US House ousts ‘crook’ congressman in historic vote

December 02, 2023

WASHINGTON: US lawmakers voted on Friday to expel George Santos, the scandal-plagued politician who lied his way into Congress and has been indicted on charges of bankrolling his lavish lifestyle with stolen donor cash.

One of the most colourful but controversial figures in the 234-year history of the House of Representatives, the New York Republican is only the third person to join Washington´s rogues gallery of ejected lawmakers since the Civil War.

US congressman George Santos walks from his office to the US Capitol in Washington on Dec 1, 2023.. —AFP File

He swept into the House in 2022, helping the Republicans grab a tiny majority, but it quickly emerged that almost his entire backstory was a fabrication, from his education and religion to his personal history and professional experience.

Santos, 35, has been indicted on dozens of federal charges of stealing from campaign donors, credit card fraud, money laundering and identity theft. But he was ultimately doomed by a congressional ethics investigation that found “overwhelming evidence” of misconduct and accused him of seeking to “fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy.”

“You sir, are a crook,” said Ohio´s Max Miller, one of several members of Santos´s own party to stand up on the House floor to denounce him in a debate on the expulsion on Thursday.

“My future former colleague is divorced from reality. He has manufactured his entire life,” said Marc Molinaro, a fellow New York Republican, while another member from the state´s delegation Anthony D´Esposito called Santos a “liar.”