Updated Dec 1, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Full list: Who was expelled from the House before George Santos

George Santos outside the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 30 in Washington, DC. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) on Friday became the sixth representative in U.S. history – and the first Republican – to be expelled from the House.

The big picture: Santos is the first House member who wasn't a Confederate or who hasn't been convicted of a crime to get expelled from office.

Catch up quick: The House voted 311-114 to expel Santos over his many fabrications as a candidate and his two federal indictments.

What it means to be expelled

  • Expulsion, which requires a two-thirds vote, is the most severe form of punishment that the House can impose.
  • The Constitution allows the House to expel a sitting member with a two-thirds vote if they engage in "disorderly Behaviour," which can range from criminal misconduct to violations of internal rules.

Here are the House members who have been expelled:

George Santos

  • Santos was indicted in May on 13 counts, including charges of wire fraud and money laundering.
  • In October, he was charged in a superseding indictment with 10 additional counts, including credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

James A. Traficant

  • The Democrat was expelled in July 2002 after being convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery, defrauding the U.S., receipt of illegal gratuities, obstruction of justice, filing false tax returns, and racketeering.
  • The House voted 420 to 1 for expulsion.
  • The charges against Traficant stemmed from accusations that he solicited bribes from business executives in exchange for government favors, per the New York Times.
  • He served seven years in prison and died in 2014.

Michael J. Myers

  • The Pennsylvania Democrat was expelled in October 1980 in a 376-30 vote after being accused of accepting a bribe in the Abscam scandal.
  • He was then convicted of bribery and conspiracy and served three years in prison.
  • Myers was sent back to prison last year on a 30-month sentence after being convicted of election fraud for ballot stuffing in Philadelphia.

Henry C. Burnett

  • The Kentucky politician was expelled from the House in December 1861 after serving for four terms for disloyalty to the Union and for fighting for the Confederacy.

John W. Reid

  • The representative from Missouri was also expelled in December 1861 for disloyalty to the Union and for fighting for the Confederacy, though he had resigned from Congress four months prior.

John B. Clark

  • Also representing Missouri, Clark was expelled in July 1861 for disloyalty to the Union and for fighting for the Confederacy.

Of note: No U.S. Senator has been expelled since the Civil War.

Go deeper: Rep. George Santos expelled from Congress in historic vote

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