George Santos faces expulsion vote this week as Congress reconvenes – live updates | US Congress

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Santos acknowledges ‘it doesn’t look good’ for his hope to finish his term

Since the start of the year, George Santos has survived two attempts to boot him from Congress, but it appears the political winds have shifted against him.

The expulsion resolution introduced earlier this month by House ethics committee chair Michael Guest requires a two-thirds majority of lawmakers to pass, but after the damning findings Guest’s panel uncovered about Santos, it seems possible that threshold will be cleared.

Late last week, Santos acknowledged as much in a three-hour livestream where he, at one point, described himself as “the Mary Magdalene of the United States Congress”. Here’s more on that, from the Associated Press:

Republican George Santos has said he expects to be expelled from Congress following a scathing report by the House ethics committee that found substantial evidence of lawbreaking by the lying New York representative.

In a defiant speech Friday sprinkled with taunts and obscenities aimed at his congressional colleagues, Santos insisted he was “not going anywhere”. But he acknowledged that his time as a member of Congress may soon be coming to an end.

“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor,” he said Friday night during a conversation on X Spaces. “I’ve done the math over and over, and it doesn’t look really good.”

The comments came one week after the Republican chair of the House ethics committee, Michael Guest, introduced a resolution to expel Santos once the body returns from Thanksgiving break.

While Santos has survived two expulsion votes, many of his colleagues who formerly opposed the effort now say they support it, citing the findings of the committee’s months-long investigation into a wide range of alleged misconduct committed by Santos.

The report found Santos used campaign funds for personal purposes, such as purchases at luxury retailers and adult content websites, then caused the campaign to file false or incomplete reports.

“Representative Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit,” investigators wrote. They noted that he did not cooperate with the report and repeatedly “evaded” straightforward requests for information.

Key events

Bidens ‘horrified’ by Vermont shooting, White House says

At her briefing today, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the Joe and Jill Biden were “horrified” by the shootings of three Palestinian students in Vermont:

.@PressSec: “The president and first lady were horrified to learn about the three college students of Palestinian descent, two of whom are American citizens, who were shot Saturday in Burlington, Vermont…There is absolutely no place for violence or hate in America…” pic.twitter.com/CkSWHxZyhN

— CSPAN (@cspan) November 27, 2023

Here’s footage of the arraignment of Jason Eaton, the suspect in the shooting of three Palestinian students in Vermont:

Jason Eaton, the suspect charged in the shooting of three Palestinian college students in Vermont, appears in court.

Eaton has pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted murder in the second degree. pic.twitter.com/ClarPQ0JXM

— The Recount (@therecount) November 27, 2023

Police in Vermont on Sunday announced the arrest of a suspect in the shooting of three Palestinian students, the Guardian’s Chris Michael reports. Here’s the latest on the story:

A suspect was arrested on Sunday in the shooting of three Palestinian students in Burlington, Vermont the night before, police said, adding that contrary to media reports the shooter did not speak before firing.

Jason J Eaton, 48, was arrested on Sunday afternoon near where the men, all 20 years old, were shot, the Burlington police department announced. They said he lives in an apartment close to the scene, a search of which revealed evidence that gave investigators “probable cause to believe that Mr Eaton perpetrated the shooting”, police said.

Eaton pleaded not guilty at an arraignment hearing Monday, where the judge ordered him held without bond.

The victims – Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid and Tahseen Ali Ahmad, all 20 years old – are undergraduate students at Brown University, Haverford College and Trinity College respectively, and were on their way to Awartani’s grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving dinner when a white man with a handgun fired on them.

Two of the men are reportedly in stable condition, according to police, but the third received “much more serious injuries” after being hit in the spinal cord. Two were reportedly wearing the Palestinian keffiyeh when they were attacked.

Merrick Garland, the attorney general, said federal law enforcement agencies are investigating whether the shooting of three Palestinian students in Vermont can be considered a hate crime.

He also warned of “a sharp increase in the volume and frequency of threats” against Arabs, Jews and Muslims in the wake of the 7 October terrorist attack in Israel, and its retaliatory invasion of the Gaza Strip:

“The ATF and the FBI are investigating the tragic shooting of three men of Palestinian descent in Vermont. That investigation, including whether this is a hate crime, is ongoing.”

— Attorney General Merrick Garland pic.twitter.com/sJqIemuKrG

— The Recount (@therecount) November 27, 2023

Lawmakers condemn shooting of three Palestinian students in Vermont

Vermont elected officials have condemned the weekend shooting of three Palestinian students heading to a Thanksgiving dinner in the state’s largest city Burlington.

“It is shocking and deeply upsetting that three young Palestinians were shot here in Burlington, VT. Hate has no place here, or anywhere. I look forward to a full investigation. My thoughts are with them and their families,” said Bernie Sanders, the state’s independent senator.

