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New York Republicans, facing reelection, press for ‘fraudster’ Santos’ expulsion

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ALBANY, N.Y. — New York House Republicans won’t be mollified by Rep. George Santos promising to not seek a second term next year. They want him gone immediately.

Calls for Santos’ expulsion from the House are being renewed in the wake of a 55-page report Thursday from the House Ethics Committee that found “substantial evidence” the New York Republican violated federal law.

“This is why I called for his resignation, votes for his expulsion and still believe he needs to be removed from Congress,” Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-N.Y), said in a statement.

The report is another sign Santos’ continued presence in office is untenable for New York Republicans, many of whom are seeking a second term next year and are trying to rid Santos of being an attack line for Democrats.

New York has as many as six House races that are deemed swing seats, enough to decide who will control the closely divided chamber in 2025.

“George Santos should end this farce and resign immediately,” Hudson Valley Rep. Mike Lawler said in a statement. “If he refuses, he must be removed from Congress.”

Santos was found to have used campaign funds on Botox treatments and a trip to Atlantic City while attempting to hide the money trail, the report found.

The panel’s findings immediately sparked a push from Santos’ fellow New York Republicans for a second expulsion vote. Santos survived an effort last month to remove him from office.

Staying in office for another won’t cut it, multiple GOP lawmakers and their allies said.

Santos faces nearly two dozen felony fraud counts and has acknowledged fabricating swaths of his biography.

“That’s an insufficient response on his part,” Conservative Party Chairman Gerard Kassar said of Santos’ pledge to not run again. “He needs to be removed and needs to be removed immediately. There’s absolutely no reason why he should be allowed to cast another vote.”

Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, a Long Island Republican who pushed for the first Santos expulsion vote, said in a statement the ethics panel’s findings are “in alignment with my longheld belief that this fraudster has no place serving in the People’s House” and should be expelled.

There are multiple crosscurrents driving the push to remove Santos.

Republican lawmakers simply do not trust Santos’ to keep his word and not run for a second term to a battleground House district that covers parts of Queens and Nassau County, three people familiar with the discussion said Thursday.

A second expulsion vote could also turn out differently as some lawmakers were waiting for the formal findings of the House Ethics Committee before acting.

Democrats, meanwhile, sought to further tie Santos to vulnerable freshman GOP lawmakers and criticized them for not moving fast enough to remove him.

“Today’s damning report confirms what we knew all along: at the expense of workers and families across Nassau and Queens Counties, spineless New York Republicans protected and knowingly stalled the expulsion of their criminally-indicted campaign donor, Grifter George Santos,” Ellie Dougherty, a spokesperson for the House Democrats’ campaign arm, said in a statement.