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The Hill
The Hill
2 Dec 2023
Nick Robertson

NextImg:George Santos’s historic rise and fall in the House: By the numbers

Former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) was expelled from the House on Friday after days of debate and a scandal-plagued term. Let’s look back at his time in Congress, by the numbers:

Santos was elected to New York’s 3rd Congressional District, encompassing parts of western Long Island, in a surprising victory for Republicans. The seat was previously held by Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-N.Y.), who did not run for reelection.

A wave of Republicans won the elections in New York in 2022, a silver lining in otherwise disappointing midterms for the party.

In the days after his election, Santos was met with allegations that he lied about his credentials and prior experiences, which he admitted. Those claims were only the beginning, however, later including allegations of credit card fraud, campaign finance fraud and identity theft.

Santos was initially charged with 13 counts of fraud related to his alleged conduct in May, later amended to add another 10 counts. They include wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and making false statements.

His travel was restricted by the court as part of his bail, only allowing him to move around D.C. and his New York district.

The former congressman has denied any wrongdoing.

The allegations of misconduct, even before the criminal charges, led to calls for Santos to resign or be kicked out of the House. Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) first introduced a measure to expel him in February, with the support of a group of Democrats, though it never reached a vote.

A second attempt in October did reach a vote, but a coalition of 31 Democrats voted with Republicans to keep Santos in office.

After the second vote, the House Ethics Committee released a damning report claiming that Santos likely broke the law and laid out the specific extent of his misconduct.

Immediately after, a third attempt to expel Santos gained more steam. Again led by Garcia, the third vote was successful Friday, with a final tally of 311-114-2.

Unlike earlier attempts, the Friday vote split Republicans. Santos frequently remarked that expelling him could set a negative precedent to expel members over allegations and not criminal convictions.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) voted not to expel Santos but told members to “vote their conscience” on Friday, not holding them to any party line.

Reps. Bobby Scott (Va.) and Nikema Williams (Ga.) were the only Democrats to vote against expelling Santos. Reps. Al Green (D-Texas) and Jonathan Jackson (D-Ill.) voted present. 

Friday’s vote makes Santos only the sixth House member expelled throughout history. The most recent was Rep. James Traficant (D-Ohio) in 2002 over a corruption scandal.

Every previous expelled member of Congress had been convicted of a crime, until Santos.