Rep. George Santos describes his launch to Congress as attention befitting an “it girl,” a phrase typically reserved for a popular socialite who rubs elbows with the most famous people.
But the adjective most commonly used before the New York Republican’s name is “embattled.”
Santos started his first term mired in scandal, admitting much of his personal and professional resume was fabricated. The lies ranged from being a volleyball star at a college he never attended to alleged fraud for which he is facing 23 federal charges.
After nearly a year full of revelations, accusations and challenges, Santos said he expects his first term to be his last after a recent House Ethics Committee report said the freshman representative violated criminal laws.
“You want to expel me? I’ll wear it like a badge of honor. I’ll be the sixth expelled member of Congress,” Santos said Friday morning during an X Spaces, formerly Twitter Spaces, hosted by Monica Matthews.
His Democratic colleague across the aisle, Rep. Robert Garcia of California, confirmed House plans for an expulsion vote when Congress reconvenes.
“George, we’re going to expel you,” Garcia said on the X Spaces show.
He urged Santos to bow out before that happens: “The right thing for you to do is resign.”
Santos has an event scheduled for Thursday, but he said it’s a speech, not a resignation.
To resign would be to admit everything that’s in the House Ethics report, which Santos described as as a “political hit piece” designed to force him out of his seat.
“They want to kick me out of a job they didn’t put me in,” Santos said. “I’m not leaving. Come hell or high water, it’s done when I say it’s done.”
But in some way, he has already conceded it’s done. He’s not running for reelection. He expects to be expelled less than a year after he was sworn in to Congress.
Garcia urged Santos to drop his defenses and apologize, saying “a real apology would go a long way.”
Santos said he has done that and apologized to the entire Republican conference in January.
Garcia said voters deserve an apology, too.
“I don’t think I’ll live long enough to apologize enough,” Santos said.
But as quickly as he showed moments of remorse during the show spanning more than three hours, Santos was quicker to point the finger back at his colleagues.
“I’m not running for reelection because I don’t want to work with a bunch of hypocrites,” he said before launching into various accusations about unnamed members.
“I’m through with the insanity of this place,” Santos said.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Why George Santos won’t resign but expects to be expelled soon