Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) denounced the bipartisan effort to expel him from Congress on Thursday while also announcing a move to expel someone else.
“If I leave, they win,” Santos said when asked about why he wouldn’t resign. “If I leave, the bullies take place. This is bullying.”
Santos faces an imminent third expulsion vote—this time after an Ethics Committee report accused the freshman lawmaker of seeking “to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit.”
An internal Politico count found that 75 House Republicans plan to vote for his expulsion—meaning the necessary two-thirds vote threshold will likely be met.
Although he is no longer seeking reelection, Santos continues to defy calls to resign as he faces a 23-count federal indictment related to charges of wire fraud, money laundering, and lying to Congress. He pled not guilty.
In a press conference ahead of the vote, which is expected to occur Friday, Santos described the various efforts to expel him from Congress as “all theater.”
“It’s theater for the cameras, it’s theater for the microphones, it’s theater for the American people at the expense of the American people because no real work is getting done,” he said.
Santos also announced a resolution to expel Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) for pulling a fire alarm in a House office building in September to stop a vote.
Santos differentiated between himself and Bowman, in that he has yet to be convicted of a crime and Bowman pled guilty to the false fire alarm charge. Santos’ trial date is set for Sept. 9, 2024, and is expected to last a month.
“Let’s hold our own accountable, but let’s make sure we do it with the precedent of the House,” Santos said of expelling Bowman. “Now if the House wants to start different precedent and expel me, that is going to be the undoing of a lot of members of this body because this will haunt them in the future, where mere allegations are sufficient to have members removed from office when duly elected by their people in their respective states and districts.”
Bowman hit back at Santos’ move in a statement Thursday.
“No one in Congress, or anywhere in America, takes soon-to-be former Congressman George Santos seriously,” he said.