Santos Says He Won’t Resign as Expulsion Vote Looms

Rep. George Santos (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/TNS/File)

(Daily News/TNS) — Embattled Rep. George Santos says he won’t resign from Congress even as an expulsion vote looms as soon as later this week.

The scandal-tarred Long Island Republican confirmed that he had engaged in talks with GOP House Speaker Mike Johnson over the Thanksgiving break.

But Santos brushed aside speculation that he could be negotiating to step down from his seat to avoid the expulsion vote over his alleged misdeeds.

“My conversation with (Johnson) was positive and I told him I’d be standing for the expulsion vote,” Santos tweeted late Monday.

He suggested he would force fellow lawmakers to take the potentially difficult and historic step of expelling him instead of backing down.

“Expel me and set the precedent so we can see who the judge, jury and executioner are in Congress,” he wrote. “The American people deserve to see!”

Johnson raised hopes that the expulsion drama could be averted when he told reporters that he had spoken at length with Santos about his “plans.”

Republicans and some Democrats want to avoid having to expel Santos. He would be the first House lawmaker to be ousted without first being convicted of a crime since the Civil War era.

It’s not clear what Santos hopes to gain from forcing an expulsion vote or what he may be demanding in any potential negotiations.

Santos has already beaten back two expulsion efforts, with Republican leaders standing by him along with some lawmakers from both parties who are concerned about lowering the bar for expelling a colleague accused of wrongdoing.

But he received a huge blow when the House Ethics Committee issued a scathing report this month that accused him of using his campaign as a virtual piggy bank for personal expenses like luxury goods and vacations.

The chair of the Ethics Committee, Rep. Michael Guest, R-Mississippi, introduced a fresh expulsion measure the day before Congress left for Thanksgiving break.

Under House rules, that means the vote could be held as soon as Wednesday or Thursday, depending on various procedural maneuvers.

After insisting for months he would run for reelection, Santos said he would not seek another two-year term for the Democratic-tilting district (NY-3) that spans the North Shore and a slice of Queens.

Santos may have hoped that he could relieve some pressure for expulsion by taking a future run off the table, but scores of lawmakers who previously opposed the move have now said they will vote to expel him.

If Santos is expelled or resigns, a special election would be held to fill the vacancy, most likely in late February.

The Democratic and Republican party committees would pick the candidates for that vote to fill the remainder of Santos’s term. Regular primaries and a general election next November would be held to determine the representative for a new two-year term.

Adding to the political drama is the razor-thin margin by which Republicans control the House. The GOP majority is only nine seats, which would be reduced to eight if Santos leaves office and seven if Democrats were able to flip the seat in a special election.

Santos also faces a 23-count federal criminal indictment covering some of the same alleged crimes, along with allegedly stealing donors’ credit-card information and COVID-19 unemployment fraud.

He says he’ll prove his innocence in a trial set for next year.

The son of Brazilian immigrants, Santos scored an upset win in the 2022 midterms, when Republicans swept several seats in the New York suburbs.

Within weeks, he was forced to admit concocting much of his life story including education and work history and even a fanciful story about supposed Jewish heritage.

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