If Rep. Santos doesn’t resign, there’s not much that can be done, expert says

Jan 12, 2023, 7:30 PM
Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., departs after attending a House GOP conference meeting on Capitol Hill ...
Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., departs after attending a House GOP conference meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

SALT LAKE CITY — Republican Party officials in Nassau County, New York are demanding that Rep. George Santos resign.

Santos has admitted to inaccuracies on his resume, including his education and work experience. And while he has apologized, Santos has stated that he has no plans to step down. 

Derek Brown, former chair of the Utah Republican Party, joined Dave and Dujanovic with Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic on Thursday to discuss the situation.

Noriega asks “What do you think about the Republican Party starting to distance themselves from him?”

“The list of things he has lied about,” Brown said. “Well, it keeps getting longer, first of all, which is interesting. But I think that’s it’s a worse-case scenario for that county GOP. And as a party, it makes sense that they’ve done this.” 

Brown says the House Ethics Committee, the Office of Congressional Ethics and even the Federal Elections Committe are looking into the matter. With that kind of pressure mounting, Brown says you would think Santos would waive the white flag.

“But in fact, he did exactly the opposite yesterday,” Brown said. “Which was interesting. And his tweet like just said ‘I will not resign.'”

Brown expects a showdown is coming soon over this matter.

If Santos won’t resign, what be done?

Dujanovic asks, “Is there any way to get him out of office if he just wants to stay planted in that seat?”

“There is no recall process for a member of the Congress,” Brown said. “I mean under the Constitution, if they die, or their term ends or they resign, then that seat could be filled. In this case, I believe it would be the governor of New York who would have that appointment authority. But ultimately, there’s no way, there’s no recall process.”

In recent years, Brown says states such as California have used the recall process toward a governor.

“But there’s nothing like that in Congress,” he said. “So once someone’s elected to Congress, the only way for them to be forcibly removed, frankly is impeachment.”

For such action to take place, Brown says the House would need a two-thirds vote. Additionally, he says there have only been five people removed from office in that manner in the history of the country. The last time happened 20 years ago.

“So, the likelihood of that happening is pretty slim,” Brown said. “So, I think this sets up a really interesting tug of war.” 

Brown says if Santos doesn’t step down, voters in New York may have to wait until the November 2024 election to take matters into their own hands. 

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

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If Rep. Santos doesn’t resign, there’s not much that can be done, expert says