Speaker Johnson Has ‘Reservations’ About Expelling Santos

 Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said on Wednesday that he has “reservations” about the House expelling Rep. George Santos (R-NY).

Two expulsion resolutions — one from Democrats and another from Republicans — were made “privileged” on Tuesday, compelling the chamber to schedule a vote within 48 hours, after the release of a House Ethics Committee report heavily criticizing Santos.

Leadership will allow people to “vote their conscience,” Johnson said during a press conference following a Republican conference meeting. Johnson said there will not be an effort by Republicans to whip votes one way or another, adding, “I trust that people will make that decision thoughtfully and in good faith.”

Still, Johnson continued, “I personally have real reservations about doing this. I’m concerned about a precedent that may be set for that. So everybody’s working through that and we’ll see how they vote tomorrow.”


Expulsion from the House requires a two-thirds majority vote to succeed. It has only happened a handful of times throughout U.S. history. Two expelled members were convicted of crimes, while three others were kicked out for backing the Confederacy in the early 1860s.

Santos has not been convicted of any crimes, but he does face 23 federal charges —  including aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, and conspiracy — to which he has pleaded not guilty. Multiple prior efforts to expel Santos from the House — including a vote on a resolution brought by other New York Republicans only weeks ago — have failed.

growing number of lawmakers say they would vote to expel Santos after the House ethics report was released and laid out “substantial evidence” of multiple types of violations of House rules and criminal laws amid “a complex web of unlawful activity involving Representative Santos’ campaign, personal, and business finances.”

While Santos criticized the ethics inquiry as a political “smear,” the congressman announced after the report’s release that he would not seek re-election. In remarks on Tuesday, Santos declared that he would not resign and said a vote to expel him “sets a very dangerous precedent” when it comes to due process.

Some Republicans have spoken out against removing Santos from the House. Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) released a letter to colleagues saying he has “serious concerns” about how the case has been handled and that he would vote against expulsion.

Bumping Santos from the House would also mean Republicans, who have a narrow majority in the chamber, would need to brace for the possibility of a Democrat winning a special election to replace Santos in his Long Island district.

During his comments on Wednesday, Johnson stressed that Republicans “believe in the rule of law” and explained how members have argued both the pros and cons of expelling Santos.

“There are people who say you have to uphold the rule of law and allow for someone to be convicted in a criminal court before this tough penalty would be exacted on someone. That’s been the precedent so far,” Johnson said. “There are others who say, well, upholding the rule of law requires us to take this step now because some of the things that he’s alleged to have done — the House Ethics Committee having done their job — are in fractions against the House itself.”

Speaker Johnson Has ‘Reservations’ About Expelling Santos Speaker Johnson Has ‘Reservations’ About Expelling Santos Reviewed by Your Destination on November 29, 2023 Rating: 5

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