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    5. Republican George Santos expelled from Congress in bipartisan vote

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    Republican George Santos expelled from Congress in bipartisan vote

    Photograph: Leah Millis/Reuters Republican George Santos expelled from Congress in bipartisan vote

    Congressman who pleaded not guilty on 23 federal fraud charges, becomes only the sixth member ever expelled from the U.S. House of Representatives.

    New York Republican fabulist and accused fraudster George Santos has been expelled from Congress .

    George Santos: Creation of Congress, Dark Money and Boundless Republican Hypocrisy | Sidney BlumenthalRead more

    The vote to expel Santos, the second since his election last year, required a two-thirds majority of those present. The final tally on Friday was 311-114, with two members present and eight absent.

    That makes Santos only the sixth member ever expelled from the U.S. House of Representatives. The first three fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. The other two were expelled after being found guilty of crimes.

    Santos has pleaded not guilty to 23 federal fraud charges but has not been tried. A previous expulsion attempt by members of his own party failed in part because senior Democrats voted against it, citing the danger of expelling members without conviction.

    But a damning House Ethics Committee report detailing how Santos used campaign funds for purchases including travel, beauty treatments and luxury goods changed the political equation.

    Democrats and Republicans presented their ideas for a proposal to force a vote on expulsion this week. Mike Johnson, the Republican speaker, tried to persuade Santos to resign, but Santos rejected the initiative. In that case, Johnson and other senior Republicans voted not to expel. But Johnson also didn't try to bully his party into submission.

    A majority of Republicans, 112 out of 222, voted for no exception. Five did not vote, 105 supported this proposal. Among the New York delegation, 22 members voted in favor of expulsion. Three New York Republicans voted against: Santos himself, Claudia Tenney and Elise Stefanik, chairman of the House Republican Conference.

    Robert Reich, a Berkeley professor, former US labor secretary and Guardian columnist, said: “George Santos may have resigned from Congress, but most Republicans voted against expelling him, including the entire House GOP leadership. The Republican Party has once again shown that it doesn't really care about ethics or the law, only about power.”

    Johnson took the gavel to announce the final results of the vote. Santos, who endured the vote with his coat over his shoulders, soon left the hall.

    Sharon Eliza Nichols, communications director for Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democratic delegate from the District of Columbia, referenced Cinderella when she said, “And just like that, without even turning to say goodbye, George Santos jumped into her carriage and drove off.” /p>

    But he shows no signs of going quiet. On Thursday, protesting the upcoming vote, Santos attacked other members, introducing his own resolution to expel Jamaal Bowman (a New York Democrat who admitted that it was a misdemeanor to set off the fire alarm in a congressional office building) and calling Max Miller, a Republican from Ohio 'accused… beat woman' in House clash.

    Santos County must now hold a special election within 90 days. New York's Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul said Friday that she is “ready to take on the solemn responsibility of filling the vacancy in New York's Third District.” Long Islanders deserve no less.”

    Santos won the seat as part of a Republican “red wave” in New York in last year's midterm elections, a key part of the Democrats' loss control over the House of Representatives.

    But as Santos' resume quickly unraveled under intense media scrutiny, so too did alleged criminal behavior in Brazil and the United States.

    Amid a stream of increasingly bizarre stories, including about Santos' past as drag performer in Brazil and that he was a volleyball star at a college he did not attend, Santos admitted he embellished his record but denied any wrongdoing.

    As he rose to prominence, he joined forces with Republican extremists such as Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, a prominent Trump ally.

    Kevin McCarthy, speaker from January to October, has resisted taking action short of revoking committee assignments, largely because the GOP narrowly controls the House and Santos backed McCarthy with 15 votes for speaker. In October, when the far right made McCarthy the first speaker ousted by his own party, Santos did not support the change.

    Democrats are now hoping to win back Santos' seat to chip away at the Republican majority.

    In a statement Friday, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and the Washington Ethics Unit (or Crew) said: “ George Santos' unethical and illegal behavior is shocking and continues to escalate. Expulsion from Congress was appropriate and overdue.

    “He should have resigned and rid Congress of all these problems. He will now be remembered as the third member of Congress since the Civil War to be expelled.”

    Adav Noti, legal director of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, said Santos' ouster showed that “no one is not above the law” and “the strength and capacity of ethical enforcement.”

    “Although the violations should not be perceived as egregious as those that Santos has committed to ensuring is effective of this system…all Americans have the right to fiscal integrity on the part of Members of Congress and to effective enforcement of any elected official who deprives voters of that right.”

    Santos has become so fast that he brought in a biographer who quickly worked to produce the book, released this week, just three days before Santos was ousted from Congress.

    Friday by Mark Cusano wrote: “Definitely didn't think I'd be writing a political obituary for Santos… a year after his election, but here we are.”

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