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House Ethics says update on Santos investigation coming as possible expulsion vote looms

Washington — The House Ethics Committee said Tuesday it will announce its "next course of action" in its investigation into embattled Rep. George Santos by Nov. 17. 

The update from committee leaders comes ahead of a possible floor vote on a resolution to expel the New York Republican from Congress as federal charges against him accumulate. 

House Ethics chairman Michael Guest of Mississippi and the panel's top Democrat, Rep. Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, said investigators have contacted about 40 witnesses, reviewed more than 170,000 pages of documents and authorized 37 subpoenas. They said the investigation has taken "countless hours" and involved "a significant amount" of resources. 

Santos has pleaded not guilty to 23 federal charges that accuse him of stealing his campaign donors' identities and racking up thousands of dollars in unauthorized charges on their credit cards, falsifying campaign finance reports, money laundering and other charges. He has also defied repeated calls from Republicans and Democrats for his resignation. 

The latest round of charges prompted some of his Republican colleagues in New York to fast-track the consideration of a resolution to expel Santos. The resolution could get a vote as soon as Wednesday. 

But the Ethics Committee announcement could be used as an excuse for Republicans to delay a vote, giving vulnerable members cover from having to go on the record with their position on whether Santos should keep his seat. Republicans control only a nine-seat majority in the House, which means they can only afford to lose four Republicans and still pass a bill if all Democrats are voting against the measure.

Under the Constitution, expulsion requires a two-thirds vote in favor, meaning nearly 80 Republicans would need to vote with all Democrats to expel Santos. 

House Republicans blocked a Democratic attempt to expel Santos in May, instead voting to refer the matter to the Ethics Committee, which they said would decide Santos' fate. 

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