthony D’Esposito to expel Santos was voted down.
With a new speaker in place and previous party chaos quelled for now, Santos’ fellow New York Republican colleagues — including Long Island’s Nick LaLota and Anthony D’Esposito, as well as Hudson Valley rep Mike Lawler — moved to oust Santos. But it was not to be.
“George Santos’s lies are more widespread than even the most untrustworthy politicians,” LaLota said on the floor prior to the vote. “Santos lied about everything about his professional background, from his family’s wealth to working at Goldman Sachs and CitiGroup. Santos committed this fraud, this election fraud, to create an entirely new persona that voters could support.”
LaLota mentioned that Nancy Marks, Santos’s campaign treasurer, had recently plead guilty to federal fraud charges.
Santos argued that there was no constitutional precedent to expel him before any criminal conviction, as two of the more recent congressional expulsions — Michael J. Myers of Pennsylvania in 1980 and James A. Traficant of Ohio in 2002 — had occurred after those members were convicted. But D’Esposito dismissed that argument.
“Constitutional due process does not apply here,” D’Esposito said. “We have the facts. They have been outlined over the last ten months. And the facts are that Mr. Santos admitted to those lies and deceptions.”
D’Esposito also said that 78% of Santos’s constituents in New York’s third congressional district did not want him as their representative. Earlier this year, when the Nassau GOP had condemned Santos, D’Esposito had expressed a willingness to help represent residents in the district.
After the five-minute vote, the resolution was voted down by a margin of 213-179, with 19 votes counted as present. 24 Republicans voted to expel Santos, while 182 voted to keep him in Congress. 155 Democrats voted to expel Santos, while, surprisingly, 31 voted to keep him.
But Santos is not out of the woods yet, as the House Ethics Committee expects to have an update to their investigation on Santos on Nov. 17, according to Rep. Andrew Garbarino, who represents most of Suffolk County’s South Shore in Congress and sits on the committee.
“As a member of the Ethics Committee, I believe we should allow the committee to finish its active investigation,” Garbarino said. “As the Chair and Ranking Member have announced, we expect to have an update on this matter on or before November 17.”
It’s a sentiment that Anthony D’Esposito, though disappointed with the results of the vote, supported.
“I am disappointed my colleagues chose not to expel George Santos from Congress,” D’Esposito said. “I believe George Santos’ lies coupled with the criminal charges he is facing deem Santos unfit to serve the people of New York’s 3rd Congressional District. I am confident the findings of the upcoming House Ethics Committee report on George Santos will expose Santos’ deceptions and outline what New Yorkers already know — that George Santos is a fraud unworthy of serving in public office.”