The House of Commons has faced a period of turmoil in recent years marked by a decline in civility and decorum between both parties, resulting in hasty decisions to immediately censure members or call for their removal. It was given down. Many lawmakers said Santos’ removal would ignore the presumption of innocence and set a precedent that expulsion is the standard disciplinary option in a climate where retaliation is common in the House. Are concerned.
“Anyone who stays awake and reads the newspaper or looks at Twitter understands all the reasons why they should do it.” [ousted]” said Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (RN.Y.), who formally introduced a resolution under privilege on Thursday to expedite the House consideration of Santos’ removal from office.
However, given that expulsion requires the approval of two-thirds of the voting members of the House of Representatives, or 282 members if all 423 current members are present, it is doubtful whether Mr. Santos will be successfully removed. remains unclear. Democrats have repeatedly called for Santos’ removal from office and are hesitant to vote among the 212 House members in favor of his removal, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the number of party whips. There are still fewer than 10 people. . But Republicans don’t expect many within the party to vote for him, even though more than a dozen people have previously called for him to resign.
The new movement to oust Santos, who is running for re-election, comes from fellow New York Republican freshmen D’Esposito, Nick Larota, Marcus J. Molinaro, Michael Lawler and Brandon Williams. All of them represent battleground districts in the state. And he will face a difficult re-election bid. All argued there was enough evidence to oust Mr. Santos before a formal conviction, with Mr. Santos’ former campaign finance director pleading guilty and colluding with Mr. Santos to commit wire fraud. He has admitted in court to charges including fraud, identity theft and making false statements.
“That’s enough grounds for expulsion. You can’t come here lying to all your constituents and all your contributors. I think this is a minimum standard that two-thirds of the House of Representatives would be sufficient to expel.” LaRota said Thursday after introducing the resolution.
He also said Santos previously admitted to falsifying his background during the 2022 election campaign and continues to lie. Just last week, Santos said: new york times His niece claimed that she had been mistakenly abducted by Chinese Communist spies, a claim quickly denied by the New York City Police Department.
The talented Mr. Santos: The web of deception that a member of Congress unravels
“You’re not dealing with a rational person,” Lawlor said Thursday.
Responding to his colleagues, Santos said that if the motion passes, it would be a “clear sign that this country is now in hell.”
“Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. It is the government’s responsibility to prove you are guilty,” he added on the social media platform Spaces. “Unfortunately, some of my colleagues want to be judge, jury, and executioner and are denying me the right to due process.”
It was difficult to achieve a two-thirds majority, and only five people were expelled from the chamber. At the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, three men were dismissed for their loyalty to the Union Army. Representative Michael J. Myers (D-Pennsylvania) was ousted in 1980 after being convicted of accepting $50,000 in bribes from an undercover FBI agent, and 22 years later, James Traficant was elected to the House of Representatives. Rep. (D-Ohio) was also convicted and expelled in 2016. He filed suit in federal court on 10 charges related to bribery, gifts and other favors.
There are differing views among House Republicans on whether Santos should be expelled. Some are calling for Santos to resign. Some caution against setting precedent without due process. A small number of Republicans expressed deep regret that the Democratic majority spent the first half of this year voting to censure and expel Democrats from committees in retaliation for doing the same to their colleagues. .
Eight of his colleagues voted to expel Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from the speakership, setting off an unprecedented three weeks in which all personal tensions were laid bare in a bitter race for the speakership. In response, some say this is the last thing the Republican conference needs. Additionally, some worry that Mr. Santos’ ouster could reduce the already slim majority to just three votes.
Rep. Ralph Norman (R.S.C.) said he hoped the House would not vote on the resolution to expel Santos, saying lawmakers had “enough issues” to focus on and that Santos would be removed next year. He said it was up to New York State to decide its fate. He was undecided on how to vote Wednesday.
