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Left: New York Rep. George Santos. Right: California Rep. Robert García. Photos: Getty Images.
Left: New York Rep. George Santos. Right: California Rep. Robert García. Photos: Getty Images.

First-year Congressman Robert García files bill to expel George Santos from Hill

“In the matter of George Santos” is one of Congressman García’s first acts as a lawmaker in Congress.

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May 25th, 2023

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California U.S. Representative Robert García is looking to formally remove a colleague from the Hill as he introduced legislation on Thursday, Feb. 9, to expel New York Rep. George Santos. 

Titled “In the matter of George Santos,” García’s bill seeks to make use of the ethical violation clause in the Constitution to explore the extent of Santos’ falsehoods, touted extensively on the campaign trail. 

García’s resolution cites “article I, section 5, clause 2 of the Constitution of the United States, Representative George Santos, be, and he hereby is, expelled from the House of Representatives.” 

It has six co-sponsors — all Democrats — including Reps. Becca Balint [Vermont], Eric Sorensen [Illinois], Ritchie Torres [New York], Daniel Goldman [New York], David Cicilline [Rhode Island], and Ted Lieu [California]. 

Although not expressly mentioned in the resolution, fresh off the press, García may set his sights on specific rules outlined in the Constitution, which contains misconduct occurring prior to election or reelection as one of the causes that members of Congress can follow. 

Is it possible to expel a member through legislation?

The short answer is: it’s complicated. The Constitution itself recognizes that pursuing expulsion via misconduct is “relatively inconsistent,” and there is no clear definition as to whether that behavior merits expulsion. 

The clause also suggests a precedent of “distrust in power” in both the House and Senate. 

“We’re going to demand a vote,” said García in a press conference. “At the end of the day, we also want to know where [House Speaker Kevin McCarthy] stands,” he continued. 

García, in seeking to invoke the expulsion clause, could also drive Santos’ constituency, many of whom have also voiced discontent with the newly-elected Rep’s string of mistruths. 

Another meaningful move could also be achieved with a supermajority support of 290 of 435 members of Congress, though that number can change depending on how many are present or abstained from voting. 

In late December, Santos’ constituents took to the White House to demand Congress conduct an investigation when he openly admitted to fabricating most of his resume. 

“It’s time to expel George Santos,” said García, closing his statement. 

To give or not to give Santos the boot?

A Republican majority in the House under the leadership of McCarthy gives Republicans significant influence over policy-making and the overall priorities in the 118th Congress. 

Democratic representatives have expressed concern over his ability to govern since much of his background is fabricated, thereby giving constituents false impressions of his commitments, which he maintains he plans to continue despite calls to resign.

Slated to serve in the House Small Business Committee and Science, Space and Technology Committee, Santos voluntarily stepped down from his duties to shift his focus toward New York constituents. 

"This was a decision that I take very seriously. The business of the 118th Congress must continue without media fanfare," Santos said. "It is important that I primarily focus on serving the constituents of New York's Third Congressional District and providing federal-level representation without distraction."

Santos can still caucus with his members and cast a vote. 

The resume

Embattled is the moniker shrouding Santos’ first Congressional term, representing parts of Long Island and Queens, New York, after a follow-up investigation by the New York Times unveiled falsehoods and, in some cases, lies he flouted during the campaign trail. 

Among the multiple allegations, many of which were made by Santos about his college experience, he listed himself as an alumni of Baruch College in New York, but there is no record of his enrollment. Santos also said he’d been a volleyball star during his college years, but there is no record in existence for that claim either.

Santos said he was Jewish or of Jewish descent, whereas the Republican Jewish Coalition disputed that claim and said the Congressman “deceived us and misrepresented his heritage” in a statement to Reuters

A message on his campaign, now removed, said his mother was Jewish and that his grandparents escaped the Nazis during World War II. 

“I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background, I said I was 'Jew-ish,’" Santos told the New York Post

In the professional realm, there appears to be a web of inconsistencies as well, including employment at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, despite there being no evidence or employment record in existence. 

Santos did work with Harbor City Capital, a Florida-based firm currently at odds with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an alleged Ponzi Scheme

Santos also went by many names over the course of the last few years. They are Anthony Santos, George Santos, Anthony Devolver, George Anthony Devolder, George Devolder, George A.D. Santos, Anthony Zabrovsky, and George Anthony Santos-Devolder, which he used interchangeably depending on the nature of the venture. 

As far as the campaign was concerned, he used George Santos and frequently espoused his minority status as a calling card for his candidacy. 

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