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Will George Santos resign? 4 eventualities on how this weird political state of affairs might finish.


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Now that the Home of Representatives lastly has a speaker, the nation’s consideration is popping again to the destiny of a first-term Congress member from Lengthy Island with a keenness for sweaters. After experiences that George Santos fabricated components of his résumé surfaced in December, his political fortunes at the moment are front-page information once more. The hallway outdoors the New York Republican’s workplace has turn out to be a veritable cable information studio as reporters and cameras stake him out to get recent pictures of Santos dodging questions.

Whereas Santos has confronted criticism for weeks from Democrats over his lengthy and elaborate historical past of lies about his biography, now prime Republicans in his district are denouncing him. On Wednesday, at a press convention in New York, Santos was condemned by the chair of the Nassau County Republican Celebration, the Nassau county government, and Anthony D’Esposito, the newly elected GOP Congress member from a neighboring district — all of them demanded that Santos resign. This was adopted by the New York Conservative Celebration demanding that Santos resign in a press launch that described him as morally disqualified from serving in public workplace.

The query is what Santos does now. These are 4 attainable eventualities.

Santos is expelled from workplace

As soon as he turned a representative-elect, the Home was constitutionally required to seat Santos, however now that he’s a member, he might be expelled at any time. The Structure gives that the Home can expel any member “with the Concurrence of two-thirds.” As Josh Chafetz, a constitutional regulation professor at Georgetown, stated, this could occur “for principally any motive” and isn’t legally reviewable.

Nonetheless, expulsion is uncommon in American historical past and solely 5 members of the Home have ever been expelled. Three had been Confederates, and two refused to resign after being convicted of corruption. (The newest was Rep. Jim Traficant, an eccentric Democrat from Ohio recognized for his unruly hairpiece and behavior of ending each ground speech with the phrase “beam me up.”) As Chafetz famous, “when it turns into believable {that a} congressman is perhaps expelled, they often resign to be able to stop the embarrassment.”

Santos resigns

Santos has insisted on Twitter, “I’ll NOT resign!” Nonetheless, the precariousness of his place is made clear by the truth that he felt it essential to adamantly insist that he’s not leaving Capitol Hill solely days after arriving in Washington. Not solely is he already dealing with state and native legal investigations, however he’s additionally the topic of complaints to the Home Ethics Committee. One grievance to the Home Ethics Committee was hand-delivered by two fellow members of the New York delegation, Reps. Dan Goldman (D-NY) and Ritchie Torres (D-NY), to a media frenzy.

In an interview with Vox Wednesday, former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who resigned from Congress after his personal scandal in 2011, stated {that a} congressional ethics investigation is “not a simple course of and never an affordable course of.” Weiner recalled when he was informed by Democratic superlawyer Marc Elias that it could value $1 million in authorized charges if he had stayed in workplace and confronted investigation. (Weiner added the caveat that Elias was attempting to persuade him to resign on the time.) The Home Ethics Committee, which operates on a bipartisan foundation, solely has authority over sitting Home members and might advocate sanctions for violations of Home guidelines that require a majority vote to be adopted.

If he did resign, a particular election could be held on a date chosen by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, and the nominees could be chosen by celebration committees, not by way of a major. Additional, if Republicans are keen to carry on to Santos’s seat, they could calculate that their chances are high higher in a low-turnout particular election than by ready till November 2024, when voters are more likely to revert to their conventional partisan corners, significantly in a district that Joe Biden gained in 2020.

Then once more, there is no such thing as a motive for Santos to care in regards to the opinions of different Republicans — significantly those that have already referred to as for him to go away workplace. In an interview with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Steve Bannon’s podcast, Santos was defiant: “It’s their prerogative … I want nicely all of their opinions, however I used to be elected by 142,000 individuals. Till those self same 142,000 individuals inform me they don’t need me — we’ll discover out in two years.”

Additional, a direct Santos resignation would tremendously cut back his leverage if prosecutors do flip up misconduct in investigating his questionable funds. As an alternative, it legally makes extra sense to avoid wasting any resignation as a part of plea cut price negotiations the place it is likely one of the few playing cards that he would have obtainable.

Santos doesn’t run once more

There have been experiences that Santos has already reassured prime Republicans in his district that he doesn’t plan to run once more. Contemplating that he’s now a political punchline who’s underneath state, native, and federal investigation, a willingness to not search reelection is just not a lot of a concession. Each revelation by Santos solely makes him appear extra ridiculous. On Wednesday, it was revealed that he lied to Republican officers about taking part in on a championship-winning volleyball crew at Baruch Faculty — not solely did Santos not play on the crew, he didn’t attend Baruch Faculty. The New York Occasions additionally printed a replica of the résumé that Santos had circulated when working for workplace, which included false claims about his faculty schooling and employment historical past.

By bunkering down, Santos would proceed to gather a federal wage and advantages, when it’s unclear what different sources of earnings he has and the way else he would cowl his authorized prices as his authorized woes mount. It additionally would assist new Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy maintain on to his slim, five-seat majority. If Santos resigns, there’s no assure he would get replaced by a fellow Republican. Whereas Republicans might need higher possibilities of holding the seat in a particular election than in the event that they wait till November, it may not be value playing a swing seat when the present majority is so tenuous.

Santos is reelected

LOL. Not even George Santos might make up a situation the place this could occur.

Replace, January 13, 12:15 pm ET: This story was initially printed on January 12 and has been up to date with Santos’s feedback on requires him to resign.

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