Wyoming U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman was one of 114 House members who tried to save embattled New York Republican George Santos from being expelled from Congress on Friday, but it was to no avail. Santos was expelled on a 311-114 vote, including 105 Republicans voting in favor of kicking him out.
Hageman was one of 112 Republicans to vote against expulsion, while two Democrats also voted against expelling Santos and two others didn’t take a position either way, voting “present.”
The congresswoman told Cowboy State Daily she voted the way she did because Santos “has not been convicted of any crime.”
Santos is facing 23 felony charges for allegedly breaking various federal campaign laws. Among these charges, Santos is accused of soliciting donations for a fake political fund, stealing a donor’s credit card number to transfer $11,000 to his own bank account, and lying about his background and qualifications for office.
Hageman and many other hardline conservatives in Congress have expressed distrust in the Department of Justice and its investigations in recent years, specifically actions it has taken against former President Donald Trump and not taken against President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
Some of the patchwork of stories Santos told included fabricating ties to the Holocaust, Sept. 11 and the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.
Now, he will hold a genuine place in history for being the first person to be expelled from Congress without being first convicted of a crime or for supporting the Confederacy in the Civil War.
Santos warned that his expulsion sets a dangerous precedent.
“To hell with this place,” he declared, according to The New York Times, after a reporter asked him if he planned on visiting the House floor using the privileges given to former members of Congress.
Most of Santos’ fellow New York Republicans in the House voted to oust him.
“It shouldn’t have come to this,” said Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, a fellow New York House Republican who pushed for Santos’s expulsion, as he left the chamber, according to the Times. “George Santos should have held himself accountable. He should have resigned.”
Lasted Nearly A Year
Hageman also mentioned how only five members of the House had ever been expelled prior to Santos.
Most of those happened during the Civil War era, when many of Congress were expelled for supporting the Confederacy. This included three members of the House and 14 members of the Senate.
The two most recent expulsions from the House, Michael J. Myers in 1980 and James Traficant in 2002, were related to bribery and corruption scandals. Hageman pointed out how these last two expulsions were the result of criminal convictions.
Santos had dodged expulsion on two other votes that were taken earlier this year. His short-lived time in congress was completely dominated by the allegations made against him that surfaced almost immediately after his November 2022 election. Santos would’ve been up for reelection in 2024.
Georgia congresswoman Nikema Williams, one of the two Democrats to vote against expelling Santos, said in a statement that although she does not believe he belongs in the House, she did not wish to override the voters who elected him to office and will “always side on giving power to the voters.”
Many Republicans likely opposed expelling Santos because of the political implications it could hold.
His departure will trigger a special election for his Long Island congressional district. Many are already vying to represent his battleground district, which Biden carried in 2020.
If a Democrat takes over the seat, it will cut into the GOP’s current three-seat margin of control in the House.
Leo Wolfson can be reached at Leo@CowboyStateDaily.com.