The House of Representatives is expected to vote Wednesday night whether to expel Representative George Santos, the admitted fabulist who is facing a slew of federal criminal charges related to fraudulent financial schemes, after fellow Republicans from his home state of New York pushed a resolution to oust him.
Whether the motion to expel Mr. Santos, which was introduced by Representative Anthony D’Esposito of New York, will succeed remains unclear. The resolution would require approval from two-thirds of the House lawmakers voting, which would most likely require every Democrat to vote to expel and dozens of Republicans to do likewise.
Republicans hold a majority so narrow that Mr. Santos’s vote remains crucial to their agenda. Speaker Mike Johnson, who was elected last week, has said he does not support removing Mr. Santos without due process. And many members of Congress have expressed concern that removing Mr. Santos from office ahead of a criminal proceeding or a report by the House Ethics Committee would set a dangerous precedent.
But Mr. D’Esposito and a cohort of first-term New York Republicans in vulnerable swing district seats have said that there is sufficient evidence that Mr. Santos is no longer fit to serve.
On Wednesday, they sent a letter to the entire House addressing their colleagues’ objections and urged them to remove him.
“This issue is not a political one, but a moral one,” they wrote, adding: “We agree it would set a precedent, but a positive one.”
If the measure were to succeed, it would consign Mr. Santos — who has falsely claimed ties to the Holocaust, Sept. 11 and the Pulse nightclub shooting — to a genuine place in history.
He would become the first representative since the Civil War to be removed from office without a criminal conviction, and only the sixth member of the House to be expelled in the body’s history.
In recent interviews, the New York lawmakers have sounded an optimistic note about the resolution’s chances.
“I think we’re getting two-thirds,” Representative Nick LaLota, another Republican from Long Island, told reporters on Sunday. “There seems to be a good sentiment out there that enough is enough.”
Wednesday’s vote will be the second time in nearly six months that the House will take up the question of whether Mr. Santos, who represents parts of Long Island and Queens, should keep his seat in light of a host of felony charges and an ethics inquiry.
Mr. Santos, 35, was first indicted in May on 13 counts covering wire fraud, unlawful monetary transactions, stealing public funds and lying on financial disclosures. Last month, federal prosecutors added 10 new charges, accusing Mr. Santos of reporting a fraudulent $500,000 personal loan to his campaign and stealing the identities and credit card information of campaign donors.
The revised indictment came after his former campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United State and said in court she conspired with Mr. Santos to report the fictitious $500,000 loan and a number of false campaign donations.
Mr. Santos has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
After the first indictment, Democrats tried to force a vote on a resolution to expel Mr. Santos. Republicans, including Mr. D’Esposito and his allies who had been calling on Mr. Santos to resign, successfully blocked that effort, instead referring the issue to the House Ethics Committee.
The committee, which critics argue moves too slowly, has been investigating Mr. Santos since March. On Tuesday, it said in a statement that it was “expeditiously” reviewing the allegations against Mr. Santos but would “announce its next course of action” on or before Nov. 17.
Representative Kelly Armstrong, a Republican of North Dakota who is a former public defender, predicted the expulsion of Mr. Santos would fail over due process concerns.
“What’s the point of having the Ethics Committee, if you don’t let them do their work?” Mr. Armstrong said. He added that he believed Mr. Santos should resign, but absent a decision from the Ethics Committee or a conviction, “it turns into a political vote. It’s a very serious step for 750,000 people to have no representation.”
Mr. Armstrong said the conference was aware of Speaker Johnson’s position against the expulsion, and that would be likely to influence how some saw the vote.
“You don’t get to get rid of due process in the hardest cases,” he said. “Now, the minute you get found guilty, that changes.”
Still, last week, Mr. D’Esposito and others said that Ms. Marks’s plea led them to back a new expulsion effort.
Mr. Santos has denounced both the criminal case and Mr. D’Esposito’s resolution as politically motivated. He pointed to a fund-raising email in which Mr. D’Esposito’s re-election campaign mentioned the expulsion effort.
“I will not beg for my constitutional rights,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Monday. “I will let my colleagues make their decision without my interference.”
Grace Ashford contributed reporting from New York, and Luke Broadwater from Washington.