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Has anyone ever been expelled from the House of Representatives? List of expulsions

The House of Representatives is again voting to expel Republican Rep. George Santos. Has anyone been ousted from Congress in the past?

While rare, George Santos wouldn’t be the first to be removed from Congress

Republican Rep. George Santos is facing another expulsion vote in Congress after being charged with a slew of crimes including conspiracy, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, credit card fraud, and new charges of misspending campaign funds. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

In light of the charges against him, his fellow Republicans have urged the House to vote to have him expelled. If he is indeed ousted, he would only be the sixth representative to suffer this fate.

He easily survived the first expulsion vote with 182 Republicans voting in his favour but the same support is not expected this time around. Republican Speaker Mike Johnson has said his party will not be whipped to vote for or against the expulsion.

Members of the House of Representatives can be and have been expelled, but it is a rare occurrence. Other disciplinary actions, such as censure or reprimand, are more commonly used for addressing misconduct by members of Congress.

Has anyone ever been expelled from the House of Representatives?

There have only been five members of the House of Representatives who have been expelled, and three of these expulsions occurred in the year 1861, with only two taking place in recent history.

Here are the five members who have been removed from the House:

  • John Bullock Clark (1861) was a representative from Missouri who was expelled for his support of the Confederacy during the Civil War.
  • John W. Reid (1861) was also expelled for disloyalty to the Union and fighting for the confederacy
  • Henry C. Burnett (1861), like Clark and Reid, was ousted for disloyalty to the Union and his support for the Confederacy.
  • Michael J. Myers (1980) of Pennsylvania was expelled for his involvement in the Abscam scandal, a federal corruption investigation involving bribes to public officials.
  • James A. Traficant (2002) of Ohio was expelled following his conviction on charges of bribery, racketeering, and tax evasion.

How are members of the House of Representatives expelled?

Expulsion from the House is a serious and consequential action, and it is pursued in cases of severe misconduct. It’s a drastic measure and requires a two-thirds majority vote of the House to pass.

The process of expulsion involves a formal investigation by the House Ethics Committee, followed by a vote by the full House.

The Constitution (Article I, Section 5) grants the House of Representatives the authority to expel one of its members for “disorderly behavior.” Ousting a Representative is usually invoked in cases of serious misconduct, such as criminal activities, corruption, or actions that bring disrepute to the House.