Washington [US], December 3: US representative George Santos, the New York Republican under felony indictment in connection with fraud, money laundering and other crimes, was expelled from the House of Representaties on Friday, becoming only the sixth lawmaker ever forcibly removed from the chamber.
The vote is a dramatic bookend for Santos' 10-month tenure in Washington, following revelations by the media and a House Ethics Committee report that said Santos fabricated much of his biography, defrauded donors and spent campaign money to bankroll a lavish lifestyle, including purchasing Botox injections, Only Fans subscriptions and personal travel.
The vote was 311-114. Although Democrats voted overwhelmingly to expel Santos, 114 Republicans voted to save him. Two Democrats voted against expulsion, and two voted present.
Two earlier attempts to expel Santos failed after most Republicans and some Democrats expressed opposition to expelling a member who had not been convicted of a crime. But the scathing 56-page House Ethics Committee report which found "overwhelming evidence of his misconduct," shifted votes away from the New York lawmaker.
"You, sir, are a crook," said Ohio's Max Miller, one of several members of Santos's own party to stand up on the House floor to denounce him in a debate on the expulsion on Thursday.
"My future former colleague is divorced from reality. He has manufactured his entire life," said Marc Molinaro, a fellow New York Republican, while another member from the state's delegation, Anthony D'Esposito, called Santos a "liar".
Aside from the criminal allegations, Santos has become notorious for a series of bizarre fabrications, including claiming to have worked for Goldman Sachs, being Jewish and having been a college volleyball star.
Santos has denied wrongdoing, attributing his removal to petty beefs from his colleagues. He said he was not given due process since he has not been convicted of the charges against him.
Beyond accusing the Ethics Committee of a "smear campaign", he has not publicly addressed the accusations in any detail.
Expulsions, which require a two-thirds majority to succeed, are rare.
During the Civil War, three House members were removed for supporting the Confederacy. Two others were expelled after being convicted on corruption charges: Democratic Reps. Michael J. "Ozzie" Myers of Pennsylvania in 1980 and James A. Traficant Jr. of Ohio in 2002.
Source: Qatar Tribune