In the most recent turn of events in the George Santos saga, the House has voted to move the expulsion resolution back to the ethics panel to continue its investigation into Santos and decide the best course of action going forward. This action, done in response to Democrat representative Robert Garcia bringing the vote back to the floor as a privileged resolution, allowed Speaker McCarthy to avoid tabling the issue or voting to expel Santos right then and there. This comes a week after Santos walked into a Long Island Courthouse last Wednesday to answer to a 13-count federal indictment.
The indictment stems from multiple investigations into Santos’ potential misuse of campaign funds and unlawful means to procure those funds; inaccurately claiming to be unemployed during the pandemic to receive pandemic unemployment benefits; and padding his resume with exaggerated and/or completely false experiences and qualifications that made him eligible to serve in the House.
Santos is also facing charges in relation to a credit card skimming scheme that he apparently concocted with a Brazilian man he met after renting a room to him in Florida. Trelha said Santos went by the name Anthony Devolder; which other witnesses have come forward to make claims that they have also observed criminal behavior by Santos whilst he used the pseudonym Anthony Devolder. The Brazilian counterpart to the credit card scheme, Gustavo Ribeiro Trelha, said Santos taught him how to skim credit card info from ATMs and provided him with a warehouse that housed a workstation to print out cards with the skimmed numbers on them. Trelha said the two men split the money from the scheme evenly. Trelha served seven months in prison before being deported.
Many Democrats called Speaker McCarthy’s actions a “cop-out”, essentially claiming that McCarthy was simply trying to avoid having to expel Santos because the loss of Santos would offset the Republican majority in the House.
Speaking on the matter, Representative Garcia continued to advocate for expediency. “We should not refer this matter to the Ethics Committee; this resolution is already there. Now every Republican should stand up and join us to defend this body and expel George Santos.”