POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Rep. George Santos says he expects to be kicked out of Congress as expulsion vote looms

Nov 27, 2023, 9:23 AM | Updated: May 24, 2024, 11:11 am

FILE - U.S. Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., holds a miniature American flag that was presented to him a...

FILE - U.S. Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., holds a miniature American flag that was presented to him as he departs federal court, Friday, June 30, 2023, in Central Islip, N.Y. Sam Miele, a former political fundraiser for Santos, was arrested Wednesday, Aug. 16, on federal charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft as part of an alleged scheme to trick donors into giving money to Santos under a false name. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Rep. George Santos said he expects to be expelled from Congress following a scathing report by the House Ethics Committee that found substantial evidence of lawbreaking by the New York Republican.

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In a defiant speech Friday sprinkled with taunts and obscenities aimed at his congressional colleagues, Santos insisted he was “not going anywhere.” But he acknowledged that his time as a member of Congress, at least, may soon be coming to an end.

“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor,” he said Friday night during a conversation on X Spaces. “I’ve done the math over and over, and it doesn’t look really good.”
The comments came one week after the Republican chairman of the House Ethics Committee, Michael Guest, introduced a resolution to expel Santos once the body returns from Thanksgiving break.

While Santos has survived two expulsion votes, many of his colleagues who formerly opposed the effort now say they support it, citing the findings of the committee’s months-long investigation into a wide range of alleged misconduct by Santos.

The report found Santos used campaign funds for personal purposes, such as purchases at luxury retailers and adult content websites, then caused the campaign to file false or incomplete reports.
“Representative Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit,” investigators wrote. They noted that he did not cooperate with the report and repeatedly “evaded” straightforward requests for information.

On Friday, Santos said he did not want to address the specifics of the report, which he claimed were “slanderous” and “designed to force me out of my seat.” Any defense of his conduct, he said, could be used against him in the ongoing criminal case brought by federal prosecutors.

Instead, Santos struck a contemplative tone during the three-hour livestream, tracing his trajectory from Republican “it girl” to “the Mary Magdalene of the United States Congress.” And he lashed out at his congressional colleagues, accusing them of misconduct – such as voting while drunk – that he said was far worse than anything he’d done.

“They all act like they’re in ivory towers with white pointy hats and they’re untouchable,” he said. “Within the ranks of United States Congress there’s felons galore, there’s people with all sorts of shystie backgrounds.”

His decision not to seek reelection, he said, was not because of external pressure, but due to his frustration with the “sheer arrogance” of his colleagues.

“These people need to understand it’s done when I say it’s done, when I want it to be done, not when they want it to be done,” he added. “That’s kind of where we are there.”

Related: GOP on GOP: Romney scolds Santos, ‘You don’t belong here

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Rep. George Santos says he expects to be kicked out of Congress as expulsion vote looms