Rep. Santos says he won't be bullied into resigning from the House ahead of expulsion vote

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Thursday, November 30, 2023
Rep. Santos says he won't be bullied into resigning from the House
Chantee Lans has the latest on George Santos and the House vote expected on Friday.

WASHINGTON (WABC) -- Long Island Congressman George Santos spoke out Thursday morning, ahead of his third possible expulsion vote set for Friday.

The freshman Republican representative remained defiant and said he is not stepping down after 11 months on the job.

"If I leave, they win. If I leave, the bullies take place. This is bullying," Santos said.

WATCH: George Santos' full remarks

Complete statement: Embattled NY Congressman George Santos speaks out ahead of expected expulsion vote in House.

Santos defended himself on the House floor Thursday during a debate ahead of the vote on whether or not to expel him from Congress.

"I will not stand by quietly, if they want me out of this body, they are going to have to silence those people and take the hard vote," Santos said.

The vote for his removal comes after a scathing report from the House Ethics Committee that found he broke the law by allegedly using campaign money for personal gain.

On Wednesday, House Speaker Mike Johnson said Republican leaders are not telling members how to vote.

"I trust that people will make that decision thoughtfully and in good faith, I personally have real reservations about doing this, I'm concerned about a precedent that may be set for that, so everyone is working through that and we'll see how they vote," Johnson said.

WATCH | Chantee Lans is in D.C. with the latest on the embattled congressman:

Chantee Lans has the latest on expulsion vote expected on Friday.

Santos has pleaded not guilty to 23 federal charges accusing him of multiple criminal schemes, including unemployment and wire fraud.

One of Santos' campaign donors, Josh Eisen, who was a maximum contributor, said Santos stole his money.

"He charged my credit card $1,500 without my knowledge, I am still waiting for that money, I'm sure I will be waiting for eternity for restitution," Eisen said.

Democratic Rep. Robert Garcia of California brought the resolution to the House floor to expel the indicted congressman.

"If the House wants to start a different precedent and expel me, that is going to be the undoing of a lot of members of this body. This will haunt them in the future, where mere allegations are sufficient to have members removed from office when dually elected by their people in their respective states and districts," Santos said.

In Santos' press conference Thursday, he stated that would introduce a privileged motion to expel Rep. Jamaal Bowman, who recently pled guilty to pulling a fire alarm in the Capitol.

"That's consistency, let's hold our own accountable," Santos said.

New York Rep. Mike Lawler said he plans to vote Santos out.

"This is someone who is not fit to serve, it's time to go, long past time and whether by resignation or expulsion, it has to happen," Lawler said.

New York Rep. Marc Molinaro also said he would vote to oust Santos.

"Not only is he a fraud but he has defrauded taxpayers, voters, donors, and colleagues," Molinaro said.

However, not all Republicans are on board. Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas says he is voting against expelling Santos.

"I respect members of the Ethics Committee, I think they've done great job with their reporting, but does that mean that I don't understand it, he hasn't been convicted of anything," Nehls said.

Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis from Staten Island is one of the many House Republicans switching over to vote out the indicted congressman.

"The majority of people I talked to will be voting yes, there's a few people that say that he needs to have his day in court, but his day in court is related to those criminal charges," Malliotakis said.

Expelling Santos would require support from at least two-thirds of House members voting. Garcia said he expects to reach that number easily, which would make Santos just the sixth member of the House to be removed by his colleagues, and only the third since the Civil War.

RELATED | George Santos: The Man, the Myths, the Lessons | Full Special

"George Santos: The Man, The Myths, The Lessons," an ABC7 New York Eyewitness News investigation, explores the rise of the politician whose path to Congress was paved with lies.


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