New York lawmakers push to expel Santos after latest indictment

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(The Center Square) — Embattled New York congressman George Santos is facing a new rebellion from his fellow House lawmakers, who want to kick him out of the chamber.

A group of New York lawmakers, led by Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, said they are filing a resolution on Thursday to expel Santos from the House of Representatives following his indictment on Tuesday in federal court on 23 counts of fraud, including money laundering and identity theft.

D’Esposito, a Republican, said the resolution will be co-sponsored by other GOP Reps. Nick LaLota, Mike Lawler, Marc Molinaro, Nick Langworthy and Brandon Williams, who were elected with Santos in New York’s ‘red wave’ during the 2022 midterms.

“George Santos’ many deceptions, coupled with the ever-expanding legal case against him, further strengthen my long-held belief that he is unfit to serve in Congress,” he posted on X.

Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York allege that Santos and his former campaign treasurer Nancy Marks submitted false financial reports to the Federal Election Commission inflating his fundraising numbers.

The criminal complaint alleges that Santos stole the identities of family members and engaged in credit card fraud targeting campaign contributors, saying it was “to fraudulently inflate his campaign coffers.”

“As alleged, Santos is charged with stealing people’s identities and making charges on his own donors’ credit cards without their authorization, lying to the FEC and, by extension, the public about the financial state of his campaign,” U.S. Attorney for Eastern District of New York Breon Peace said in a statement.

A previous indictment filed in May against Santos charged him with embezzling money from his campaign and lying to Congress about his income, among other allegations.

Santos, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, issued a statement calling the movement to expel him “dangerous,” pointing out that it comes in a time of chaos in the House with a new speaker yet to be elected.

“It’s disheartening to witness my colleagues prioritize their campaigns over the essential work that needs to be done,” Santos said. “An expulsion of myself as a member of Congress before being found guilty from a criminal investigation will set a dangerous precedent. This will do nothing other than erase the voices of the electorate.”

The freshman congressman, who defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman in New York’s 3rd Congressional District in the midterm elections, also faces a House ethics probe and allegations that he violated campaign finance rules.

Meanwhile, a Federal Elections Commission complaint filed by the Washington, D.C.-based Campaign Legal Center alleges Santos and his campaign engaged in a “straw donor scheme” to conceal the sources of a $705,000 personal loan to his campaign.

Santos has admitted to faking his resume and lying about his educational background but claims he hasn’t broken the law or crossed any ethical lines.

He has refused to resign even as members of his party have called him to step down. In April, he filed paperwork to run for reelection.

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