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Ultimately, his commitment to glamor was his undoing.
George Santos, the checkered Republican representative of New York’s third congressional district, was expelled from the House today in a 311-114-2 vote, ending his short-lived reign as Congress’s most stylishly captivating alleged fraudster.
In January, Santos arrived for his first day at the Capitol sporting a starchy blue sweater and a sheepish comportment—appearing, as the Washington Post described him then, “very much like a freshman at a prep school in hell.” In his first week, he rubbed elbows with his fellow firebrand Republicans as they thrashed around while electing now-former House speaker Kevin McCarthy, whose tenure Santos (despite eventual federal charges of wire fraud and money laundering, including accusations of spending funds “on personal expenses, including luxury designer clothing and credit card payments”) would somehow outlast. Today, the Long Island legislator entered the Capitol vote wearing a navy sweater layered under a black jacket, a regal navy coat with dramatic epaulets draped over his shoulders. As X’s resident menswear expert Derek Guy put it, Santos “walked into this like a king.”
From that first day Santos showed up for Congress in his blue sweater—not unlike a doe-eyed Andy Sachs arriving at Runway magazine in her cerulean knit in The Devil Wears Prada—he would spend the next 11-ish months being both a despicable legislator and an absolute style demon. He went to work each day, parading his wardrobe of off-the-rack blazers, skinny trousers, and business-casual sneakers peppered with Ray-Ban sunglasses, Ferragamo ties, Gucci horsebit loafers, Burberry jackets, Hermès jewelry, even a Cartier Santos watch. He proposed 40 bills, all of which died in committee without a vote.
Santos became Washington’s own Disney villain: a cartoonish beacon of questionable morality whose unquestionable magnetism, like Cruella de Vil or The Little Mermaid’s Ursula, crowned him the internet’s newest problematic queer icon. More specifics of his indictments went public, and their lurid details flickered across social media; tucked into the criminal accusations were indications he spent solicited campaign funds on gritty-yet-glittery pastimes like casinos, Botox, and OnlyFans. He reportedly dropped $6,000 at a Ferragamo store after winning his election last November, and the New York Times speculated he may have spent “some of it on the red designer sneakers he later wore to walk the marble halls of Congress.”
When Santos wore a burgundy double-breasted blazer on the House floor earlier this week, the Threads account for menswear brand Kenneth Cole characterized his look as “expulsion chic.” It was a bit the Congressman committed to until the very end.
“Why would I want to stay here?” Santos told reporters as he fled the Capitol steps today. “To hell with this place.”
Originally Appeared on GQ
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