After he was elected, America quickly discovered George Santos was at greatest a serial fabulist—and at worst a legal fraudster and con man. He was not from a household of Holocaust survivors (he wasn’t even Jewish), his mom wasn’t a 9/11 sufferer (it’s not even clear she was in america on the time), and he wasn’t a highly-educated Wall Road tycoon. Santos had lied about nearly every part; the place he went to highschool and school, the place he labored, about funding an animal charity, and the place his cash got here from. The Washington Submit known as the scope of Santos’s lies “breathtaking.” In Could, he was criminally charged on 13 counts; the federal indictment included prices of fraud, cash laundering, theft of public funds, and making false statements (Santos pleaded not responsible to all prices). Per week after Santos was charged, a Democratic effort to expel him from the Home faltered. As an alternative, Republicans punted to the Home Ethics Committee, the place they claimed Santos could be handled swiftly.
Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy—a person who went all the way down to Mar-a-Lago a mere 22 days after Trump tried to forestall the certification of the 2020 election—stated “we are able to take a look at this in a short time and are available to a conclusion on what George Santos did and didn’t do via ethics, a protected bipartisan committee. I would really like the Ethics Committee to maneuver quickly on this.” New York Republicans, a lot of whom supported expelling Santos outright, assured the identical. “I firmly consider that is the quickest approach of ridding the Home of Representatives of this scourge on authorities,” Consultant Anthony D’Esposito stated on the time. “Whereas I might have most well-liked there to be sufficient votes to expel the sociopath rip-off artist, Congressman D’Esposito has spearheaded the following most suitable choice: To refer this matter to the Ethics Committee the place we anticipate a outcome inside 60 days and for the horrible liar to be gone, by resignation or expulsion, earlier than August recess,” fellow New York Republican consultant Nick LaLota stated.
Nicely, it’s now half approach via stated August recess, and Santos seems to have solely pale into the background; he’s nonetheless in his congressional seat, tweeting concerning the Biden household (claiming he is aware of the “gamers” and “sources” behind some undefined Hunter Biden smoking gun), shit-talking Michael Cohen, and complaining about imply folks on Twitter (“I consider in Karma,” Santos tweeted). In fact, the phrases “ethics committee” and “transfer quickly” do probably not belong in the identical sentence and maybe all of us knew deep down that this name for a speedy ethics investigation was merely a stalling tactic. In spite of everything, in contrast to the Workplace of Congressional Ethics, which has a set time-frame for investigations, the Home Ethics committee doesn’t, and their probes can drag out for months. It’s potential Santos gained’t truly be handled within the Home till round or after the 2024 election.
And sitting Home Republicans don’t look like actively campaigning towards the man. Certain, it doesn’t appear like he’s going to be getting any assist from his social gathering; Santos was notably ignored of the Shield the Home New York 2024 joint fundraising committee that features McCarthy and his management PAC, the nationwide marketing campaign arm for Home Republicans, and New York state Republicans’ federal PAC, per Politico. A slate of former Republican lawmakers are holding a fundraiser for Santos’s main challenger, Kellen Curry, and McCarthy is fundraising for different New York Republicans. However sitting Republicans don’t appear considering elevating hell about Santos anymore.
There are a pair explanations for this. First, the Republican social gathering was at all times heading right here. Donald Trump lied about constructing the wall in order that Marjorie Taylor Greene might QAnon and in order that Santos might make up his whole resumé. However extra importantly, as a lot as Santos is an issue for Republicans, not having Santos’s vote may very well be much more of an issue. McCarthy, whose tenuous path to the speakership is emblematic of simply how razor skinny the Republican majority is, desperately wants nearly each vote in his caucus. In spite of everything, to achieve the gavel, McCarthy agreed to a one-person threshold for a movement to vacate the speaker. Santos, similar to everybody else in that caucus, has that energy. If he resigns, he’s leaving a aggressive seat open to a particular election.
However sadly for Republicans, Santos staying within the seat within the quick time period might very properly chunk them in a 12 months’s time. New York Republicans almost swept the tossup races within the 2022 midterms, enjoying a serious position in clinching the Home majority. However that additionally means 5 different Republican congressmen from the New York delegation now occupy swingy purple seats in districts that Joe Biden gained or almost gained. Protecting for Santos gained’t do them any good. LaLota gained by about 35,000 votes. D’Esposito gained by about 10,000 votes. Republican Mike Lawler gained by about 2,000 votes, Marc Molinaro gained by about 6,000 votes, and Brandon Williams gained by about 3,000 votes. Not that way back all of them had been going scorched earth towards Santos—that’s till Home Republicans side-stepped an up-down vote on whether or not Santos ought to preserve his seat.
Ultimately, Republicans could not have the ultimate phrase on Santos. As former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance identified the DOJ’s case “takes priority” over the Ethics Committees work. “The Santos prosecution will go ahead on schedule. There shall be no ignoring that.”
In different phrases, Republicans could not be capable of keep away from their Santos downside for much longer.