House votes to refer resolution to expel George Santos to Ethics Committee


The House on Wednesday voted mostly alongside celebration strains to refer a decision to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) to the Ethics Committee.

The decision to expel the freshman lawmaker used to be delivered on Tuesday by using Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.). Because Garcia filed it as a privileged motion, below House rules, Republicans had been pressured to put it to a vote, pass to desk it or refer it to a committee inside two days. They selected to refer it to the Ethics Committee, a pass criticized by way of Democrats, who had been searching to shortly oust Santos from their ranks.

The closing vote on the movement to refer the decision to the ethics panel used to be 221-204. Seven lawmakers voted present. While Rep. Susan Wild (Pa.), the pinnacle Democrat on the Ethics Committee, and the 4 different Democrats who are phase of the panel voted “present” in the tally, Rep. Michael Guest (R-Miss.), who chairs the committee, and all GOP individuals of the panel voted in want of referring the decision to their committee.

Santos also voted to refer the resolution.

The depend is now in the arms of the House Ethics Committee, which has been investigating Santos when you consider that March and is searching into a litany of claims about the freshman congressman, which includes about his previous commercial enterprise practices, marketing campaign finance fees and an allegation of sexual misconduct.

Democrats’ efforts to oust Santos from Congress got here days after federal prosecutors charged him with thirteen monetary crimes, which includes defrauding his donors, the usage of their cash for his private gain and wrongfully claiming unemployment benefits.

Santos faces seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of cash laundering, one count number of theft of public money and two counts of mendacity to the House on economic types in that case. He pleaded now not responsible on May 10 to all the charges, denied crook wrongdoing and known as the criminal inquiries a “witch hunt.”

On Wednesday morning, Garcia described the efforts of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to ship his action to the Ethics Committee a “cop-out,” noting that the committee is already investigating Santos. In a information briefing at the Capitol, Garcia listed many of Santos’s lies and advised Congress to rapidly oust the freshman lawmaker, whom he described as an “embarrassment to the House and to the country.”

“Every Republican need to stand up and be a part of us to protect this physique and expel George Santos,” he said.

Speaking to newshounds as he left the Capitol after the vote, Santos thanked Republican management for pushing for a vote to refer the action to the Ethics Committee.

“In this country, anyone is harmless till tested guilty,” Santos said. “You can’t be judge, jury and executioner. I have a proper — a constitutional proper — to protect myself, and I will do that.”

Santos stated that if the Ethics Committee finds a purpose to eliminate him, “that is the process.”

Rep. George Santos pleads now not responsible to thirteen counts of economic crimes

In March, the Ethics Committee voted to create a bipartisan subcommittee to check out claims about Santos.

In its March statement, the ethics panel stated it is working to decide whether or not Santos, 34, may also have “engaged in illegal recreation with recognize to his 2022 congressional campaign; failed to proper divulge required statistics on statements filed with the House; violated federal battle of hobby legal guidelines in connection with his function in a company imparting fiduciary services; and/or engaged in sexual misconduct in the direction of an man or woman looking for employment in his congressional office.”

McCarthy on Tuesday rebuffed the effort by way of Democrats to expel Santos from the chamber, telling newshounds the rely have to be treated through the bipartisan Ethics Committee.

“I assume these accusations are very serious,” however “you have to have process,” McCarthy stated Tuesday in Washington. “I don’t favor to wait round for the courts to act,” and the Ethics Committee ought to work “faster” than the courts, he said.

Several House Republicans who earlier known as for Santos to resign on Wednesday stated earlier than the vote that they supported sending the case to the committee.

Rep. Michael Lawler (R-N.Y.), who stated in a announcement this month that Santos had “lost the self assurance and guide of his party” and “should resign,” accused Democrats of taking part in politics with the aid of pushing for a vote to expel alternatively of letting the Ethics Committee take care of Santos. He stated he trusts the committee’s capacity to “make a swift dedication on this that can fulfill the complete physique of Congress.”

“Never earlier than has a member of Congress, from both party, been eliminated except a crook conviction or a referral — which is why I aid the effort to refer the count of George Santos’s expulsion to the Ethics Committee,” he said in a statement. “If the Democrats had been serious about his expulsion, they would work with us to get a file and referral from the Ethics Committee, instead than provide a political decision that has no danger of passing the House.”

And Rep. Brandon Williams (R-N.Y.) stated in a assertion Wednesday that he’s actively encouraging GOP management and the Nassau County GOP to “immediately discover and get in the back of George’s replacement.”

“George’s days are numbered in the House,” William said.

Another New York Republican, Rep. Nick LaLota, seemed dissatisfied that his House colleagues have been no longer inclined to oust Santos immediately.

“While I would have desired there to be sufficient votes to expel the sociopath rip-off artist, Congressman D’Esposito has spearheaded the subsequent fantastic option: To refer this count to the Ethics Committee the place we count on a end result inside 60 days and for the horrible liar to be gone, via resignation or expulsion, earlier than August recess,” LaLota stated in a declaration after the vote.

While McCarthy and different House Republicans argued that the Ethics Committee should go swiftly on an investigation of Santos, latest precedent suggests that that may additionally no longer be the case.

In current instances in which a House member used to be difficulty to a crook indictment, the Justice Department has requested that the Ethics Committee pause its investigation of the member.

Examples encompass Ethics Committee investigations of former representatives Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), who resigned final yr after being observed responsible of mendacity to the FBI; Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), who in 2020 used to be sentenced to 26 months in jail for his phase in an insider-trading scheme and mendacity to the FBI; and Corrine Brown (D-Fla.), who was once sentenced to 5 years in jail in 2017 after being convicted of fraud.

In all these instances, the Justice Department requested the Ethics Committee to “defer consideration” of things associated to the then-lawmakers.

Speaking to newshounds outdoor the Capitol moments earlier than the vote, Garcia stated Democrats will proceed pressing to expel Santos from the House, “even even though [Republicans are] attempting this maneuver.”

“He must no longer be in Congress,” he said.

Azi Paybarah, Camila DeChalus and Marianna Sotomayor contributed to this report. 


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