Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-N.Y.) on Monday suggested there are enough votes to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) from the House amid the controversy that surrounds Santos in his mounting legal battles.
Asked on NewsNation’s “The Hill” if a measure to expel Santos would pass, D’Esposito said, “I think there is an opportunity for it to pass, because I think we have an opportunity to set a new precedent.”
D’Esposito, alongside a group of New York Republicans, moved to force a vote on expelling Santos last week, marking the second attempt this year to eject the embattled first-term lawmaker from Congress.
The measure was called to the floor last Thursday as a privileged resolution, forcing leadership to act on the legislation within two legislative days. The House went into recess Thursday afternoon and is not scheduled to return until Wednesday.
Leadership can motion to table the resolution or refer it to a committee, both of which would require majority support. If the legislation is brought to the House floor for a vote, it will require the backing of two-thirds of the chamber, a number D’Esposito called “tough” to reach in the lower chamber.
“Now we’re hearing that the bill may come to the floor as quick as Wednesday night or Thursday night,” D’Esposito said. “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].”
Pressed on whether newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has given any reassurances to not kill the legislation, D’Esposito said he spoke with the Louisiana Republican before he presented the bill last week.
“[Johnson] made it very clear — he said, ‘Do what you think is right and do what you think is right for New York,” D’Esposito said. “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.”
Santos pleaded not guilty last Friday to 10 additional federal charges that allege he inflated his campaign finance reports and charged his donors’ credit cards without authorization. He faces a total of 20 federal charges.
Santos admitted earlier this year to embellishing parts of his background while campaigning, but he has reiterated he will not resign despite his legal troubles.
In an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity last week, Johnson said Santos deserves “due process to play itself out.”
“That’s what our system of justice is for. He’s not convicted, he’s charged. And so if we’re gonna expel people from Congress just because they’re charged with a crime, then — you know, or accused — that’s a problem,” Johnson told Hannity.
NewsNation is a cable news channel launched in 2021 by Nexstar Media Group, which owns and operates dozens of local television stations across the country and purchased The Hill in the fall of 2021.