Representative George Santos, the embattled Republican from New York, made a stormy exit from Congress, becoming the sixth House member ever to face expulsion.
Defiant in his final moments on Capitol Hill, Santos blasted the decision as he descended the House steps, declaring, “To hell with this place.”
The expulsion measure, which witnessed 311 House members voting in favour, including 105 Republicans, marked a historic moment. Santos, aged 35, left before the final tally, expressing his disdain for the decision and asserting that it set a “new dangerous precedent.”
Speaking to CNN, he stated, “Why would I want to stay here? To hell with this place,” emphasising his detachment as an unofficial non-member of Congress.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul is prepared to fill Santos’ vacant seat, with a special election date to be announced within the next 10 days. The departure of Santos was met with strong words from fellow Republicans, with Representative Anthony D’Esposito branding him as a liar who abused public trust for personal gain.
Despite his expulsion, Santos faces a federal indictment, including charges of wire fraud, unlawful monetary transactions, and misappropriation of public funds.
The House Ethics Committee’s scathing 56-page report, released last month, detailed Santos’ alleged misuse of campaign funds for personal expenses, concluding that his conduct “warrants public condemnation” and has brought severe discredit to the House.
The unanimous vote by the Ethics Committee to forward its findings to the Department of Justice underscores the gravity of Santos’ actions. As he exits the congressional stage, Santos leaves a trail of controversy and legal challenges, shaping a tumultuous chapter in his political career.