Santos Refuses to Resign Despite GOP Pressure and Looming Expulsion Vote

Santos Refuses to Resign Despite GOP Pressure and Looming Expulsion Vote – On Thursday morning, Representative George Santos, facing challenges, asserted his decision not to step down from Congress, as a vote for expulsion, led by Republicans, looms just a day ahead. Pressed why he wouldn’t give up his seat, Santos said: “If I leave, they win. This is bullying.”

In the upcoming days, the House may decide on two resolutions aiming to remove Santos from office, one initiated by Democrats and another under the guidance of House Ethics Committee Chair Michael Guest (R-Miss.). If passed, these would constitute the third and fourth expulsion votes for the New York Republican in the year. 

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The motion led by Guest appears poised for approval, with numerous Republicans who previously objected to the action anticipated to change their votes. Throughout its history, the House of Representatives has expelled a total of five individuals—three for endorsing the Confederacy during the Civil War and two others convicted of federal crimes.

Republicans had anticipated Santos using his Capitol press conference to declare his resignation, a pledge he had consistently rejected. This hoped-for announcement could have spared his colleagues from a challenging vote to expel him. Earlier this week, Speaker Mike Johnson privately discussed alternatives, such as resignation, with Santos during a meeting with the leadership team, as reported by members present.

During his 20-minute gathering, Santos deviated from the anticipated course. He refrained from addressing the allegations against him, encompassing the misuse of campaign funds for Botox, extravagant trips to Atlantic City, and expenses related to OnlyFans. Instead, he characterized the House as “chaos” and pledged to take parting shots, expressing intentions to push for the expulsion of Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) and file a “slew” of upcoming complaints.

“If the House wants to start different precedents and expel me, that is going to be the undoing of a lot of members of this body because this will haunt them in the future — where mere allegations are sufficient to have members removed from office,” Santos said, while declining to provide any specific names. The expected vote on Guest’s expulsion motion, scheduled for Friday, follows the release of an Ethics Committee report. 

This report indicates “substantial evidence” pointing to Santos violating federal criminal laws. Additionally, the New York Republican is confronted with 23 federal charges, and a trial is set for next September. Santos indicated he would comment on the accusations at some point in the future. But on Thursday he focused on the Ethics Committee, calling the report “slanderous” and “unprecedented.” But he declined to “unpack” the report.

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“I believe they do good work when it’s relevant but this ain’t it,” he added about the committee. Numerous Republicans are citing the bipartisan Ethics Committee report as grounds for expelling Santos, a shift from their prior resistance to such endeavors. Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) and others are forecasting that the fate of the New York Republican is now sealed, describing him as “toast.”

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