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New York Republican Reps. Nick LaLota and Anthony D’Esposito are launching an effort to expel their fellow New York Republican, Rep. George Santos, from Congress after he was hit with a batch of fresh criminal charges Tuesday. 

Santos is facing 10 new charges, including allegations that he stole the identity of his political donors and was using their credit cards to spend tens of thousands of dollars. 

LaLota told reporters Wednesday that the ‘sooner he’s gone the better,’ calling Santos a ‘stain on this institution.’ ‘He does not’ deserve his day in court, LaLota continued, adding that it was clear the Long Island liar was ‘guilty beyond any resonable doubt.’  

Expelling a member of the House of Representatives would need a two-thirds vote. 

Fellow New York Republican Reps. Marc Molinaro and Mike Lawler had already renewed calls for Santos to resign from Congress.

A handful of New York Republican House members have renewed their call for Rep. George Santos to resign after he was hit with 10 fresh criminal charges in an indictment Tuesday, including that he stole the identity of his political donors  

Rep. Nick LaLota told reporters Wednesday that he was backing an effort to expel Santos from Congress.  Santos, the fellow freshman lawmaker from New York said, was a ‘stain on the institution’ 

On Tuesday, Santos told reporters he wouldn’t resign, adding that he hadn’t even seen the new charges as he had been in the closed-door House Republican meeting where the speakership election was being discussed. 

‘He rushed into his office and slammed his door on us,’ noted CNN’s Congressional reporter Manu Raju

‘He’s a terrible human being,’ LaLota had told Punchbowl News. ‘He does not deserve to be in the House of Representatives. He deserves to be in a federal prison. And I think the idea of expulsion is going to be something that a lot of my colleagues are going to talk about.’ 

By Wednesday, LaLota was officially backing the effort, telling reporters that it would ‘catch fire.’  

While a number of House Republicans have said Santos should resign, the party wouldn’t go as far as to back a resolution the House Democrats pitched in May to expel him. 

The House Ethics Committee is in the middle of an investigation into Santos. 

Rep. Elise Stefanik, the most powerful New York Republican, said in May that the ‘legal process is going to play itself out’ and noted that Santos wasn’t the first member of Congress facing criminal charges. 

House Republicans are still reeling from last week’s ouster of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, leaving them leaderless and the House unable to conduct any business. 

Republican only have a four seat majority, so losing Santos could create even more chaos. 

Former Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi announced Tuesday – before the fresh charges dropped – that he planned to challenge Santos for his seat in the 2024 election. 

‘The madness in Washington, D.C. and the absurdity of George Santos remaining in the United States Congress is obvious to everyone, Suozzi said in a statement. ‘You know me, I’ve never sat on the sidelines. From the cost-of-living to immigration, crime, climate change, combating terrorism in the Middle East and globally, and simply helping people, we need more common sense and compassion and less chaos and senseless fighting.’  

Nancy Marks served as treasurer for George Santos’ campaign

George Santos, seen on September 29, now faces 23 federal charges: 10 more were added on Tuesday

The 23-count indictment replaces one filed earlier against the New York Republican charging him with embezzling money from his campaign and lying to Congress about his wealth, among other offenses.

Last week, Santos’ former campaign treasurer agreed to plead guilty to fraud

Tuesday’s charges include allegations that he charged more than $44,000 to his campaign over a period of months using cards belonging to contributors without their knowledge. 

In one case, the 35-year-old charged $12,000 to a contributor’s credit card and transferred the ‘vast majority’ of that money into his personal bank account, prosecutors said.

Santos is also accused of falsely reporting to the Federal Elections Commission that he had loaned $500,000 to his campaign in an attempt to convince Republican Party officials that he was a serious candidate, when he actually had less than $8,000 in his personal accounts.

‘As alleged, Santos is charged with stealing people’s identities and making charges on his own donors’ credit cards without their authorization, lying to the FEC and, by extension, the public about the financial state of his campaign,’ said Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern district of New York.

Santos has previously maintained his innocence, insisting he is the victim of a ‘witch hunt.’

The new charges deepen the legal peril for Santos, who likely faces a lengthy prison term if convicted. 

So far, he has resisted all calls to resign, insisting he intends to run for reelection next year.

Santos’ personal and professional biography as a wealthy businessman began to unravel soon after winning election to represent Long Island and Queens last year, revealing a tangled web of deception.

In addition to lying to voters – about his distinguished Wall Street background, Jewish heritage, academic and athletic achievements, animal rescue work, real estate holdings and more – Santos is accused of carrying out numerous fraud schemes meant to enrich himself and mislead his donors.

He was initially arrested in May on a 13-count federal indictment, which charged him with using funds earmarked for campaign expenses on designer clothes and other personal expenses and improperly obtaining unemployment benefits meant for Americans who lost work because of the pandemic.

Free on bail while awaiting trial, Santos has described his litany of lies as victimless embellishments, while blaming some of his financial irregularities on his former treasurer, Nancy Marks, who he claims ‘went rogue.’

Last week, Marks, a longtime Long Island political bookkeeper and close aide to Santos, pleaded guilty to a fraud conspiracy charge, telling a judge that she helped her former boss hoodwink prospective donors and Republican party officials by submitting bogus campaign finance reports.

Tuesday’s indictment said Marks and Santos were involved in the same scheme to fake a $500,000 campaign loan in order to meet a benchmark that would unlock additional support from a Republican Party committee. 

Santos has now also been charged with recording fake donations from at least 10 people, all his or Marks’ relatives, as part of the same effort to make the campaign look like it hit those fundraising goals.

Santos was not initially charged in the criminal complaint against Marks, but was identified in court papers as a ‘co-conspirator.’

The new indictment alleges a multi-part fraud by Santos, who allegedly duped both his donors and his family members.

In one instance, Santos allegedly swiped the credit card information of one of his contributors, who had already donated $5,800 to the campaign, to give himself an additional $15,800 in payments, the indictment said. 

Because the unauthorized charges exceeded contribution limits under federal law, Santos listed the additional payments as coming from his own unwitting relatives, prosecutors allege.

Financial questions have continued to swirl around Santos, who claimed to be rich but spent much of his adulthood bouncing between low-paying jobs and unemployment, while fending off eviction cases and two separate criminal charges relating to his use of bad checks.

A separate fundraiser for Santos, Sam Miele, was also previously indicted on federal charges that he impersonated a high-ranking congressional aide while soliciting contributions for the Republican’s campaign.

Prosecutors said Miele, 27, impersonated the former chief of staff to Kevin McCarthy, who at the time was the House minority leader, by setting up dummy email addresses that resembled the staffer’s name.

Miele’s attorney, Kevin Marino, previously predicted his client would be exonerated at trial.

Santos was scheduled to return to court on the original indictment on Oct. 27. 

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