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George Santos Expelled from U.S. House in Overwhelming Vote, 11 Months After Swearing-In

More than 11,000 Americans have served in the House of Representatives. Only six have been expelled

<p>Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP</p> New York Rep. George Santos exits the U.S. Capitol in May 2023

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP

New York Rep. George Santos exits the U.S. Capitol in May 2023

George Santos has been expelled from the U.S. House of Representatives in an exceedingly rare move reserved for serious misconduct.

Through a 311-114 vote on Friday, the first-term Republican became only the sixth of more than 11,000 U.S. representatives in history to be ousted from Congress' lower chamber.

Related: Alleged Fraudster George Santos Says Efforts to Expel Him from Congress Count as 'Bullying'

Santos — who was mired in controversy even before his January swearing-in — entered the national spotlight on a rocky note, as story after story cropped up about him lying about his past, allegations of running fraudulent schemes accumulated, and a prospective staffer accused him of making unwanted sexual advances.

The Republican was hit with a 23-count federal indictment earlier this year that tells a similar narrative, featuring a variety of theft and fraud charges involving his congressional campaign. (Santos pleaded not guilty to each of the criminal charges and has not yet gone to trial.)

Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty New York Rep. George Santos at the U.S. Capitol in April 2023
Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty New York Rep. George Santos at the U.S. Capitol in April 2023

Just one month ago, fellow New York Republicans mounted an expulsion campaign against Santos in response to the federal charges. The effort overwhelmingly failed to succeed in a 179-213 vote (to expel a member of Congress, a two-thirds vote is required).

Related: George Santos Pleads Not Guilty to New Charges as Effort to Expel Him Swells in Congress

John Nacion/UPI/Shutterstock New York Rep. George Santos, surrounded by protesters, speaks to reporters amid a federal criminal investigation into his finances
John Nacion/UPI/Shutterstock New York Rep. George Santos, surrounded by protesters, speaks to reporters amid a federal criminal investigation into his finances

But Santos' situation changed shortly after surviving the previous expulsion attempt, when the House Ethics Committee delivered a final blow to the newcomer's congressional career.

"Representative George Santos cannot be trusted," reads a Nov. 16 House Ethics report, summarizing the findings of its longstanding probe into Santos' conduct. "At nearly every opportunity, he placed his desire for private gain above his duty to uphold the Constitution, federal law, and ethical principles."

Related: House Ethics Committee Finds 'Substantial Evidence' of Wrongdoing by George Santos, Says He 'Can't Be Trusted'

<p>Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP</p>

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP

The report explains that the subcommittee investigating Santos "unanimously concluded that there was substantial evidence" that he "knowingly caused his campaign committee to file false or incomplete reports with the Federal Election Commission; used campaign funds for personal purposes; engaged in fraudulent conduct ... and engaged in knowing and willful violations of the Ethics in Government Act as it relates to his Financial Disclosure (FD) Statements filed with the House."

The committee further alleges that Santos misused campaign funds for his own personal purposes by purchasing things like Botox injections, OnlyFans subscriptions and items from luxury retailers such as Sephora and Hermès.

Related: From Botox to OnlyFans: A Few of the Things George Santos Allegedly Paid for with Campaign Funds

MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Embattled first-term Congressman George Santos
MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Embattled first-term Congressman George Santos

Blowback from the House Ethics report was swift, with Santos announcing hours later that he would not seek reelection in 2024. In the absence of an immediate resignation, calls to expel Santos were renewed, this time spearheaded by the House Ethics Committee's Republican chair, Mississippi Rep. Michael Guest.

With Guest's endorsement, many House members who previously voted against ousting Santos announced that they had changed their minds, even as Republicans fear that Democrats will take back his seat in the closely divided chamber, and as GOP leaders assert that expelling pre-conviction sets a dangerous precedent.

Related: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul Urges George Santos to ‘Stop the Embarrassment’ and Resign: ‘Just Go Away’

On Nov. 24, Santos admitted that his tenure in the House appeared to be rapidly approaching its end.

"I know I'm going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor," he told conservative media personality Monica Matthews in an X Space. "I have done the math over and over, and it doesn't look really good."

In the same conversation, he vowed to wear his ousting "like a badge of honor."

Related: A Second George Santos Campaign Aide Has Pleaded Guilty to Fraud Charges

<p>Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty</p> Embattled Rep. George Santos speaks to reporters after an expulsion resolution was referred to the House Ethics panel in May 2023

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

Embattled Rep. George Santos speaks to reporters after an expulsion resolution was referred to the House Ethics panel in May 2023

Of the five House members previously expelled from Congress, three were ousted for supporting the Confederacy during the Civil War.

The next expulsion came 119 years later, in 1980, when the House voted 376-30 in support of ousting Pennsylvania Democrat Michael Myers after he was convicted of bribery. And in 2002, Ohio Democrat James Traficant was expelled in a 420-1 vote following his conviction on 10 felony counts, including bribery and falsifying tax returns.

Over in the U.S. Senate, 15 members have been expelled — one for treason in 1797 and 14 for supporting the Confederacy during the Civil War. No U.S. senators have been successfully expelled in modern times.

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In the wake of Santos' expulsion, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is tasked with scheduling a special election to fill his seat. Hochul recently said that she would be "happy" to see him leave Congress, and would call for a special election to be held within 70 to 80 days of him vacating.

The congressman whom Santos succeeded, Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi, previously announced plans to reclaim the seat in 2024, and appears a likely candidate for the special election, as well.

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Read the original article on People.