House Republicans voted Wednesday to send a measure to expel New York Representative George Santos back to the Ethics Committee. Santos voted with the GOP because it allowed more time for the ethics probe against him to be completed.
According to NPR, Democrats pushed to remove the congressmen after he pleaded not guilty to federal fraud charges last week. The Vote was along party lines; seven Democrats voted present, the rest voted for the resolution, while all GOP members voted against it.
House Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters, "The George Santos indictment is very serious, but I also know in America you are innocent until proven guilty." he said. "But I don't want to sit around and wait, I want to move this to ethics. I would like the house to take up this work and if it rises to that occasion then."
“I think we can look at this very quickly and come to a conclusion on what George Santos did and did not do through ethics, a safe bipartisan committee.” He continued, “I would like the Ethics Committee to move rapidly on this.”
After the vote, Santos told reporters, “I have not been convicted of any crime.” he added,” I will have my day to defend myself.”
While Santos was speaking to reporters, representatives Alexandra Acasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman heckled him and called on him to “resign.” The event concluded with Bowman and Marjorie Taylor Greene getting into a shouting match
Rep Santos is accused of using campaign funds for personal expenses, lying about his finances on congressional disclosure forms, and receiving unemployment benefits while he was employed by an investment firm. He faces seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.
The crimes carry a maximum sentence of 20 years if convicted. Santos was released on a $500,000 Bond last week, after his arraignment hearing.
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