(ReliableNews.org) – In May, a federal grand jury indicted Representative George Santos (R-NY) on 13 criminal counts, including fraud, making false statements to the House, and breaking campaign finance laws. In October, federal prosecutors added 10 more charges to the list, including accusations of stealing from donors and submitting false campaign reports. The legislator pleaded not guilty to the charges. Multiple members of Santos’ own party recently tried to expel him from Congress.
On November 1, House Republicans brought the resolution to expel the New York representative to the floor for a vote — it failed. While 179 House members voted to remove the defendant from Congress, 213 voted against the measure. CBS News reported that 19 members of the Lower Chamber merely voted that they were present — refusing to choose a side. In order to expel Santos, two-thirds of the House needed to agree to remove him from his elected spot.
Before the vote, five representatives wrote a letter stating while they supported Santos’ expulsion from the House, several GOP legislators had concerns about taking that leap. Some of those reasons included the fact that the legislator had not yet been convicted in a court of law, his expulsion would narrow the Republican majority in the House, and what kind of precedent removing him before conviction would set.
It seems that Republicans were not the only ones who shared concerns about the move. After the vote, which included some Democrats voting against the measure, Axios reporter Andrew Solender shared some thoughts from Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD). The lawmaker said Santos hadn’t been convicted of any criminal offenses yet. Expelling him now before due process through the courts or ethics committee would be “very risky.” If convicted, Raskin said he would “vote to expel.”
The House Ethics Committee is set to announce the “next course of action” in the Santos matter on November 17.
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