House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said Tuesday he would like the House Ethics Committee to move rapidly and come back to Congress with a decision on whether the embattled Rep. George Santos (R-NY) should be expelled from the House of Representatives.
“I think the George Santos indictment is very serious. I also know in America, you’re innocent til proven guilty, but I don’t want to sit around and wait [for the courts]… I would like the Ethics Committee to move rapidly on this,” McCarthy told reporters during a press conference. “I think there’s enough information out there now that they can start looking at this. And I think they can come back to Congress probably faster than a court case.”
McCarthy’s remarks come as House Democrats announced a resolution on Tuesday to force a floor vote to expel Santos from Congress — less than a week after the New York Republican was hit with a 13-count indictment that included seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.
Santos pleaded not guilty last week to all federal charges against him and was released on a $500,000 bond.
The one-sentence resolution — introduced by Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA) — is largely symbolic in the Republican-controlled House, but will force House Republicans to go on record around the Santos charges.
In March, the Ethics Committee announced it was opening a formal investigation to look into if Santos “engaged in unlawful activity” during his 2022 election campaign. The investigation is on-going and the committee has been largely silent about the progress of its probe.
McCarthy also emphasized the bipartisan nature of the committee during the press conference, saying an equal number of Republicans and Democrats “can look at it very quickly and come to a conclusion on what Santos did or did not do.”
“I can’t control ethics one way or another. But what I would encourage the ethics committee to do is to do this quickly. Don’t play time out. There’s enough facts,” McCarthy added.