Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-N.Y.) is forcing a vote on his resolution to oust his fellow New Yorker and Republican Rep. George Santos from his congressional seat.
Mr. Santos, who represents New York’s Third Congressional District, made waves late last year when he admitted to fabricating aspects of his background to help him get elected.
Since then, the congressman has been federally charged with 23 crimes, including conspiracy, wire fraud, false statements, lying to Congress, money laundering, falsification of records, aggravated identity theft, and credit card fraud, among others.
“George Santos engaged in election fraud throughout his 2022 campaign by deceiving voters regarding his biography, defrauding donors, and engaging in other illegal campaign behavior,” Mr. D’Esposito said in introducing his privileged resolution on Oct. 26.
“As a result of these actions, George Santos is not fit to serve his constituents as a United States representative,” he continued.
Mr. D’Esposito, of New York’s Fourth Congressional District, initially filed the measure on Oct. 11, but without a House speaker in place, no further action could be taken. By introducing a privileged resolution, the congressman sought to secure a vote on the matter within two legislative days.
The House is expected to consider the measure early next week.
“While George Santos is entitled to his day in court to plead his innocence, the people of New York’s Third Congressional District deserve a representative who is solely focused on serving the public and not spending the majority of their time combating 23 federal charges such as wire fraud, money laundering, and theft of public funds,” Mr. D’Esposito said in a statement.
“We must remove this conman from Congress.”
Mr. Santos, in an apparent response to his colleague’s resolution, posted on his X account that he had not cleared out his office and had no plans to resign it.
“I’m entitled to due process and not a predetermined outcome as some are seeking,” he added. “God bless!”
In May, Mr. Santos pleaded not guilty to the initial 13 charges filed against him. On Oct. 27, he was arraigned in Central Islip, New York, on 10 additional charges filed in a superseding indictment that the Department of Justice announced on Oct. 10.
A trial has been tentatively scheduled for next September.
Among the newer allegations against the congressman is the claim that he made tens of thousands of dollars in unauthorized purchases using his campaign donors’ credit cards.
He also stands accused of making false statements to the Federal Election Commission, though he has blamed irregularities in his filings on his former campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks.
Ms. Marks pleaded guilty to a fraud conspiracy charge earlier this month.
The push to expel Mr. Santos already boasts the support of other Republican congressmen from New York, including Rep. Nick LaLota of the state’s 1st Congressional District.
“He has had plenty of time to do the right thing and resign,” Mr. LaLota noted in a statement. “Since he hasn’t shown any ounce of integrity or a moral compass, the only logical step is to expel him from Congress.”
However, for the resolution to pass, it will need the backing of two-thirds of the House—meaning both Republicans and Democrats will need to sign off on it.
Earlier this year, Democrats introduced their own resolution to expel Mr. Santos. That measure was ultimately referred to the House Ethics Committee after a party-line vote.
When asked about the latest expulsion attempt in an interview with Fox News, newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) stressed Mr. Santos’s right to due process.
“If we’re going to expel people from Congress just because they’re charged with a crime … that’s a problem,” Mr. Johnson said.
Just 20 people have been expelled from Congress in its 234-year history—including five House members—and most of those removals were for supporting the Confederacy.
The most recent expulsion occurred in July 2002, when Rep. James Traficant (D-Ohio) was removed following his conviction on 10 felony counts, including bribery, racketeering, and tax evasion.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.