One week after Santos was indicted on 13 criminal counts, Texas Rep. Jasmine Crockett used her platform to tell GOP colleagues that if they were really tough on crime, they would be willing to expel their colleague
Texas Rep. Jasmine Crockett sent a brief and blunt message to her Republican colleagues at the U.S. Capitol this week: If you care about crime, expel Congressman George Santos.
Crockett, a Democrat who was recently elected to represent parts of Dallas in Congress, used her 30 seconds with a microphone to argue for expelling her Republican colleague, who was indicted on 13 criminal counts last week on charges of fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and lying to the U.S. House of Representatives. He pleaded not guilty to all charges on May 10.
The Texas congresswoman began her speech with, "My Republican colleagues want to talk about keeping D.C. streets crime-free. They can't even keep the halls of Congress crime-free." She then acknowledged that she's going to jump into her argument quickly, noting that she only had 24 seconds remaining to relay her points.
"My freshman colleague has just been indicted on 13 counts — 13 felony counts, right? But have [Republican representatives] exhibited any courage to say, 'You know what, we will disallow this in our body. We will make sure that we expel this individual'? They have not. So what I don't want to hear is that they care about crime, because if they did they would start by cleaning up our own House and mind our own business instead of coming after D.C., so thank you so much for your time."
Video of Crockett's succinct message, turning a common Republican talking point against members of the conservative party, quickly began circulating online.
In the indictment against Santos, the freshman lawmaker from New York — who came under fire within weeks of being elected for fabricating stories about his past — was accused of unemployment fraud for allegedly applying for and receiving unemployment benefits at the height of the pandemic — while he was employed and running a congressional campaign.
The fraud continued, the indictment adds, when Santos began pocketing campaign contributions to buy designer clothing and pay off his personal debts.
Separately, it accused Santos of lying to the same congressional chamber he would one day join by filing false reports to the U.S. House in 2020 (when he ran his first, failed congressional campaign) and in 2022 (when he was ultimately elected).
Since the charges were announced, key Republican lawmakers such as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy have taken a back seat in the conversation, as of yet refusing to call for his expulsion.
On Tuesday, House Democrats brought forth a resolution to raise an expulsion vote for Santos. Though it would need bipartisan support in order to succeed, as Republicans hold a slim majority on the House, the resolution will force lawmakers to take a procedural vote on whether to move forward with the resolution or table it, putting Republicans who distrust Santos in a vulnerable position of either voting against their own party and facing possible political backlash, or voting against their conscience.
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