Peter Welch, Vermont’s junior Democratic senator, struck a similar tone:

I’m heartbroken by yesterday’s senseless shooting of three Palestinian-American students visiting Burlington.

We do not tolerate hate or Islamophobia in Vermont. I expect law enforcement to quickly identify the shooter and their motive, & will continue to monitor the situation.

— Senator Peter Welch (@SenPeterWelch) November 26, 2023

As did Becca Balint, Vermont’s congresswoman:

As he campaigns for a second term in the White House, Donald Trump has made clear he will use the powers of the presidency to retaliate against his enemies, the Guardian’s Peter Stone reports:

Donald Trump’s talk of punishing his critics and seeking to “weaponize” the US justice department against his political opponents has experts and former DoJ officials warning he poses a direct threat to the rule of law and democracy in the US.

Trump’s talk of seeking “retribution” against foes, including some he has branded “vermin”, has coincided with plans that Maga loyalists at rightwing thinktanks are assembling to expand the president’s power and curb the DoJ, the FBI and other federal agencies. All of it has fueled critics’ fears that in a second term Trump would govern as an unprecedentedly authoritarian American leader.

Trump is currently the overwhelming favorite to win the Republican nomination for 2024 and has long maintained hefty polling leads over his party rivals. At the same time a slew of recent polls has also shown him ahead of Joe Biden, including in key battleground states.

But scholars and ex-justice officials see increasing evidence that if they achieved power again, Trump and his Maga allies plan to tighten his control at key agencies and install trusted loyalists in top posts at the DoJ and the FBI, permitting Trump more leeway to exact revenge on foes, and shrinking agencies Trump sees as harboring “deep state” critics.

Last week, one of the more unusual American political traditions played out, when Joe Biden pardoned thanksgiving turkeys and cracked wise about his age. The White House event did not go as well as the president may have hoped, the Guardian’s David Smith reports:

He had his turn at the White House, made all the right noises and now, getting on a bit, is heading for a quiet retirement.

Sadly for the millions of voters who tell opinion pollsters they want him to make way for someone younger, it is not Joe Biden, but a turkey named Liberty who is about to put his feet up.

The US president spent part of his 81st birthday on Monday observing the White House tradition of pardoning Thanksgiving turkeys. Liberty received executive clemency along with another gobbler named Bell.

After their moment in the sun, Liberty and Bell will be returned to their home state to be cared for by the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences. Biden, meanwhile, will continue to wrestle with two intractable wars, turmoil at the border and a bitterly divided nation.

While past presidents have used this occasion to tell dad jokes, Biden did grandad jokes. His seven-minute remarks on the White House south lawn on a crisp Monday were light on the puns favoured by Barack Obama that made his daughters cringe, or the funny-not-funny gags about pardons made by Donald Trump that made the nation cringe. But they were heavy on self-deprecating references to Biden’s age, enough to elicit groans from any campaign aides who still believe the subject can be dodged.

From the Guardian’s Adam Gabbatt, here’s a look back at the many lies of George Santos – which may soon cost him his job in Congress:

In a way, George Santos is one of the great success stories of American politics.

The New York congressman is not responsible for exceptional legislative achievements. His brief tenure in Congress will not be held up as a success story for students of political history.

Santos’s accomplishment has instead been to win election by weaving a staggering, barely believable web of lies, deception and deceit that is surely unmatched in the modern age.

That wave of fabrication helped Santos win election in November 2022. But a year later, the 35-year-old has been charged with 23 federal crimes, and while he has managed to cling on to his seat in the House of Representatives, he could find himself booted out of there when Congress returns to DC next week.

The list of Santos’s lies bears digging into.

While he was running for Congress, Santos lied about almost everything that had ever happened to him. Sometimes it was to embellish his résumé and make himself appear more electable, but frequently, and fascinatingly, he lied for no reason at all, about things of zero consequence to his political career.

Santos claimed he was privately educated at an elite New York City high school. He wasn’t. He said he went to Baruch College, where – according to Santos – he graduated in the top 1% of his class. Baruch, based in Manhattan, said it has no record of him going there, and Santos later confessed he “didn’t graduate from any institution of higher learning”.

Joe Biden is leading the charge to send billions of dollars in aid to Israel, but an increasing number of his fellow Democrats are uneasy with the large civilian death toll in Gaza. Here’s the Guardian’s Lauren Gambino with more on the split among Biden’s allies:

Bernie Sanders called on Congress to require Israel to change its policies as a condition to receiving US military aid – a statement that was met with fierce opposition by vocal Democratic supporters of the Jewish state, underscoring a deepening rift on the left over the Biden administration’s response to the war.

In a statement on Saturday, Sanders, a leading progressive voice, proposed leveraging US security assistance as a way of forcing Israel to reconsider its military strategy amid its bombardment and blockade of Gaza that has led to spiraling death, dislocation and destruction across the territory.

