GOP presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy said that although George Santos appears to be “insane and a pathological liar,” expelling the disgraced Republican from Congress at this stage “was wrong.”
Ramasawmy argued that Santos’s future in Congress should have been decided by the voters during next year’s election – or by his colleagues in the House only in the case of a criminal conviction.
The decision of whether Santos can serve “belongs to the voters” and whether “he’s a criminal belongs to the courts,” Ramaswamy said in a statement posted on X, arguing that the expulsion “sets an awful precedent for the future” and “opens a Pandora’s Box that will surely be exploited the next time MTG [Marjorie Taylor Greene] or Matt Gaetz or whoever else in either party pokes the uniparty bear.”
“This George Santos guy has some serious problems, and I’d live a good life if I never met the guy. Probably most of us would. But I think it’s wrong that he was expelled without putting it to the voters or without running it through the court process,” Ramaswamy said in a video message. “The judicial system determines guilt. The guy’s been indicted. Let that play itself out. Anybody since the Civil War who has been expelled – it’s only been two people – both of them were convicted in a court of law before their fellow congressmen got them out.”
“As ugly as politicians are, and I think many of their behaviors are God awful, ugly, some of them downright criminal, we have a system for dealing with who serves in Congress. It’s this thing we call elections in our country,” Ramaswamy said. “We have them every two years. For Congress, there’s another one next year, just like there was one last year. So, if it has to be outside of that normal democratic process, it better darn well be a court of law that’s found somebody guilty. Now, this guy has been expelled, and he does seem like a pathological liar and everything else if what’s printed in the press is to be believed. That being said, this sets a terrible precedent.”
Ramaswamy pointed to the case against Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who was indicted in September for allegedly accepting thousands of dollars of bribes, including cash, gold bars and a Mercedes, as part of an alleged corruption scheme to benefit the Egyptian government.
“Now that they can use this for George Santos, they can use this for anybody,” Ramaswamy said.
“This should be up to the voters and to the courts,” Ramaswamy said. “Not to a bunch of fellow congressmen to overrule – to override – the Democratic will of the people. And that may not be a popular position right now, but I think it’s important that somebody speak the truth, not just when it’s easy, but when it’s hard.”
After Santos’ ouster from the House, Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa, notably renewed his call for the Senate to vote to expel Menendez, deeming the criminal allegations against the New Jersey senator “more sinister” than the charges against Santos.
Santos’ fabrications about his Jewish ancestry, attending college and a lucrative career on Wall Street were first exposed by the New York Times in late December 2022, after he had already won his election, but before he was sworn into Congress. By January, Santos refused calls to resign from his own local Nassau County GOP.
In May, Santos was first indicted in connection to various alleged fraud schemes, including applying for and receiving COVID-19 unemployment benefits and pocketing campaign contributions used to pay down personal debts and buy designer clothing, and making false statements to the House regarding his earned income. Through a superseding indictment announced by the DOJ in October, Santos was also charged with allegedly stealing people’s identities and making charges on his own donors’ credit cards without their authorization and lying to the FEC about the financial state of his campaign by falsely inflating reported receipts with non-existent loans and contributions that were either fabricated or stolen.
Santos survived the first two efforts to expel him, but the lawmakers ultimately voted him out last week on the third try in the wake of a damning House ethics report that found the freshman congressman “used campaign funds for personal purposes” and “engaged in fraudulent conduct,” among other allegations.
Santos, who afterward said he would not seek re-election, was said to have spent some campaign funds on the illicit subscription service OnlyFans, Botox injections and other expenses.