George Santos: Controversial gay politician expelled from Congress in historic bipartisan vote
Controversial Republican George Santos has made history after becoming the first out LGBTQ+ politician to be expelled from the US Congress.
Representatives across the United States voted to expel the New York lawmaker in a 311 to 114 vote on Friday (1 December) following multiple ethics violations and criminal charges against him.
“To hell with this place,” he told reporters as he quickly left the Capitol just moments before the vote was finalised.
The 35-year-old has become the first House rep to be expelled from Congress in over a decade and the sixth in the country’s history.
Even before being sworn in following his 2022 election win, Santos’ tenure was littered with lies, rumours and allegations of fraud.
Santos has, at the time of reporting, been charged with 23 felonies, including nine counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, and one count of conspiracy to commit offences against the United States. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
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After a damning report from the House ethics committee, which accused Santos of using campaign funds for luxury goods, Botox treatments, OnlyFans and trips to the Hamptons seaside destination, a bipartisan motion to force an expulsion vote was filed earlier in November.
105 Republicans voted to expel George Santos
A slim majority – 112 of 222 – of the Republicans in attendance voted against the expulsion of the New York representative, while five did not vote and 105 voted alongside Democrats in supporting the motion.
Jim Jordan, a Republican who voted against the motion, told the BBC he was worried about “who’s next.”
“The voters elected him,” he said. “You’ve got to be careful in taking a vote to kick out of Congress someone the voters sent to Congress.”
Before House speaker Mike Johnson took the gavel to finalise the vote, Santos fled the Capitol building after the final decision became clear.
When encountering a swarm of reporters, he said: “As unofficially already no longer a member of Congress, I no longer have to answer a single question from you guys.”
Among the accusations of fraud and ethical violations, Santos was also accused of having lied to voters about his past to get into office.
Some of the controversial former congressman’s contested claims include having Jewish ancestry, running a family-owned portfolio of 13 properties, having “lost four employees” in the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, enjoying previous career on Wall Street, and his mother dying in the 9/11 terror attacks.
The Republican apologised just a month after being elected for admitting he “embellished” his education history, with reports that he had never graduated from university.
Amid further claims that he lied about his past, a scandal arose in January that the politician, who has been a vocal advocate of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that targets drag queens, had a drag queen alter-ego named Kitara while living in Brazil.
Alleged images of Santos in drag were shared to reporters by drag queen Eula Rochard, who claimed she was friends with Santos while he was living near Rio de Janeiro in 2008.
A clip of him dressing in drag was later shared with TMZ. Santos denied the claims, saying he was “not a drag queen” but was “young and had fun at a festival”.
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