“While Israel has the right to go after Hamas, [Israeli prime minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s rightwing extremist government does not have the right to wage almost total warfare against the Palestinian people,” Sanders said in the statement. “That is morally unacceptable and in violation of international law.”

Israel’s response to the murderous 7 October attack by Hamas – which left 1,200 people dead and roughly 240 taken hostage, the vast majority of whom were civilians, according to Israeli officials – has caused a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. More than 13,000 Palestinians – most of them women and children – have been killed, according to Palestinian health authorities.

Senate Democratic leader says vote on Biden’s national security package could happen next week

The Senate’s Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has told lawmakers they could be voting on Joe Biden’s proposal to send more than $100b in aid to Israel and Ukraine and to pay for southern border security as soon as next week.

“One of the most important tasks we must finish is taking up and passing a funding bill to ensure we as well as our friends and partners in Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific region have the necessary military capabilities to confront and deter our adversaries and competitors. It’s also critical that we provide humanitarian assistance for innocent Palestinian civilians who have nothing to do with Hamas. These national security priorities are interrelated and demand bipartisan Congressional action,” Schumer said in a “Dear Colleague” letter.

“That’s why I intend to bring the president’s national security supplemental package to the floor as soon as the week of December 4th.”

It’s unclear if the proposal has the support to pass the Republican-controlled House, where speaker Mike Johnson earlier this month proposed a measure that would send Israel military aid, while slashing funding to the IRS tax authority and driving up the deficit. If the House rejects Schumer’s bill, there’s a chance Senate Republicans could do the same.

Santos acknowledges ‘it doesn’t look good’ for his hope to finish his term

Since the start of the year, George Santos has survived two attempts to boot him from Congress, but it appears the political winds have shifted against him.

The expulsion resolution introduced earlier this month by House ethics committee chair Michael Guest requires a two-thirds majority of lawmakers to pass, but after the damning findings Guest’s panel uncovered about Santos, it seems possible that threshold will be cleared.

Late last week, Santos acknowledged as much in a three-hour livestream where he, at one point, described himself as “the Mary Magdalene of the United States Congress”. Here’s more on that, from the Associated Press:

Republican George Santos has said he expects to be expelled from Congress following a scathing report by the House ethics committee that found substantial evidence of lawbreaking by the lying New York representative.

In a defiant speech Friday sprinkled with taunts and obscenities aimed at his congressional colleagues, Santos insisted he was “not going anywhere”. But he acknowledged that his time as a member of Congress may soon be coming to an end.

“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor,” he said Friday night during a conversation on X Spaces. “I’ve done the math over and over, and it doesn’t look really good.”

The comments came one week after the Republican chair of the House ethics committee, Michael Guest, introduced a resolution to expel Santos once the body returns from Thanksgiving break.

While Santos has survived two expulsion votes, many of his colleagues who formerly opposed the effort now say they support it, citing the findings of the committee’s months-long investigation into a wide range of alleged misconduct committed by Santos.

The report found Santos used campaign funds for personal purposes, such as purchases at luxury retailers and adult content websites, then caused the campaign to file false or incomplete reports.

“Representative Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit,” investigators wrote. They noted that he did not cooperate with the report and repeatedly “evaded” straightforward requests for information.

Santos’s days in office may be numbered as Congress reconvenes with expulsion vote pending

Good morning, US politics blog readers. Washington DC is shaking off the turkey-induced haze it lapsed into over the Thanksgiving holiday last week, and Congress has reconvened with a heaping plate of legislative matters to deal with. Many of these are dull, important, and familiar, such as the ongoing debate over funding the government, or Joe Biden’s request for $106b in aid to Ukraine, Israel and to fortify the southern border, but there’s one issue that is expected to be dealt with soon and will be truly noteworthy if it happens: expelling George Santos.

Two weeks ago, the House ethics committee issued a damning report that found the New York congressman and admitted fabulist’s conduct “has called into question the integrity of the House”. Even though Santos has announced he will not stand for a second term in office, the Republican chair of the panel Michael Guest has filed a resolution to expel him, which appears to have the support to pass. Over the weekend, Santos acknowledged his days were numbered, so the question now is when might Guest’s resolution come up for a vote? We’re hearing as soon as Wednesday, but you can expect to hear more about this today.

Here’s what else is going on:

  • We are one month and 19 days from the Iowa Republican presidential caucuses, and the Washington Post reports the GOP is seeing a worrying drop off in donations.

  • Chuck Schumer, the Senate’s Democratic leader, wants a vote on Biden’s national security proposal as soon as next week.

  • White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will be joined by National Security Council spokesman John Kirby for her briefing at 12pm eastern time. Kirby will undoubtedly take questions about the situation in Israel.





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