The United States Congress passed Friday Republican lawmaker George Santos, who distinguished himself by his repeated lies, accusing him of financial crimes. There have only been five expulsion precedents in the history of the North American House of Representatives.
A special majority of two-thirds of the 435 lawmakers was needed to vote on expulsion.
Santos, 35 years old and the son of Brazilian immigrants, had claimed in his defense before Congress on Thursday that he was the victim of “intimidation.” During his meteoric political rise, he crafted a history marked by tragic moments in world events.
From the Holocaust to the Twin Towers
George Santos told his voters that he was the grandson of Jews who escaped the Holocaust and the son of a survivor of the Twin Towers attacks who was elected to Congress a year ago, just the tip of the iceberg of lies and alleged crimes that caused his fall this Friday.
The House of Representatives voted 311 to 114 to expel the Republican congressman, the sixth in the more than 230 years of the US legislature.
Santos had survived two previous deportation attempts for similar reasons, the first in May and the second just four weeks ago, but this time an internal ethics report had been made public showing that he was not only a liar, but also invested money from his campaign in his pocket. for personal purposes.
His election in the 2022 legislative elections seemed unlikely a priori, but Santos took advantage of the bad moment for the Democrats in New York to take away from them the wealthy district that he has represented to this day on Long Island.
He won with 53.8% of the votes, exceeding all expectations.
The joy was short-lived: weeks later, the American media, which had not paid much attention to the elections, began to investigate the figure of Santos, exposing an amalgam of falsehoods that defied all logic.
Drag Queen and fraud in Brazil
His grandparents were not Jews who fled the Holocaust in Europe, but were both born in Brazil. His mother was not in the Twin Towers when Al Qaeda brought them down on September 11, 2001, and she was not even in the United States that day.
It was discovered that Santos had an open case in Brazil for fraud and that he had not studied where he claimed to have done so – New York University (NYU) – or worked where he claimed – Goldman Sachs and Citigroup on Wall Street.
Also that he swindled more than $15,000 with bad checks from puppy breeders, that he pocketed about $3,000 with a fundraiser to operate on someone else’s dog or that it was not true that he had saved 2,500 animals through a foundation , as he claimed.
He said he lost four employees in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida in 2016; For part of his life he claimed to be Jewish and denied having been a drag queen in Brazil, despite photos, videos and testimonies coming to light. All lies.
“Research even shows that most people lie on their CV. Unfortunately, it is reality,” Santos said in an interview.
Short and scandalous time in Congress
His arrival in Congress, where he has been for less than a year, was utterly disruptive. The riddles surrounding his lies landed him in a permanent scandal, with journalists chasing him through the halls in unison almost every day in an attempt to extract a confession.
He has been something of a blight to many of his Republican colleagues, but the weak conservative majority in the House of Representatives this term has made Santos’ voice essential to the party.
Things got worse for Santos when a federal court charged him last May with 13 crimes including fraud, money laundering and theft of government funds – for illegally collecting $24,000 from the unemployment fund.
Santos denied the charges, pleaded not guilty and assured that he would prove this in the future trial.
At that point, some tried to have him expelled from Congress for the first time, but most argued that never before had a member of Congress been expelled simply because he had been indicted but not convicted.
Of the five congressmen expelled before Santos, two were convicted corrupt people and the other three were considered traitors for their attachment to the Confederacy.
Campaign money for OnlyFans and botox
In addition to Santos’ lies, eccentricities and accusations from two weeks ago, there was the ethics report that a Republican-controlled committee had been preparing for months that showed the congressman pocketed at least $200,000 in campaign cash.
Santos used that money to pay for credit cards, purchases at Hermès, Ferragamo or Sephora, a subscription to the adult content page OnlyFans, Botox or various trips. A devastating report that ultimately made his colleagues decide to drop him.
During a press conference yesterday in front of the Capitol, Santos seemed to assume that he is facing his last hours as a congressman for the time being: “I am 35 years old, that does not mean it is goodbye forever.” (JO)
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