With a resounding bipartisan vote of 311-114, the U.S. House of Representatives expelled one of its members, setting a modern-day precedent. However, not the “bad precedent” the spineless House GOP leadership had warned members the expulsion of George Santos would set.
It set a precedent that no one is above the law.
It set a precedent that principles and conscience outweigh political expediency.
It set a precedent that the American people expect that members of Congress must be held to a higher standard.
It set a precedent that constituents who were fraudulently deceived into electing a representative have the right not to be condemned to continue to be misrepresented, shamed, by such a member.
It set a precedent that a member of Congress who brazenly and repeatedly violates one of the most sacred principles of public office, the public trust, cannot continue to hold such public office.
It sets the precedent that a member of Congress who “[a]t nearly every opportunity…placed his desire for private gain above his duty to uphold the Constitution, federal law and ethical principles,” cannot serve the people.
It hopefully sets the precedent that, henceforth, egregious conduct like that of Mr. Santos will not be tolerated.
A new precedent had to be set because someone lied and frauded their way to the House of Representatives — it should have never happened.
Or, just take the words of Susan Naftol, 60, a resident of New York’s 3rd Congressional District:
If [Santos] had been allowed to stay in office, that would have set a horrible precedent — that you can lie and cheat your way in and then keep your seat. And that’s never a good thing.
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.