Meanwhile, in the Senate, senators called on Sen. Bob Menendez (D.N.J.) to resign after federal charges against him and his wife for accepting bribes in exchange for maintaining political influence. I am asking you to do so. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York, who leads the fragile Democratic majority, said Menendez “is entitled to due process and a fair trial,” and said he would resign as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. He praised the decision. Senators have not discussed expelling Menendez, instead calling for him to resign before he is convicted. That’s because he believes the evidence against him is enough to erode voters’ trust.
Santos is not the only congressman who could be reprimanded this week, but his case is the most serious. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) on Thursday morning criticized Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) for her “anti-Semitic activities, sympathies with terrorist organizations, and leading the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.” ) submitted a resolution of censure. Jewish-led protests calling for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Tlaib was one of 10 lawmakers who voted against Wednesday’s resolution condemning Hamas and expressing support for Israel. called green determination “Free-spirited” and “extremely Islamophobic.”
Hours later, Rep. Becca Balint (D-Vermont) changed her resolution against Greene, saying that Greene had been accused of “racism, anti-Semitism, hate speech against the LGBTQ community, Islamophobia, and anti-Asian Human hatred, xenophobia, other forms of hatred.”
The three resolutions introduced Thursday are by Rep. Lisa C. McClain (R-Mich.) to censure Rep. Jamaal Bowman (R-New York) after he disrupted Congress. , the day after he introduced a resolution to remove him from the committee. set off a fire alarm at a House office building to delay consideration of a last-ditch Republican-led proposal to fund the government in September. He pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor battery.
Unlike Mr. Greene’s and Mr. Balint’s resolutions, Mr. McClain did not privilege his resolution. That means it would go through a committee process, rather than forcing the House to consider it within 48 hours of being proposed while the House is in session. Prior to passing the resolution of censure, Mr. Green and Mr. Tlaib will be given the option to submit or reject the resolution against them before it is adopted. Santos had never been given a similar opportunity.
“Even if there is a motion to file, I don’t think it will be successful,” Larota predicted Thursday.
In just two years, several members have been censured by opposition parties or removed from committees. In an unprecedented move under then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Democrats removed Greene and Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) from committees. Mr. Gosar was also accused of sharing a doctored animated video depicting him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and acting duplicitous toward President Biden.
In what many thought was retaliation, then-Speaker McCarthy removed Democratic senators Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), and Eric Swalwell (Calif.) from the committee. He supported removing him from his committee duties and accused Schiff of the impending allegations. That Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia.
But Mr. Santos’ penchant for falsehoods, which includes claiming he is the grandson of Holocaust survivors and claiming he worked for a company that never employed him, Not limited – is different. That led to bipartisan calls for his resignation, and Democrats tried to oust him earlier this year. Mr. McCarthy, then speaker of the House, and all Republicans referred the matter to the Ethics Committee, and several New York Republicans have moved to expel Mr. McCarthy if the committee does not release a report within two months. I promised to do it. Mr. McCarthy, who already had supervising the majority, said at the time that he would remove Mr. Santos from Congress if the committee found violations of the law.
The gravity of the accusations, which dropped the final 10 in early October when House Republicans were debating choosing a speaker, motivated the five freshman Republicans from New York. introduce banishment Resolutions to be considered by relevant committees.
“I think the difference between this and what the Democrats have put forward is that it replaces a guilty plea in court by the treasurer who confirms the key details and obviously an indictment based on that conviction,” Lawler said. he said.
After Republicans elected Rep. Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) as speaker on Wednesday, Mr. D’Esposito was elected under privilege the next day in the hopes of winning enough votes to make Mr. Santos the sixth member of Congress. He warned that he would formally submit a draft resolution. His co-workers kick him out.
D’Esposito said of Johnson’s reaction to the resolution being one of the first bills considered on his watch, “Johnson said, ‘Do the right thing, do what’s right for New York. Do it.”
Theodoric Meyer and Leigh Ann Caldwell contributed to this report.