Dems foiled as resolution to expel George Santos goes down in defeat

U.S. Rep. George Santos isn’t going anywhere as a resolution to expel him from the House of Representatives met a resounding defeat.

Much to the dismay of Democrats and many in his own party, the controversial New York Republican maintained his seat as the effort to remove him from office – led by his fellow freshmen New York Republicans – failed to garner the two-thirds vote necessary on Wednesday.

“I have a right of the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. I’m fighting for that right and if these guys don’t believe in that, then democracy is dead,” Santos told CNN’s Manu Raju ahead of the vote.

The embattled Republican is facing an ongoing investigation by the House Ethics Committee and is facing 23 charges against him, including wire fraud and identity theft to which Santos has pleaded not guilty.

With only 179 members voting in favor of expulsion, including 24 Republicans, the resolution was defeated as 213 voted “nay” on H.R. 773.

Notably, 31 of the votes to keep him in Congress came from Democrats, including Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Steven Horsford (Nev.) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), and Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland.

“If and when Santos is convicted of these serious criminal offenses or ethics charges, I will certainly vote to expel,” Raskin told reporters. “Until then, it is a very risky road to go down and we have to stick by due process and the rule of law, as obvious as the eventual result may seem.”

North Carolina Rep. Jeff Jackson, another Democrat who voted against expulsion, warned that the “better precedent is to expel members only post-conviction or post-ethics investigation

“That way you get at least some due process – either internal or external – before expulsion. That’s existing precedent, at least as I understand it. This vote was basically asking us to change precedent in a way that’s unnecessary (we can wait three weeks) and could be really dangerous in the hands of a future Congress,” Jackson wrote on Reddit, adding that Santos “should definitely resign – no question.”

After the vote, Santos spoke to reporters as he left the Capitol.

“I will continue to serve the 3rd Congressional District of New York until the people choose to not have me,” he said.


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