George Santos Expelled

The serial fabulist becomes an ignominious footnote.

Source: Santos campaign website.

NYT (“Highlights From the Vote to Expel George Santos From Congress“):

George Santos, the New York Republican congressman whose tapestry of lies and schemes made him a figure of national ridicule and the subject of a 23-count federal indictment, was expelled from the House on Friday after a decisive bipartisan vote by his peers.

The move consigned Mr. Santos, who over the course of his short political career invented ties to the Holocaust, Sept. 11 and the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, to a genuine place in history: He is the first person to be expelled from the House without first being convicted of a federal crime or supporting the Confederacy.

Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana announced the tally to a hushed House chamber: The measure, which required a two-thirds majority, passed with 311 lawmakers in favor of expulsion, including 105 Republicans, and 114 against. Two members voted present.

“The new whole number of the House is 434,” a downcast Mr. Johnson announced, confirming that with Mr. Santos’s ouster, the already paper-thin margin of Republican control had shrunk to three votes.

Mr. Santos’s expulsion ends one of the most turbulent political odysseys in recent memory, a stunning reversal in fortune for a political outsider whose election in Long Island and Queens last year was once heralded as a sign of Republican resurgence.

Instead, he became a Republican Party liability whose vast web of lies and misdeeds led many to question how he had managed to escape accountability for so long.


Mr. Santos, 35, had seemed poised to outrun accountability, surviving two previous expulsion efforts. Republicans who backed him voiced what became the core of his defense: expelling him before he was convicted or found culpable by the House Ethics Committee would set a dangerous precedent.

But in a scathing 56-page report released last month, ethics investigators found “substantial evidence” that Mr. Santos had broken federal law, casting his candidacy as a long-running grift.

The political tides quickly turned. Mr. Santos immediately declared that he would not seek re-election. Democrats and Republicans alike rushed to condemn him, including the Republican chairman of the House Ethics Committee, Michael Guest of Mississippi, who personally moved to have him removed from office and offered forceful testimony Thursday during a debate on his expulsion.

The debate captured the absurdity and unseemliness of Mr. Santos’s scandals. His use of campaign funds on Botox treatments was invoked several times. His detractors pointed to invented ties to the Holocaust and to his claims, contradicted by paperwork, that his mother was at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.

“George Santos is a liar — in fact, he has admitted to many of them — who has used his position of public trust to personally benefit himself from Day 1,” said Representative Anthony D’Esposito of New York, who was Mr. Santos’s closest congressional neighbor and most ardent Republican foe.

Mr. Johnson and other Republican leaders — fearful of losing Mr. Santos’s vote or losing his seat to a Democrat in a special election — still opposed the resolution; he and his entire leadership team voted against expulsion Friday morning.

But after Mr. Johnson told his members to “vote their conscience,” nearly half of his conference chose to expel Mr. Santos, a remarkable rebuke from his colleagues.

They only let him go so long out of kindness, I suppose.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. JKB says:

    The man who trolled the Vertical Integrated Media Apparatus by saying things that fed their narrative so they wouldn’t do a simple Google search.

  2. Gavin says:

    As always, the Dangerous Precedent Republicans are worried about setting is the ability to hold them accountable to any rules of law.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    How long will it take to remove the stain of Santos from the House GOP?

    What stain?

    On a slightly more serious note, I am heartened to learn that there are at least 105 Republicans in the HoR capable of feeling shame. It’s a low bar but in today’s GOP that’s about the best one can hope for.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB: That’s the “liberal media” to the GOP. These are the fruits of the GOP’s long campaign against a “biased” media. Makes you proud, I’ll bet.

  5. Bill Jempty says:


    How long will it take to remove the stain of Santos from the House GOP?

    How long does it take this to work?

  6. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    They only let him go so long out of kindness, I suppose.

    Bwa haha hahahaha hahahahahaha.

    Stop it, you’re killing me!

  7. Kathy says:

    AP. AFP. After leaving the Capitol, Mr Santos, if that’s his real name, offered a comment in Ecksish, which translated as “I didn’t even want to be in Congress anyway!”

  8. DrDaveT says:

    The serial fabulist becomes an ignominious footnote.

    Oh, I certainly hope not. I want his memory to live on in every subsequent election, reminding everyone involved how easily duped the electorate is and how little access most voters have to ground truth about the candidates.

  9. Gustopher says:

    Given who is left in the Republican caucus, I don’t think this is a significant improvement.

    Santos was fun. Awful and terrible in a backbencher sort of way, but fun.

    He is also filing a bunch of ethics complaints on his way out the door, which is just a nice capstone for his career of shameless hypocrisy.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill Jempty: Broken Linky. 🙁

  11. fredw says:

    As the victim of a witch hunt and second most oppressed political figure in the land today, I heard from a reliable source ( George Santos? ) that Trump is considering Santos as VP. Just imagine t he campaign rallies.

  12. CSK says:


    Won’t work for me, either.

  13. JohnSF says:

    Fare thee well, Felicia.

  14. Liberal Capitalist says:

    As the first man on Mars, not to mention the Olympic medalist in Cross-Pacific speed swimming, I’m sure he will be fine.

  15. Jack says:

    Good riddance. Now, about a real pro: Menendez.

  16. Jack says:


    If you would like, I can give you the name of a good therapist. And calming medications.

  17. JohnSF says:

    I think fredw is being sarcastic. 😉

  18. dazedandconfused says:
  19. Jack says:


    Uh, er, me too.

  20. mattbernius says:

    FWIW, sarcasm is hard to tell online…. Hence the rise in cases of Poe’s law:

    FWIW, it happens to me all the time.

  21. mattbernius says:

    FWIW, sarcasm is hard to tell online…. Hence the rise in cases of Poe’s law:

    FWIW, it happens to me all the time.