We watched on Thursday as the House Ethics Committee finished its investigation into George Santos and concluded that there was “substantial evidence” that the New York congressman engaged in criminal activity, but they didn’t conclude with a recommendation that he should be removed from office. Santos’s reprieve was a question I asked at the time. That question appeared to be answered yesterday afternoon, when Ethics Committee Chair Michael Guest declared that he was done. He Santos filed a motion for expulsion It could be taken up as soon as all members return from their Thanksgiving break. Santos has already survived two attempts to remove him from office, but it’s looking more and more like he won’t make it through this one. (National Review)
The bipartisan House Ethics committee issued a damning report on Wednesday, concluding that there are “substantial evidence” Michael Guest, chairman of the Republican Ethics Committee (REC), filed a resolution to expel George Santos for criminal misconduct.
The House is expected to vote on the expulsion resolution — which requires a two-thirds vote to pass — once lawmakers return from their Thanksgiving recess.
“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,” Guest stated in a press release on Friday. “So, separate from the Committee process and my role as Chairman, I have filed an expulsion resolution.”
All of the Democrats have already voted in favor of expelling Santos, so it won’t take nearly as many Republicans to reach the required two-thirds supermajority to give him the boot. Santos has not been publicly supported by any of the remaining holdouts. The holdouts said they were waiting for the Ethics Committee’s decision. They didn’t quite get that on Thursday, but with the chairman of the committee coming out and filing a motion, that will likely be good enough for the rest of them.
Of course, Santos is technically innocent of the federal charges he’s facing until he’s found guilty. But the House isn’t hindered by that fact. The Constitution gives the House final say over any of its members. They can therefore legally remove anyone for any reason. It’s not a power that is often invoked, however. In the entire history of the nation, only five people have been removed this way. They tend to be nervous about employing such an extreme measure, particularly if it’s the majority removing someone from the minority. You never know when your name will be on the list if the majority changes.
Mike Johnson doesn’t have to worry about that scenario since he’ll be looking at taking out someone from his own team. But that doesn’t mean it will be an easy decision. He’s only holding onto the majority by the slimmest of margins currently and George Santos has been a reliable party-line vote every step of the way. It would make for some bad optics, and the Democrats could use it to their advantage. “Republican corruption” A narrative leading into the presidential election cycle. It’s a classic “Devil and the deep blue sea” scenario.
You could argue that a better way to deal Santos was to inform the voters of his district of the findings of the investigation. Then, you would let them get rid of him at the next election. This could prove difficult for the speaker to sell. Given the nature of at least some of the alleged crimes Santos engaged in, it’s highly unlikely that the court would have brought those charges unless they had the paper trail to back them up. Credit card fraud isn’t all that difficult to prove in most cases, and that alone should be sufficient justification for removing him from office. I’m left wondering if all of this is giving anyone in the Senate any ideas regarding Bob Menendez.