Representative George Santos of New York was expelled from Congress after he was accused of campaign finance crimes. The House of Representatives voted to oust him, 311-114, on Dec. 1. Rep. George Santos, his 2022 campaign committee and treasurer Nancy Marks were accused of violating federal campaign finance laws by the Campaign Legal Center, who filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission on January 9, 2023.
Rep. Santos faces a 23-count federal indictment including campaign finance crimes.
“No one is above the law,” Adav Noti, Senior Vice President & Legal Director at Campaign Legal Center, said. “The expulsion of Rep. George Santos after a House Ethics Committee investigation revealed substantial evidence that he engaged in criminal and unethical activity vindicates the voters’ right to financial transparency from their representatives and demonstrates that oversight bodies in Congress are critical to accountability.”
Among other things, the Campaign Legal Center’s (CLC) major complaint alleged “that Santos’s campaign falsely reported $705,000 in ‘personal loans’ from Santos,” a press release reported. Marks, who plead guilty, admitted that she and Santos conspired to fabricate $500,000 in loans made to the campaign in order to meet fundraising benchmarks.
“The House Ethics Committee’s months-long investigation into the Santos campaign was triggered by a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics—the only independent ethics investigatory body in Congress,” Noti said. “Findings by the Committee released in mid-November detailed substantial evidence that Santos violated a slew of federal election laws, including conspiracy to commit perjury in filings with the Federal Election Commission. The Committee also noted Santos’s refusal to cooperate with the Committee’s investigation.”
While House Speaker Mike Johnson and some top republican lawmakers were against the expulsion, Santos, 35, is the sixth representative to be expelled from the House. New York Governor Kathy Hochul will have 10 days to call a special election to replace Santos and the election must take place 70 to 80 days from that announcement.
Following the vote, Santos left the Capitol as journalists peppered him with questions.
“You know what? As unofficially already no longer a member of Congress, I no longer have to answer a single question from you guys,” Santos said. “To hell with this place.”