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Will Republicans Finally Expel Fifth Beatle George Santos Or Nah?
How has this guy remained in Congress longer than Katie Hill?
We might find circus trapeze artist George Santos terribly entertaining, but he’s admittedly a political albatross for his Republican colleagues, especially in New York, where the state’s Democrats might wake up long enough to seriously contest the House seats they stupidly lost in 2022.
So, after enabling Santos’s continued presence in Congress, several New York Republican representatives, led by Antony D’Esposito, moved forward last week with a privileged resolution to expel Santos. Democrats tried ousting Santos back in May after his first indictment on fraud charges, but Republicans — including D’Esposito — blocked the move on party lines and instead sent the issue to the House Ethics Committee, which is like calling in a professional sommelier to confirm that your moscato box wine is no good.
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Maybe the additional, even scuzzier if possible, charges in the latest indictment against Santos have finally convinced Republicans that he’s beneath the dignity of a legislative body that contains Marjorie Taylor Greene. Monday, D’Esposito suggested there were possibly enough votes to send Santos back to Gallifrey where he belongs.
“Now we’re hearing that the bill may come to the floor as quick as Wednesday night or Thursday night,” D’Esposito told the Hill. “Obviously a two-thirds vote is needed, which is a tough number to reach. And you know, I’ve heard from many, some who are in support and others who say there is a precedent … or should have due process. And I understand that there’s a precedent but if we have the opportunity to set [one].”
There was speculation that Speaker Never More Kevin McCarthy protected Santos because he needed his vote to hold onto his job. That didn’t work out and new Christian fascist Speaker Mike Johnson is less worried about a far-right coup.
D’Esposito said, “[Johnson] made it very clear — he said, ‘Do what you think is right and do what you think is right for New York. And like I said, this is not about precedent — it’s about setting a new precedent. If we could set a new precedent — especially from individuals in the House who have tried to fight the status quo — that the House does not welcome liars, fraudsters and people who have made a mockery of the institution.”
OK, that’s a little broad. D’Esposito is still a Republican, so he probably doesn’t want to throw out Greene, Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, Nancy Mace, James Comer, Jim Jordan … the list goes on for a while. Just expel members who’ve been indicted and maintain the same personnel standards as the local Jimmy John’s.
That’s apparently too high a bar for Congress, though, according to a recent article in The Washington Post titled “Expel George Santos? Some fear terrible precedent despite his terrible record.” (I checked, and the writer, Paul Kane, actually exists and is not another Santos alias.)
During the more than 230 years of congressional history, just five members have been expelled by the House: three for disloyalty to the Union during the Civil War and two in the last 45 years after they had been convicted in federal court in felony corruption cases.
Santos has not been charged with treason, nor has he been convicted of a crime — not yet anyway. In addition, an ongoing Ethics Committee investigation is just that: ongoing.
Democratic Rep. Katie Hill was forced to resign because of a consensual relationship with a staffer (and revenge porn from her ex). Santos shouldn’t benefit from his lack of shame.
Kane laments that ethics investigations were once deliberate and slow-moving, but he ignores how cut-and-dried Santos’s deceit and wrongdoing are. He also complains about recent censure motions.
[S]tarting in 2021, when Democrats censured Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) after he posted violent videos showing animated videos of him attacking lawmakers, the House has practically turned into a censure-on-demand palace.
No investigation took place — just an instant, near party-line vote to offer the highest form of punishment short of expulsion.
Why the hell would there be an “investigation” over Gosar sharing repulsive videos of his colleague, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, being murdered? He didn’t deny it. And Kane stating that Gosar was censured on a “near party line vote” makes Democrats seem petty — “both sides syndrome” in action — when it’s Republicans who refused to hold Gosar accountable for actions that would get someone fired at any reputable business.
The New York Daily News editorial board also argued against expelling Santos, presumably because he hasn’t yet been proven guilty of anything. However, a grand jury returning an indictment should provide reasonable grounds for removing someone from a position of public trust. Serving in Congress is a privilege, even if the Republican caucus makes it seem otherwise.
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