1 of 6 | Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., speaks with a reporter on Thursday afternoon outside his office ahead of debate on his expulsion from Congress in the Longworth House Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., who faces an upcoming vote to boot him from office more than a month after he pleaded not guilty to multiple federal fraud charges, announced he would propose a similar resolution to expel Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y.
During a news conference on the Capitol steps Thursday morning, Santos said he would file the motion to remove Bowman, who pleaded guilty in October to a misdemeanor charge of setting off a fire alarm inside a Capitol Hill office building.
"This will haunt them in the future where mere allegations are sufficient to have members removed from Congress when duly elected by their people in their respective states and districts," Santos told reporters, referring to his fellow Republicans and Democrats who were on board with the measure to remove him. "This is bullying. It's all theater. It's theater for the cameras. It's theater for the microphones and theater for the American people."
In what could be his final legislation action, Santos did not cite any specific reason for his move against Bowman, although his New York counterpart has remained one of Santos' most vocal critics leading up to an explosive vote on Friday in which fellow Republicans are seeking to remove the freshman congressman less than a year into his term.
Santos stands to become the first lawmaker to be ousted in the House in more than two decades after a superseding indictment in October charged him with wire fraud, false statements, falsifying records, identity theft and access device fraud as he was accused of taking part in a credit card scheme that repeatedly charged the accounts of campaign contributors.
However, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said on Wednesday that he had "real reservations" about expelling the Long Island Republican, while noting he was "concerned about a precedent that may be set" considering Santos has not yet been convicted.
Santos announced his move on Bowman days after the House Ethics Committee released the results of its investigation that found Santos "violated federal criminal laws," while citing the misuse of campaign funds for personal expenses, including vacations, beauty enhancements, and a subscription to the adult website OnlyFans.
Last week, the same panel declined to launch an investigation into the Bowman incident.
In response, Santos posted a comment to X to call attention to perceived disparities between the handling of his case and Bowman's.
Bowman later claimed he triggered the alarm by accident as he rushed to the House chamber for a critical vote on the floor, but colleagues were suspicious that he did it to delay the proceedings, and he was charged.
As part of Bowman's plea agreement, the New York Democrat paid a $1,000 fine and wrote an apology to the Capitol Police, which set him up to have the charges dismissed in 2024.
Santos said he would call for a privileged resolution to remove Bowman as soon as the House opened for business at 12 p.m. EST, a move that would force a vote on Bowman's fate within 48 hours.
Notably, House leaders were expected to call for a procedural vote on the measure instead of a holding a referendum to remove Bowman.
The shakeup comes after Santos and Bowman clashed in May when the House referred the resolution to expel Santos to the House Ethics Committee. The same day, Bowman and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., jeered Santos on the Capitol steps, calling for him to resign immediately.
"Resign. ... Save yourself, have some dignity," Bowman reportedly said at the time. "New Yorkers need better."
Santos has survived two previous attempts to expel him.
President Joe Biden (R) meets with President of Angola, Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco, in the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo