Changed locks and selfies: The aftermath of George Santos’ expulsion

The Santos expulsion turned into a sideshow outside the vacated office as elsewhere the now-former congressman teased retaliation.

Friday, George Santos was ousted from the U.S. House of Representatives where he had served as the Republican lawmaker for New York’s 3rd district for less than a year. Wasting little time after the 311-114 vote, a Capitol Hill employee was spotted endeavoring to mark the removed freshman’s final cry of “To hell with this place” as a penultimate statement with an unceremonious lock change.

C-SPAN communications director Howard Mortman shared footage outside the former legislator’s office as hardware was replaced to keep unauthorized individuals from room 1117 of the Longworth House Office Building.

Meanwhile, others were seen gathering outside the newly vacated office taking selfies with the placard seemingly celebrating that the legislative body had overruled the will of New York voters, triggering the need for New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) to schedule a special election.

At one point, a group of three could be seen smiling beside the Santos sign after an older gentleman had grinned at the spot on his own. Whether sympathetically or sarcastically, someone else had deposited a bouquet of flowers outside the office that was later removed.

Were any more revelers interested in capitalizing on the unique photo opportunity to mark the day Santos became the first member of the House to be expelled without being convicted for federal crimes he was alleged to have committed, or for support for the Confederacy during the Civil War, their window was slammed shut nearly as fast as the locks had been changed.

The parade of revelers was short-lived when a Capitol Hill employee arrived to remove the sign, leaving the placard blank for the interim.

Though Santos’ time in the House appeared done, the now-former lawmaker wasn’t done with Congress as he took to X overnight with promises of filing multiple ethics complaints against his former Republican colleagues from the Empire State, starting with Rep. Nicole Malliotakis.

“Monday I will be filling an official complaint with the Office of congressional Ethics against @NMalliotakis regarding her questionable stock trading since joining the Ways and Means committee this Congress,” he wrote. “Before joining the committee the congresswoman didn’t have an active trading habit or a high volume stake. The question is, what set of information is she trading with?”

Santos also aimed Rep. Mike Lawler “for questionable campaign finance violations,” and Rep. Nick LaLota whom he alleged may “have stolen public funds from the tax payers of NY” by going to school for his Juris Doctorate while working at the Board of Elections.

As with those celebrating the ousted legislator’s departure, social media users celebrated his potential for figuratively burning the place down on his way out the door as New York state lawmaker Ben Geller suggested, “Everyone is gonna have the tea spilled on them. Buckle up!”

Kevin Haggerty

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