In a move that has raised eyebrows in the political arena, several New York Republicans in the U.S. House have introduced a privileged resolution that could lead to the expulsion of openly gay Rep. George Santos (R-NY). Santos is currently facing a barrage of accusations, primarily centered around financial fraud and misdealing. The resolution, introduced by Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY), has put the House’s Republican leadership in a precarious position, with a crucial decision to make within the next two days: allow a vote or refer the matter to a committee.
If the House decides to proceed with a vote, it will require a two-thirds majority to expel Santos, as per The Hill. The outcome remains uncertain, as some House Republicans fear that Santos’ expulsion could further weaken their already tenuous majority in the lower congressional chamber.
Rep. Nick LaLota (R-NY) shed light on the rationale behind the motion, pointing to Santos’ former campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, who recently pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the U.S. government. Marks disclosed that Santos had knowingly “submitted bogus campaign finance reports” to attract more donors by falsely claiming a $500,000 loan to his campaign, despite not having the funds. Marks also provided the Federal Elections Commission with a fabricated list of donors, including names of individuals who had neither donated nor given their consent for the use of their names.
This guilty plea by Marks, along with potential cooperation with prosecutors, poses a significant threat to Santos, who is already facing 13 criminal charges, including embezzlement from his campaign and false congressional financial disclosures. Rep. LaLota characterized Marks’ plea as confirmation of a “criminal conspiracy to defraud voters, donors, the [Federal Elections Commission], and everybody in between.”
Santos, however, maintains his innocence, pleading not guilty to all charges. He remains resolute in his intention to seek re-election, despite facing numerous Republican primary challengers. New York state Republicans harbor concerns that Santos’ past scandals could tip the scales in favor of a Democratic candidate, potentially changing the House’s political landscape in 2025.
This controversy is not the first time Rep. Santos has faced scrutiny. He admitted to fabricating parts of his personal history during his election campaign, leading to a resolution to censure him for falsehoods about his background. The House Ethics Committee is currently conducting an investigation into Santos, with findings expected before the year’s end.
As Rep. Santos’ political future hangs in the balance, the coming days will undoubtedly be pivotal in determining the course of this unfolding drama within the U.S. House of Representatives.