Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Ethics Report: "Santos" Is a Criminal

The House Ethics Committee has been investigating Rep. "George Santos" (R-NY) for a while and has now issued a report. It concludes that there is substantial evidence that "Santos" violated federal criminal laws.

Among other things, the report reads: "At nearly every opportunity, he placed his desire for private gain above his duty to uphold the Constitution, federal law, and ethical principles. Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit." Nevertheless, the Committee, which has an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, didn't recommend specific sanctions. They are up to the full House. The report will probably trigger another attempt to expel him from the House. And it will probably happen as soon as the House has eaten all the turkey it wants and gets back to work after Thanksgiving.

"Santos" has been indicted on 23 counts of identity theft, charging donors' credit cards without authorization, and submitting fake campaign financial reports. He has also lied about so many things that no one in the chamber now believes anything he says.

An expulsion is tricky. It takes a two-thirds majority to expel a member. More important, however, is that his Long Island district is D+2 and an expulsion will immediately trigger a special election. Disgust with "Santos" will possibly be enough to propel the Democrat to victory, reducing the Republicans' razor-thin margin to 221-214 (after Tuesday's special election in Utah). Mike Johnson needs every vote he can get, so he will probably vote against expulsion. Whether he will also whip votes against expulsion is harder to know.

No matter what happens on the expulsion vote, "Santos" has now announced that he will not run for reelection. Not that he had the slightest chance of getting the nomination, let alone winning, mind you. So even if he is not expelled, NY-03 will be a major battleground in 2024—even if the Democrats in New York State don't regerrymander the map, which they are champing at the bit to do as soon as the NY Court of Appeals gives them permission to do so. (V)

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