Wednesday 19 July 2023

New York Republicans Support Democrat-Led Effort To Censure Rep. George Santos

 At least five New York Republicans expressed support for a House Democrat-led resolution to censure fellow statesman Rep. George Santos (R-NY) after the lawmaker was indicted earlier this year on several campaign-related charges.

“I was the first to call for his resignation,” Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY) told Axios in a statement. “I’ve said on the floor that he is a stain to our institution, and I’d vote to censure.”

House Democrats recently began preparing to force a vote to censure the embattled representative, which they hope to bring to the floor before the end of the August recess unless the Ethics Committee follows up with an investigation launched into Santos earlier this year after the accusations were made against him.

Federal prosecutors indicted Santos with over 13 counts in March, forcing the freshman congressman to surrender to authorities and appear in court. Seven counts included wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.

Santos has also been accused of telling donors that funds would be used toward his campaign, but reports previously claimed that he used the money to buy designer clothes, alleviate personal credit card debt, and spend lavishly on other items unrelated to his race for Congress.

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY), who introduced the resolution, told POLITICO that lawmakers “should have no issue in voting to formally censure him for defrauding the people of the United States and disgracing our institution.”

New York Republican Reps. Mike Lawler, Nick Langworthy, and Nick LaLota have all signaled they would vote in favor of the resolution.

Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY) said he doubts that his colleagues on the other side of the aisle would follow through with a forced vote, but would support the resolution should it come to a vote. 

“I don’t think he should be a member of Congress,” Molinaro said.

“The question is: is the Democrat leadership actually serious about bringing it to a vote? We haven’t heard they are,” he said.

Although Santos has previously admitted to lying to voters about his resume, including where he attended college and aspects of his employment history, he tweeted on Monday that his congressional record continues to serve his constituents.

“Democrats on the other side of the aisle have completely lost focus on the work they should be doing,” Santos said in a tweet on Monday. “My record proves that my office is hard at work, serving constituents and crafting keen legislation.”

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