House Ethics Committee Chair Rep. Michael Guest (R-Miss.) introduced a resolution Friday to expel Rep. George Santos (R-NY) from Congress.
The resolution comes one day after the House Ethics Committee released a damning report concluding that there is “substantial evidence” that shows Santos “violated federal criminal laws” and referred him to the Department of Justice.
“The evidence uncovered in the Ethics Committee’s Investigative Subcommittee investigation is more than sufficient to warrant punishment and the most appropriate punishment, is expulsion. So, separate from the Committee process and my role as Chairman, I have filed an expulsion resolution,” Guest wrote in a statement, according to The Hill.
Expulsion is very rare and requires a two-thirds majority vote in the House to succeed. Santos has already survived two attempts to expel him from Congress, one of which had the support of Republicans.
In May, Republicans voted to refer Santos to the House Ethics Committee and earlier this month the effort to kick him out of Congress failed on the House floor in a 179-213 vote, despite 24 Republicans supporting the measure.
On the third go, a growing number of Republicans are supporting his ouster following the release of the House Ethics Committee report.
“I did not vote in the past to expel George because I didn’t believe there was due process,” Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) said on MSNBC Thursday evening. “I think he’s been given the fair due process now.”
“I purposely waited for the results of the Ethics Committee’s report to come out before passing judgment,” Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.) said in a statement. “However, given its findings of the facts of this case, I find his behavior reprehensible and not worthy of a member of Congress. I will vote to expel him.”
Meanwhile, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) called the ethics committee’s report findings “very troubling” but stopped short of calling for Santos’ resignation or expulsion.
“The Speaker has reviewed the report and its very troubling findings,” Raj Shah, deputy chief of staff for communications for the speaker, said in a statement. “As members from both parties, members of the Ethics Committee and Representative Santos return to Congress after the Thanksgiving break, Speaker Johnson encourages all involved to consider the best interests of the institution as this matter is addressed further.”
The House will likely vote on the resolution to expel Santos when lawmakers reconvene after Thanksgiving.
In the meantime, Santos is refusing to resign but released a statement on social media Thursday saying he will not be seeking re-election next year.
“I will remain steadfast in fighting for my rights and for defending my name in the face of adversity. I am humbled yet again and reminded that I am human and I have flaws, but I will not stand by as I am stoned by those who have flaws themselves,” Santos wrote. “I will continue on my mission to serve my constituents up until I am allowed. I will however NOT be seeking re-election for a second term in 2024 as my family deserves better than to be under the gun from the press all the time.”
Santos also faces multiple federal charges including wire fraud, credit card fraud, aggravated identity theft and falsifying records. He has pleaded not guilty.