An attempt to expel Rep. George Santos failed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday (1), when a Republican-led resolution failed to secure the two-thirds majority needed to pass.
The final vote was 179 to 213.
Before analyzing the issue, Santos defended his right to the “presumption of innocence.”
“I have the right to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. I am fighting for this right and if these guys don’t believe in it, then democracy is dead,” Santos told Manu Raju of CNN.
Previously, five members of the New York Republican Party called for Santos’ expulsion.
“As Republican members of the New York delegation, we fully support the expulsion of Santos and ask all our colleagues to join us in voting yes,” the lawmakers wrote in a new letter to their colleagues in bedroom.
Congressmen Nick LaLota, Anthony D’Esposito, Marcus Molinaro, Brandon Williams and Mike Lawler signed the letter. They address several specific concerns raised by their colleagues, including arguments for letting Santos’ voters decide and that by impeaching him they are only diminishing the party’s majority.
“This question is not political, but moral. It’s a question of right and wrong,” they wrote, refuting their colleagues’ argument that this would further endanger the party majority.
House Republicans currently control 221 seats, compared to Democrats’ 212. There are two vacancies: one in a safe Republican district in Utah and one in a safe Democratic district in Rhode Island.
Republicans also say deporting Santos before a criminal conviction would set a “positive” precedent.
“In fact, we should inform the American people if a candidate for Congress is lying about anything about him to get their votes, and then that false identity will become known, whether he admits it or not, to members of the House will expel the fraudster and give voters an opportunity to have adequate representation.
Last Tuesday (31), the House Ethics Committee announced that it would provide an update on its investigation by November 17. Members of the New York Republican Party worry that this will leave other lawmakers waiting to see how the case plays out.
Santos faces 23 charges, including wire fraud and identity theft. He pleads innocent.
Santos wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Monday (30): “I will not beg for my constitutional rights. I will let my colleagues make their decisions without my interference.
Last week he said he would not resign and said: “I have a right to due process and not a predetermined outcome as some seek.” »