Expelling Rep. George Santos from Congress sets a "very dangerous precedent," considering he's only been indicted but not found guilty of any crimes, Rep. Eric Burlison said on Newsmax Friday.
"We have to keep in mind that he's only been indicted, and we all know you can indict a ham sandwich," the Missouri Republican commented on Newsmax's "Newsline" about the congressional vote to remove Santos, R-N.Y., from office, adding that he voted against ousting the congressman.
The House voted Friday to expel Santos following release of a report from the House Ethics Committee accusing him of breaking federal law by converting campaign donations for his personal use. He is the sixth member in House history to be ousted by colleagues, with Friday's 311-114 vote meeting the rule that two-thirds of the chamber must approve such a move.
In May, the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York indicted Santos on charges of duping donors, lying to Congress, and stealing from his campaign. Prosecutors later added more charges in an updated 23-count indictment alleging Santos stole campaign donors' identities and used their credit cards to run up tens of thousands of dollars in unauthorized charges.
"These charges are fairly serious, but if you placed him in context to other people in history, you know, people that have taken bribes, folks that have committed much worse acts than using your campaign funds to purchase Botox, you know it's inappropriate," said Burlison. "There are a lot of things in his campaign funds that should be cleaned up, but we're setting a very dangerous precedent where we are expelling a member before they've been convicted in a court of law."
He also noted that the charges against Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who was indicted on Sept. 22 on bribery charges are "horrific, probably worse, much worse than what Santos has done," but Menendez hasn't been convicted and remains in office.
"At the end of the day, if both of them end up being convicted, then let's vote to expel those members," said Burlison. "Let it be aired out in the courts, with a jury of their peers, the way that follows the rule of law."
About NEWSMAX TV:
NEWSMAX is the fastest-growing cable news channel in America!
- Find Newsmax channel in your home via cable and satellite systems – More Info Here
- Watch Newsmax+ on your home TV app or smartphone and watch it anywhere! Try it for FREE -- See More Here: NewsmaxPlus.com
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.