Hawaii Congresswoman Jill Tokuda, a Democrat, said Santos, who faces nearly two dozen felony charges for fraud, theft and money laundering, makes a “mockery” of Congress.

Hawaii Congressman Ed Case was one of 31 Democrats who voted this week against a resolution to expel U.S. Rep. George Santos from the House.

Santos, a Republican from New York, has courted controversy ever since he was elected after it was revealed that he had embellished large swaths of his resume. In January, he was charged with a series of federal crimes, including fraud, theft and money laundering. He is also the subject of an ongoing congressional ethics investigation.

U.S. Rep. Ed Case and U.S. Rep. Jill Tokuda, both Democrats, vote together more often than not. (Nick Grube/Civil Beat/2023)

On Wednesday, the House voted on a resolution pushed by Santos’ fellow Republicans from New York to kick him out of Congress, but failed to garner the two-thirds votes necessary to be successful.

Most Republicans voted against the expulsion measure, including new House Speaker Mike Johnson who has argued that Santos deserved his due process.

In a written statement to Civil Beat, Case said he felt that the move to expel Santos was overly politicized and “premature.”

“This was a difficult vote because all current indications are that Rep. Santos should not have been elected to Congress and should not continue to serve in Congress,” Case said. “However, since our founding we have followed the principle that election and retention of Representatives should be determined by their voters, and the extreme remedy of Congress preempting the voters and expelling a fellow Member should be reserved for extreme cases and only after full and fair due process.”

Case noted that only five members of the House have ever been expelled, three for fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War and two others after convictions of serious crimes.

Should Santos be convicted in court or found by the House Ethics Committee to warrant expulsion, Case said, “I will have no problem in voting to expel him.”

U.S. Rep. Jill Tokuda joined the majority of House Democrats in pushing for Santos’ removal.
In a written statement, Tokuda said she voted for Santos’ removal because elected officials need to hold themselves to a higher standard when it comes to personal integrity and responsibility for their actions.

Santos faces 23 felony charges that Tokuda described as serious offenses that erode public trust in government and distracts from the work that needs to be done in the House.

“Since being elected to office, Representative George Santos has made a mockery of the institution, admitting that he has fabricated large parts of his biography in order to manipulate voters in his district,” Tokuda said. “His conduct follows a pattern of deceitful and fraudulent behavior that is unbecoming of a member of Congress, which is why I voted to expel Representative Santos.”

Both Case and Tokuda voted to defeat a separate resolution to censure Democratic U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib over her criticisms of Israel and call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

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