U.S. Rep. Michael Guest, a Republican who represents Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District, introduced a resolution Friday morning to expel New York Congressman George Santos from Congress, thrusting the Mississippi lawmaker into the national spotlight.
Guest is the chairman of the bipartisan House Ethics Committee, which investigates misconduct among House members. The committee released a damning report on Thursday concluding Santos, a Republican, likely violated federal campaign finance law.
Guest said in a statement that the committee decided to finish the Santos investigation without going through a lengthy process that would be used to make a recommendation to the House on the appropriate form of punishment for the New York congressman.
“The evidence uncovered in the Ethics Committee’s Investigative Subcommittee investigation is more than sufficient to warrant punishment and the most appropriate punishment, is expulsion,” Guest said. “So, separate from the Committee process and my role as chairman, I have filed an expulsion resolution.”
Expulsion from the House requires a two-thirds vote, an extremely high bar. The form of punishment has occurred just five times in the history of the House chamber — three times during the Civil War for disloyalty to the union and twice after convictions on federal charges, most recently in 2002, according to the Associated Press.
Santos survived two prior attempts to expel him from the chamber, but the Ethics Committee’s recent report appears to have given Guest’s expulsion motion an added boost that could materilize into a successful push to oust the New York congressman.
If the House votes to expel Santos, then Guest, serving his second term, would be the main contribuor of a historic congressional action.
Santos, a freshman lawmaker, wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that the committee’s report was biased and was an attempt to smear him and his legal team.
“It is a disgusting politicized smear that shows the depths of how low our federal government has sunk,” Santos wrote. “Everyone who participated in this grave miscarriage of justice should all be ashamed of themselves.”
The committee also voted unanimously to refer its findings to the Department of Justice, saying that Santos’s conduct “warrants public condemnation, is beneath the dignity of the office, and has brought severe discredit upon the House.”
House members are expected to address the resolution after they return from the Thanksgiving holiday.
Santos is facing a slew of federal charges, including wire fraud, falsifying records, aggravated identity theft, money laundering and theft of public fundst.
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