The House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to expel Representative George Santos (R-NY) for allegedly stealing campaign funds and other charges. Representative Byron Donalds (R-FL), one of the few Republicans to vote against the expulsion, spoke with reporters outside the Capitol, expressing disgust that Rep. Santos could not finish his court case and receive due process.
"Let me be clear," Rep. Donalds told the press, "I am not finding fault with the Ethics Committee or their report. What I am finding fault with is that our members have forgotten that everybody is afforded due process under a law, and not due process under the Ethics Committee. That is my concern," said Rep. Donalds, referencing the allegations found in the Committee's report of Santos using campaign funds for personal use (including an infamous OnlyFans account).
One of the reporters pointed out that due process is afforded in criminal procedure, to which Rep. Donalds replied that Santos is already indicted under criminal court, "so let that finish," adding that if an indictment is enough for a member of Congress to be expelled, "bring the articles for Bob Menendez (D-NJ). I wonder when [Senator] Elizabeth Warren (D-MD) is going to drop them on the Senate floor."
Senator Menendez is facing bribery and other corruption charges, which Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) said are far more worthy of expulsion than those given for Santos.
Donalds further stated, "We have been lectured politically for the last four years, a lot of it in the press, about our institutions. What happened here today goes against the principles of our institutions."
"My angst is not about what George was accused of. It is not because I am defending it. It is about the process upon which he was expelled today," Donalds concluded.
Similar reasoning was employed by Representative Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) in February when House Republicans voted to remove Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the Foreign Affairs Committee for her antisemitic, pro-Palestine remarks. Despite agreeing with the reason for the removal, Rep. Moskowitz voted against it because he said removing committee members from the minority party would set a bad precedent.