Motion to boot out fabulist US congressman

A formal ethics inquiry into Representative George Santos found 'overwhelming evidence' of misconduct (Anna Moneymaker)
A formal ethics inquiry into Representative George Santos found 'overwhelming evidence' of misconduct (Anna Moneymaker)

A Republican congressman who won office with a glittering but faked resume, then allegedly stole funds for treats including Botox and the OnlyFans porn site, faced a new bid Friday to force his expulsion from the US House of Representatives.

George Santos, 35, swept into Congress in 2022, helping the Republicans grab a razor-thin but politically momentous majority in the lower house.

Since then, he has been exposed as a fabulist who invented much of his impressive background and now faces multiple federal charges related to stealing from campaign donors, credit card fraud and identity theft.

On Friday, the Republican chairman of the House Ethics Committee, Michael Guest, introduced a motion seeking Santos's expulsion on grounds that he is "not fit to serve as a Member of the United States House of Representatives."

A two-thirds majority of the House is needed to expel a representative. Lawmakers are expected to vote later this month when they return to Washington from the Thanksgiving break.

Santos survived a motion earlier this month seeking his ouster from Congress, but announced on Thursday that he would not stand for reelection.

Thursday also saw the release of a damning internal congressional report, leading a number of lawmakers to say they would switch their votes if the motion comes to the floor again.

The bipartisan report from the House Ethics Committee found "overwhelming evidence" of misconduct by Santos and alleged he had "sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit."

"He deceived donors into providing what they thought were contributions to his campaign but were in fact payments for his personal benefit," it said.

Santos, who has pleaded not guilty to all charges, allegedly used the money at the luxury Italian goods store Ferragamo, a casino, regular cosmetic treatments listed as "Botox," and the OnlyFans site, on which subscribers can watch people share their sexual photos and videos.

Aside from the criminal allegations, Santos has become notorious for a series of bizarre fabrications, including claiming to have worked for Goldman Sachs, being Jewish and having been a college volleyball star.

Republicans hold only a four-seat majority in the 435-seat House and losing even one member would impact their grip on legislation.

The last time the House expelled one of its members was in 2002, when Ohio Democrat James Traficant was ousted over 10 charges including bribery.