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‘To hell with this place!’ George Santos ousted from Congress after fabricating life story

Mr Santos refused to answer questions as he hastily left the US Capitol
George Santos refused to answer questions as he hastily left the US Capitol - Al Drago/Bloomberg

George Santos, the New York congressman who fabricated parts of his life story, has been expelled from office following a bipartisan vote.

Republican Mr Santos, 35, became the first person in more than a century to be ousted from Congress without a criminal conviction on Friday after the House of Representatives voted 311-114 to immediately remove him.

Following the vote, Mr Santos, whose web of lies included claiming he had links to the Holocaust, 9/11 and the Orlando nightclub mass shooting, said: “Why would I want to stay here? To hell with this place.”

It comes after the House ethics committee last month released a scathing 56-page report that found “overwhelming evidence” of misconduct and accused him of seeking to “fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy”.

The committee also accused him of using donor money for Botox treatments and the OnlyFans porn website, as well as luxury Italian goods and vacations to the Hamptons and Las Vegas.

Mr Santos, who has been indicted on 23 federal charges, including stealing from campaign donors, credit card fraud, money laundering and identity theft, accused the ethics committee of a “smear campaign”.

Sixth member to be expelled since 1789

He has pleaded not guilty to all criminal charges and is expected to go on trial in September.

Mr Santos is the sixth House member to be expelled since Congress began deliberating in 1789 and the first since 2002, when Ohio Democrat James Traficant was ousted over a bribery conviction.

All four top House GOP leaders, including Speaker Mike Johnson, voted against his expulsion to avoid weakening the GOP’s narrow four-seat majority and potentially losing his seat to a Democrat.

The Republican survived two previous expulsion efforts, with many of his defenders arguing he had not been convicted of a crime. But it appears the ethics report was enough to tip the balance on Friday when more than 100 of his fellow Republicans voted to expel him.

‘You sir, are a crook’

New York Governor Kathy Hochul, who will now be tasked with setting up a special election to fill Mr Santos’s seat, said she was “prepared to undertake the solemn responsibility of filling the vacancy”.

Mr Santos, the first openly gay non-incumbent Republican to win a seat in the House of Representatives, swept into the chamber last year.

But it soon emerged that almost his entire biography was a fabrication. He lied about having worked for Goldman Sachs, being Jewish and having been a volleyball star at university.

“You sir, are a crook,” said Ohio’s Max Miller, one of several members of Mr Santos’s party to stand up on the House floor to denounce him in a debate on the expulsion on Thursday.

“My future former colleague is divorced from reality. He has manufactured his entire life,” said Marc Molinaro, a fellow New York Republican.