The US House of Representatives voted to oust Republican Congressman George Santos (R-NY) on Friday over pending criminal charges. The vote to expel Santos, which met the 2/3 majority required by the US Constitution, was only the sixth such vote in the chamber’s history. In the end, 206 Democrats and 105 Republicans voted to expel the representative.
The indictment against Santos included nine counts of wire fraud, four counts of making false statements, three counts of unlawful money transfers amounting to over $10,000, two counts of falsifying records or documents, two counts of aggravated identity theft, access device fraud, theft of public money and conspiracy to commit offense against the US.
In particular, prosecutors allege that Santos and his team conducted “fraudulent schemes” during his 2022 campaign for office. The US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York says that Santos and his campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, inflated fundraising totals in campaign finance reports filed to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The purpose was to artificially qualify for financial and logistical support programs run by the Republican National Convention (RNC).
In early November, the House held a vote to expel the controversial representative, which did not pass. However, the push to remove him from office gained momentum since the November publication of a report from the House Ethics Committee, which found “substantial” evidence Santos violated federal law. The report accused Santos of violating the Ethics in Government Act.
Now that Santos has been expelled from his congressional seat, the 3rd congressional district of New York will hold a special election to fill the vacancy. New York state law specifies that the special election be held within 70 to 80 days of a proclamation by the governor.