Double Jeopardy? Not for George Santos

by | Nov 20, 2023 | Opinion

It was announced on Friday November 17, 2023, that Republican Michael Guest had introduced another resolution to expel George Santos (R- NY) from Congress.  Santos has been indicted for his alleged participation in 23 crimes, however he has not been convicted.  This is the second resolution filed to expel Santos from Congress, as Mike Lawler’s previous resolution failed to even reach a majority consensus, far from the 2/3 vote required for expulsion.  

7 members of the United States legislative branch have been indicted in recent years.  That list appears as follows:

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.)

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) 

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.)

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) 

Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.)

Sen. Bob Menendez

Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.)

None of these members were expelled from congress.  

In the entire history of the United States Congress, 20 Members have been expelled: 15 from the Senate and five from the House of Representatives. Seventeen of these 20 were expelled for supporting the Confederate States in 1861 and 1862. One member’s expulsion, Senator William K. Sebastian of Arkansas, was posthumously reversed. 

James Traficant was the last member of congress to be expelled in 2022.  It is worth noting that Traficant was expelled after his conviction on federal corruption charges.  The fact that Santos has been merely accused, not convicted, is also worth noting.  

Santos has not faced attacks by House Democrats, rather the 2 Representatives who have filed resolutions seeking to expel Santos have both been Republicans.  Representative Michael Guest and Representative Mike Lawler have been the driving forces seeking to remove Santos from his seat.  

One noticeable overlap between the two is that they both appear to have been recently supported by Majority whip Tom Emmer’s Political Action Committee. 

In addition to funding from Emmer, Lawler has also received funding from Kevin McCarthy’s congressional leadership fund PAC.  Perhaps Guest is hoping for the same in the future.  Neither McCarthy’s nor Emmer’s Political Action Committee have donated to George Santos.

RELATED: Judge, Jury and Executioner? How the United States House of Representatives Attempted to Expel George Santos

If America has learned anything about the McCarthy/Emmer faction of the Republican Party, it is that they don’t mind wasting Congressional resources nor time as long as they stand to benefit.  This was evident during McCarthy’s historic 15 votes to become speaker and Emmer’s subsequent bid following McCarthy’s removal.  

The presumption of innocence is not guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. However, through statutes and court decisions–such as the U.S. Supreme Court case of Taylor v. Kentucky, it has been recognized as one of the most basic requirements of a fair trial.  Santos has not yet had the opportunity to face his accusers in a court of law.  

Why are Republicans so fixated on removing George Santos from Congress? Joe Biden has faced far more serious allegations than Santos, however impeachment proceedings have not begun against him.  Republican congressional leadership will not be satisfied until Santos is removed.   Does Santos, as an openly gay conservative, present an image problem for House Republicans?  While this question cannot be answered, it is one that must be asked.  

Santos has recently stated that he will not run for reelection.  Ultimately the voters of NY-03 will have their opportunity to replace Santos, just as they did when they sent him to represent them.  Until then, I will remain confused as to why a congressman from Mississippi wishes to undermine the will of voters in New York by removing a duly elected congressman.  

It is also worth noting that AIPAC has donated substantial amounts of money to both members who are seeking to expel Rep. Santos.  AIPAC has also launched a substantial attack against Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie due to his recent America First vote against sending more foreign aid to Israel.  Is AIPAC actively looking to remove all members of congress who put American interests ahead of the interest of a foreign nation?

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AIPAC advertises on its own website that it is the largest Pro-Israel PAC in America.  Why are elected members of US government actively being lobbied and funded by a foreign government.  As Representative Massie often says, “America is broke”. 

With a Guest’s resolution sure to receive a floor vote, one must wonder who is truly trying to remove George Santos.  Is it Tom Emmer, Kevin McCarthy, AIPAC or a combination of the 3. 

Being that bother Emmer and McCarthy have received substantial funding from AIPAC it appears that the answer to that question is readily available within Federal campaign filings. 

Follow Tim Sharp on X at @realtimsharp.

NEXT: Senators Paul and Blumenthal Reintroduce Bill to Ease Family Visits to the U.S.

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