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By Ken Stone,Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

December 3, 2023 (Washington, D.C.) - Indicted Republican George Santos’ brief career in the House of Representatives came to an end Friday, when fellow lawmakers voted to expel the New Yorker over criminal corruption charges and accusations of misspending campaign money.

The House voted 311-114 to immediately remove the controversial freshman lawmaker, above the two-thirds majority required to oust one of its own.

Among San Diego County’s five-member congressional delegation, only East County Republican Darrell Issa voted against expulsion. He joined 111 other House Republicans in seeking to keep Santos in his Long Island seat.
He didn’t immediately explain his vote on social media or his website. But he alluded to the issue in a tweet on X: “Today seems like a golden opportunity for the Senate to tell us when they’re expelling indicted Democrat Bob Menendez.”
The four San Diego County Democrats voted with their party to expel Santos — Reps. Mike Levin, Sara Jacobs, Scott Peters and Juan Vargas.
Jacobs posted a mocking photo of Santos, only a year older than her 34.
On Thursday, however, Issa issued a statement seeking the removal of another Washington official — Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of the Department of Homeland Security.
“As it relates to the border and illegal immigration, every mistake that has been made and every lie that has been told by this Administration has been either directly carried out or unapologetically enabled by Mayorkas himself,” said Issa, declaring he will support efforts to impeach Mayorkas.
He added: “He should never have been appointed to his position, confirmed by the U.S. Senate, or served this long and this ineffectively.
“Mayorkas is the target of a robust impeachment investigation by the House, and it has yielded ample and damning facts that the Secretary has not even attempted to correct or contradict – because he can’t. I was very much looking forward to timely, comprehensive, and public impeachment hearings that are more than warranted. Unfortunately, that is not set to happen soon enough.”
The Orange County Register noted that both Republicans in Orange County voted to sack Santos — Reps. Young Kim and Michelle Steel – and “every member of Los Angeles County’s congressional delegation — and that includes Republican Reps. Mike Garcia, Jay Obernolte and Steel — agreed to expel Santos.”
Embattled by revelations of lies about his past and a federal criminal indictment, Santos, 35, became only the sixth member to be expelled from the House. He was the first to be kicked out without having fought for the Confederacy or being convicted of a crime.
Following the vote, there was scattered applause in the House chamber.
As he walked out of the Capitol, surrounded by journalists, Santos said, “You know what? As unofficially already no longer a member of Congress, I no longer have to answer a single question from you guys.”
“To hell with this place,” he said, according to multiple media reports.
The door on Santos’ House office was closed, but the plaque bearing his name remained on Friday, shortly after the vote. A small bouquet of flowers lay on the floor outside.
New York state Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, now has 10 days to call a special election for the seat. The election must take place 70 to 80 days from that proclamation.
Shortly before the vote, House Speaker Mike Johnson told his fellow Republicans that he would oppose the expulsion, but that did not sway enough in the party to go along.
Some lawmakers had expressed concerns that booting Santos from office could set a precedent for abusing lawmakers’ power of expulsion. His expulsion also reduces Republicans’ already slim majority to a 221-213 majority. His district, which includes parts of New York City and Long Island, is seen as competitive.
Fabricated Biography
Santos has been mired in controversy since his November 2022 election. He has admitted fabricating much of his biography, and federal prosecutors accuse him of laundering campaign funds and defrauding donors. Santos has pleaded not guilty to those charges.
He survived a previous expulsion attempt in early November, when 182 of his fellow Republicans and 31 Democrats voted against his removal on the grounds that his criminal case should be resolved first.
But a subsequent, scathing House Ethics Committee report on Santos’ behavior eroded what support he had. Only 112 of 222 House Republicans voted to keep him in office this time around. Two Democrats voted against expulsion.
“George Santos’ lies were designed to defraud and deceive the voters in order for him to be elected, unlike other public corruption cases,” Rep. Dan Goldman, a New York Democrat who is a former federal prosecutor, told reporters shortly before the vote.
A bipartisan congressional investigation last month found that Santos charged almost $4,000 for spa treatments, including Botox, to his congressional campaign account. He also spent more than $4,000 of campaign money at the luxury retail store Hermes and made “smaller purchases” from OnlyFans, an online platform known for sexual content, according to the Ethics Committee.
That prompted several Republicans who backed him in November’s vote to say they’d support kicking him out. During debate on Thursday, Santos acknowledged he likely would be expelled.
He previously said he would not run for reelection next year.
The last member to be expelled was Democrat James Traficant of Ohio in 2002, following his criminal corruption conviction.
Santos’ troubles began shortly after his November 2022 election, when media outlets reported he had not actually attended New York University or worked at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, as he had claimed during his campaign.
He also falsely claimed Jewish heritage and told voters his grandparents had fled the Nazis during World War II.
Reports of the falsehoods made Santos a pariah in the House and the butt of late-night TV comedians even before federal prosecutors charged him with an array of fraud and campaign-finance crimes.
In a 23-count indictment, they accuse him of inflating his fundraising totals in order to draw more support from the Republican Party, laundering funds to pay for personal expenses, and charging donors’ credits cards without permission.
Two former campaign aides have pleaded guilty to related fraud charges.
Santos denies wrongdoing, and his trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 9, 2024, shortly before the November elections that will determine control of the White House and both chambers of Congress.
Before Santos’ win in 2022, the district was represented by Democrat Tom Suozzi, who unsuccessfully ran for governor. Suozzi and 19 other candidates, including eight Republicans, have filed to run for Santos’ seat.
Reuters contributed to this report.


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issa could not vote for EXPULSION as criminals have to stick together.