Embattled Rep. George Santos emphasized Tuesday that he has no plans to resign ahead of an expected vote to expel him from Congress.
“To set the record straight and put this into record, I will not be resigning,” Santos said on the House floor ahead of a vote Thursday on whether to remove him from the chamber.
Santos, R-N.Y., has survived two earlier attempts to expel him — one in May and another in early November. The latest effort was headed by House Ethics Committee Chairman Michael Guest, R-Miss., after the committee released a scathing report accusing Santos of stealing from his campaign for luxury purchases, cosmetic procedures and transactions on OnlyFans.
Santos told reporters on Tuesday that he has not sought support to stay in the House, saying that doing so would not be “a good use of my time.”
“This is the third time we’re going through this. I don’t care,” he said.
“I was sent here by the people of the Third District of New York. I represent them, not the political class in Washington D.C. If they want to send me home — if they think this was a fair process, if they think this is how it should be done and if they’re confident that this is a constitutional way of doing it, God bless their hearts.”
On Wednesday, House Speaker Mike Johnson said members of his party have made good arguments for and against expelling the freshman lawmaker.
“What we said as the leadership team is we’re going to allow people to vote their conscience,” he said. “I think it’s the only appropriate thing we can do.”
The Louisiana Republican added that he has “real reservations about doing this,” pointing to the possible precedent an expulsion might set.
Five members of the House have been expelled in American history.
After the start of the Civil War in 1861, three congressmen were ousted for fighting for the Confederacy. Then-Rep. Michael Myers, D-Pa., was expelled in October 1980 after he was convicted of bribery, while then-Rep. James Traficant, D-Ohio, was expelled in July 2002 after being convicted of charges including racketeering and defrauding the U.S.
Santos has long resisted calls for his resignation, which began to surface after reports indicated that he had lied about his biography while running for Congress. Federal authorities have since filed nearly two dozen charges against him, accusing Santos of fraud, money laundering and more.
Santos has pleaded not guilty and framed the prosecution as a witch hunt.