The vote failed 179 to 213, with 31 Democrats joining 182 Republicans in voting against the resolution. It would have required a two-thirds majority to pass.
Santos has been charged with 23 felony counts, including wire fraud, credit card fraud and identity theft. He’s faced calls for his resignation since he took office, when journalists revealed he had fabricated much of his background and qualifications to get elected.
Raskin, a prominent progressive, said he was against the resolution because “I’m a Constitution guy.”
“Santos has not been criminally convicted yet of the offenses cited in the resolution, nor has he been found guilty of ethics offenses in the House internal process,” the lawmaker, a longtime constitutional law professor and attorney, told Axios’ Andrew Solender.
He noted that the House has expelled only five people in its history: three for fighting against the U.S. government in the Civil War, and two after they were convicted of criminal offenses.
He said he would certainly vote to expel Santos if he’s found guilty in either investigation.
“I can think of four or five Democratic members the Republicans would like to expel without a conviction or adverse ethics findings,” he told Axios. “We can’t abandon due process and the rule of law in the House of Representatives.”
Several other progressives voted against the resolution, including Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Morgan McGarvey (D-Ky.). Rep. Rob Menendez Jr. (D-N.J.), whose father, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) has refused to resign despite being indicted on bribery charges, also voted against expulsion.
A Republican, Rep. Anthony D’Esposito of New York, filed the expulsion resolution as leader of a group of GOP lawmakers advocating for Santos’ ouster.
Santos is running for reelection in 2024. His criminal trial is scheduled to begin in mid-September, less than two months before the election.
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