The third time could be the charm for expelling embattled Rep. George Santos from the House of Representatives, at least according to his former communications director Naysa Woomer.
Woomer worked for Santos from January to May, resigning shortly after his first indictment on 13 federal fraud charges. It was around that time when Santos survived his first expulsion vote, which had been introduced by Democrats. Santos survived a second vote in November, which was introduced by several of his New York colleagues — Reps. Anthony D’Esposito, Mike Lawler, and Nick LaLota.
Following the House Ethics Committee report, which stated Santos violated federal laws and used campaign funds for personal spending, a third vote is looming.
Third Santos Expulsion Vote Looks More Promising, Ex-Staffer Indicates
Woomer doesn’t see him making it out of this one.
“It’s a very damning report, and it’s confirmed a lot of concerns that I think a lot of members had,” Woomer told the Press. “There were at least 31 Democrats and several Republicans who were hesitant to expel him without the release of the report. And given everything that has come out, there has been a lot of Republicans who have been very vocal about their willingness to support it and expulsion, towards Santos.”
Woomer named several of those who could flip from their last vote, and potentially help to give the House the two-thirds majority it needs to expel Santos.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) was among the 31 Democrats who voted to keep Santos in the House on the Nov. 16 vote. He released a statement shortly after explaining his reasoning, saying that only five representatives have been expelled in U.S. history — three had joined the Confederacy during the Civil War, and the other two were convicted of crimes. Santos has not yet been convicted of anything.
But following the report, Raskin wrote on Twitter, “I’m recommending Mr. Santos resign immediately—and will vote for his expulsion if he does not.”
On the Republican side, Reps. Greg Murphy (R-North Carolina) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Maryland), both of whom had previously voted to keep Santos in Congress, have called on Santos to resign or face expulsion.
If Raskin, Murphy, and Miller-Meeks’ shifts are indicative of the House at large, Woomer’s prediction could hold true.
Why Naysa Woomer Resigned From George Santos’ Office
When Woomer resigned from Santos’s office in May, she had said she was “honored” to do so and appeared to tell Santos in her resignation letter “you never took one point of professional advice given.”
According to Woomer, some of that advice included an “apology tour.”
“It’s the best thing you should do, especially when you’re in in a crisis communication situation,” Woomer said. “When he points his finger at the media, that’s actually on him, because if he had listened to my advice, he would have gotten ahead of it. If he had admitted he lied about his background, offered a sincere apology, and was willing to move forward and make it right with his constituents, it could have been a good vehicle for him — that is, if nothing else had come out about him.”
Regarding his alleged crimes, Woomer said she did not involve herself in any of his campaign issues and had no knowledge of the the actions that eventually led to his 23-count indictment. She also added that certain members of his staff — without naming names — went out of their way to become “semi-celebrities.”
“I would be shocked if he survives this vote,” Woomer said. “They say the third time is the charm.”
For his part, Santos hit out at many of his political opponents on Twitter following the Ethics Committee’s report. Despite this, he announced he will not run for re-election in 2024. If he is expelled, Gov. Kathy Hochul must order a special election for the seat within 10 days of his vacancy.