One House Republican’s unique anti-Santos pitch: Block him from profiting off his lies
The first House Republican to call for Rep. George Santos’ resignation is now taking it a step further, introducing a bill that would prevent the embattled New Yorker from profiting off his campaign lies.
Santos’ fellow first-term New York Rep. Anthony D’Esposito has started circulating proposed bill text among his GOP colleagues for a bid to prevent members convicted of certain offenses from then profiting off book deals, speech commissions, television shows and more, according to a copy first obtained by POLITICO.
While D’Esposito’s measure doesn’t name Santos directly, a Republican with direct knowledge of the move says it was triggered by the scandal-plagued New Yorker. Nearly the entirety of Santos’ background has been called into question after a deluge of news stories detailed the lies, contradictions and misleading comments he repeatedly made about his resume, ancestry and education.
The idea that once Santos leaves office, he could profit off of his story with a book or movie contract has privately percolated among — and annoyed — House Republicans.
The bill would “prohibit Members of the House of Representatives who are convicted of offenses involving financial or campaign finance fraud from receiving compensation for biographies, media appearances, or expressive or creative works, and for other purposes,” according to the text.
Separately, D’Esposito is pushing a resolution that proposes similar changes to the House rules. A spokesperson for D’Esposito declined to comment.
The move underscores the acutely bad blood among New York Republicans, some of whom have also called for expelling Santos from Congress. But it’s unclear how many other GOP members would sign on to the effort, as many have expressed anger at Santos’ actions but indicated they plan to keep their distance.
A spokesperson for Santos railed against the move, calling on his GOP colleagues to turn their attention to Democrats instead, as well as issues like inflation and crime rates that propelled them to the majority.
Santos faced an almost domino-like effect with his GOP colleagues calling for him to resign — mostly New York Republicans freshmen, in addition to freshman Rep. Max Miller (R-Ohio) — in early January after a series of interviews where he wasn’t able to clear the air about his background — and even at times raising additional questions about how he made his money.
Since then, Santos has largely kept to himself, even announcing to his colleagues that he’d remove himself temporarily from his two assigned committees until there was clarity, amid federal and House Ethics probes.