George Santos
The U.S. representative expects to be expelled from Congress AFP

Embattled Representative George Santos is getting closer to being expelled from Congress this week, after lawmakers from the Lower House took steps to force a voting with this purpose.

Santos, who survived a previous voting to oust him on November 1, has predicted he won't make it through this one, as it comes after an Ethics panel from the House concluded there is "substantial evidence" showing he had violated federal criminal laws. Many lawmakers who had refrained from supporting his expulsion said they would after the report.

The voting is set to take place before the end of the week, after Republican Rep. Anthony D'Esposito stipulated on the House that the resolution to expel him, introduced by House Ethics Committee Chairman Michael Guest, was "privileged." That means it has to be held within two legislative days.

"He lied his way here. He's a fraud. And the quicker we can rid him of this institution, the better," D'Esposito told reporters outside the Capitol. "I think his days are numbered."

Santos agrees with this last statement. Even though he has denied any wrongdoing, he said in an X space on Friday that he knows he will be "expelled when the resolution goes to the floor." "I've done the math over and over, and it doesn't look really good," he added.

According to NBC, the House has expelled just two members in modern times, and both cases have taken place after they were convicted of federal crimes. Santos said his colleagues would be setting a wrong precedent if they expel him before he undergoes trial. "Expel me and set the precedent so we can see who the judge, jury and executioners in Congress are," Santos said on X.

The Ethics panel concluded that Santos "blatantly stole" from his campaign and sought to "fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy" for personal financial gain.

The document also said that the Republican "cannot be trusted," as he knowingly led his campaign committee to file false or incomplete reports with the Federal Elections Commission; used campaign funds for personal purposes and violated the Ethics in Government Act.

Besides the House report, Santos faces a 23-count federal indictment, which alleges he stole the identities of campaign donors and used their credit cards to make purchases for tens of thousands of dollars.

According to the Department Of Justice, these charges arose from alleged illegal monetary thefts and fraud done by Santos and his treasurer for his principal congressional campaign committee, Nancy Marks. It occurred during the 2022 election cycle when Santos, a U.S. House of Representatives candidate in New York's Third Congressional District, fraudulently obtained money for his campaign, according to the press release.

The purpose of these fraudulent funds was to mislead the Federal Election Commission, the national Republican Party committee and the public.

Santos needed to demonstrate that his congressional campaign had raised at least $250,000 from third-party contributors in a single quarter to qualify for a program from the party committee, which would provide financial and logistical support to Santos and his campaign.

If convicted, Santos faces a mandatory minimum penalty of two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft counts and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for the other counts.

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