In a historic move, former U.S. Congressman George Santos has been expelled from the House of Representatives after his peers voted to remove him. Santos becomes only the sixth member in the chamber's history to be ousted. The final vote to immediately remove Santos was 311-114, surpassing the two-thirds majority required.
Following the vote, Santos walked out of the chamber without answering questions. He had previously spoken out against his colleagues in the House, defiantly stating that he would not go quietly. The expulsion took effect immediately, with Santos losing his titles of "representative" and "congressman." His congressional office in the Capitol was seized by a House clerk, although his constituency office in New York remains open.
Santos has been embroiled in criminal and ethical investigations since the 2022 election. He admitted to fabricating many details in his biography, including his education and work experience. He also falsely claimed that his grandparents escaped the Holocaust and that his mother died in the 9/11 attacks. Additionally, Santos is facing numerous criminal charges, including fraud and campaign-finance crimes. Federal prosecutors have accused him of charging donors' credit cards without permission and using campaign funds for personal expenses.
Santos had previously survived an attempt to remove him in November, with Republicans and Democrats voting to keep him in the House until his criminal case concludes. However, support for Santos waned after a bipartisan investigation revealed questionable expenses, such as spa treatments and luxury retail purchases, charged to his campaign account.
With this expulsion, Santos becomes the first member of the House to be removed without being convicted of a crime or committing treason. He is also the first to be ousted in over two decades. The last member to be removed was Democrat James Traficant in 2002, following his criminal conviction for bribery and tax evasion.
It remains to be seen how Santos's expulsion will impact the political landscape and whether further consequences will arise from his criminal charges.