Washington, Dec 1 (EFE).- The United States House of Representatives on Friday expelled, on its third try, controversial Republican lawmaker George Santos, whose short and scandalous political career has been marked by lies and alleged crimes.
Santos was expelled by a vote of 311 for and 114 against, with many of his Republican colleagues joining Democrats to reach the two-thirds majority needed to expel him from Congress.
When it became clear that there would be enough votes to oust him, Santos shook hands with his few allies and left the chamber before the final result was announced.
His seat, which represents an affluent district on Long Island, New York, is now vacant until elections are held.
Santos’ expulsion is the sixth in the 230-year history of the US Congress, making it an extraordinary measure.
The first three expulsions, in 1861, were of secessionists from the Confederacy, while the other two, in 1981 and 2002, were of congressmen convicted of corruption crimes.
Santos has not been convicted of any crime, but in early October, the New York District Attorney’s Office charged him with 23 counts, including conspiracy to commit crimes against the United States, making false statements to the Federal Election Commission to obtain funds, and falsifying documents.
He is also accused by an internal report by the House Ethics Committee, controlled by his fellow Republicans, of pocketing more than $200,000 for personal use, including purchases for spa treatments and botox, from his congressional campaign account.
He also spent thousands of dollars of campaign money at luxury retail stores such as Hermès, Ferragamo or Sephora, and on recurring payments on OnlyFans, an online platform known for adult content.
But beyond his alleged crimes and ethical lapses, what really made Santos famous during his 11 months as a congressman were the recurring scandals, usually related to his lies.
Some of the most controversial were when he stated that his grandparents had fled the Holocaust, when he claimed that his mother had survived the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, or when he said that he was Jewish.
Also in his resume, he said that he had worked on Wall Street or that he had studied at New York University.
Additionally Santos also has an open court case for check fraud in 2008 in Brazil, where he lived and later fled, leaving the case unresolved.
Santos had faced two previous attempts at expulsion at the US House of Representatives that failed.
On Thursday, in his last hours as a congressman, the lower house held the debate in which Santos faced, above all, his party colleagues who wanted to allow his fall.
“You, sir, are a crook,” Ohio Republican Max Miller snapped at Santos, to which Santos replied: “My colleague wants to come up here and call me a crook,” Santos said. “The same colleague who’s accused of being a womanizer. Are we really going to ignore the fact that we all have a past?” EFE