Will George Santos finally be expelled this week, or will MAGA save him?
Even Santos has said he's toast. But at least one House extremist is rallying others to vote no.
Is the GOP finally going to cut George Santos loose?
After the House Ethics Committee published its blockbuster report on the New York GOP congressman—making a referral to the Justice Department and noting other crimes Santos likely committed beyond the 23 felony counts he faces—Santos announced he’s not running for re-election, but he refused to resign.
But there was near certainly in the media that Santos would now be expelled from Congress after a previous attempt to remove him just weeks ago was voted down. (And let’s not forget the expulsion motion led by LGBTQ Democratic members back in May, intent on ridding the House of this conniving gay MAGA fabricator, which Kevin McCarthy refused to allow a vote on, moving to have the GOP refer it to the Ethics Committee.)
GOP Rep. Michael Guest of Mississippi, the chair of the Ethics Committee—and someone who voted against expulsion two months ago, before the report was released—filed an expulsion motion before the Thanksgiving holiday.
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Republicans as well as some Democrats who’d previously said they were waiting for the ethics report and voted against expulsion, publicly said they’d now vote to expel Santos. Even Santos said in X Spaces over the weekend that he expects to be expelled—in addition to calling himself “the Mary Magdalene of Congress.”
House Speaker Mike Johnson, however, didn’t urge expulsion after the report’s release, instead telling members to go home and reflect on it over the holiday.
But today, even as two Democrats, Reps. Dan Goldman of New York and Robert Garcia of California, are introducing their own expulsion motion—and as a Santos balloon inscribed with “Full of Lies” is bouncing on the National Mall—Santos may be singing a slightly different tune than he was over the weekend. After speaking with Johnson, Santos posted on X on Monday:
Setting the record straight, My conversation with the speaker was positive and I told him id be standing for the expulsion vote. Expel me and set the precent[sic] so we can see who the judges, jury and executioners in Congress are.
This seemed to imply that Johnson gave Santos some hope and that Santos was daring his colleagues to expel him, as if there would be blowback.
Of course, this is fabricator Santos, so no one should believe any damned thing he says. Johnson did, however, confirm he spoke “at length” with Santos over the holiday weekend and said “it remains to be seen” if Santos is expelled. Johnson, like McCarthy, can’t afford to lose any seats, and, as we all know, clinging to a corrupt member isn’t out of the question for the GOP.
“It remains to be seen,” Johnson told reporters when asked. “I’ve spoken to Congressman Santos at some length over the holiday and talked with him about his options. But we’ll have to see. It’s not yet determined, but we’ll be talking about that when we get back tomorrow.”
So that could be Johnson trying not to publicly pass judgment, even if privately he is down with allowing for expulsion. But he surely could—and should—forcefully call for Santos to be removed. We're talking about one of the most deceitful, lying, corrupt politicians in American history, and the House speaker doesn't have an opinion urging his removal? Johnson clearly doesn’t want to anger the hard-right nutbags, like Marjorie Taylor Greene, who've befriended and defended Santos.
And Semafor reports today that “it’s not entirely clear that there are enough votes to send Santos packing; a new sign of resistance emerged Monday, when Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La. circulated a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter excoriating the House Ethics Committee’s recent report that accused the recently indicted congressman of stealing from his own campaign.”
Higgins, a MAGA extremist, praised the 1/6 insurrectionists as having “good faith and core principles” just two weeks ago and chided FBI director Christopher Wray at a hearing recently, making the ludicrous claim that “ghost buses” carried undercover FBI agents posing as insurrectionists to the Capitol on January 6th, pushing the insane right-wing conspiracy theory that the FBI created the chaos.
In his letter to colleagues, this crazed lunatic said there are “serious concerns” about how the Ethics Committee investigation was conducted—a bipartisan investigation led by a Republican—claiming it is “FILLED with conjecture, opinion, and pejorative language.” That’s pretty rich coming from a name-calling MAGA firebrand and conspiracy theorist.
He also warns against the precedent that would be set by removing Santos from his seat, noting that since the Civil War, only two members have been expelled, and both were first convicted in a court of law.
You may accept this report as grounds for expulsion from Congress. But I say, no. The totality of circumstances appears biased; it stinks of politics, and I’ll oppose this action in every way.
It’s not clear how much support Higgins has among the mega-MAGA, which is a good chunk of the GOP. It does take two-thirds of members to expel any member, so we’ll have to see what happens. I think Santos will probably go down but not without the extremists putting up a fight.
Santos is already trying to cast himself as a martyr and even a history maker. In that X Spaces he actually said:
If you want to expel me, I’ll wear it like a badge of honor. I’ll be the sixth expelled member of Congress.
That is actually correct, but what a claim to fame! And it's not like it's the first or second, but... the sixth.