Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against Republican Rep. George Santos (R-NY), according to reports.
Santos famously flipped a blue seat to red in last year’s midterms but has been dogged by controversy over fabrications on his resume.
The congressman has now been hit with federal charges in the Eastern District of New York, according to Fox News.
Santos is also the subject of a House Ethics Committee investigation.
He is expected to appear at EDNY Central Islip tomorrow afternoon.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said he will look at the charges before deciding if he will attempt to remove Santos from Congress.
“I’ll look at the charges,” McCarthy said.
It would take a majority of GOP representatives to vote to remove him.
With a thin majority and the possibility that a Democrat would get the seat, it is anyone’s guess what will happen.
Exclusive: Rep. George Santos charged by Justice Department in federal probehttps://t.co/U6T0RSdf5H
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) May 9, 2023
Reporter: Congressman Santos has been charged by federal prosecutors. Do you believe that he should be removed from Congress?
— The Intellectualist (@highbrow_nobrow) May 9, 2023
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 9, 2023
According to CNN:
The charges do not, from a legal standpoint, affect Santos’ status as a member of Congress.
Nothing in the Constitution’s requirements for congressional office bars individuals under criminal indictment or conviction from serving, except for the 14th Amendment prohibitions for certain treasonous conduct committed after a member has taken the oath of office.
Under the formal rules for the US House of Representatives, according to a Congressional Research Service report, “an indicted Member may continue to participate in congressional proceedings and considerations.”
However, if a member is convicted of a crime that could result in a punishment of two or more years in prison, they are instructed under House rules not to participate in votes on the floor or in committee votes.
According to Fox News:
The freshman congressman flipped New York’s 3rd Congressional District for Republicans last year, partly by selling an inspirational personal backstory to voters that he later admitted was largely fictitious.