George Santos, please proceed

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On Thursday, the Republican-majority House Ethics Committee voted unanimously to open a bipartisan ethics probe into George Santos. House Republicans were obviously hoping they wouldn’t have to do this. But House Democrats managed to keep Santos’ scandals in the public eye for long enough that House Republicans ultimately decided they had no choice but to put some distance between themselves and Santos.

There are two ways the Democrats can win this probe. The first is if they’re able to use their voice in this bipartisan ethics probe to turn Santos into such a problem, House Republicans reluctantly conclude that they selfishly have to expel him just to protect their own 2024 prospects. The second is if House Republicans end up declining to expel Santos, but the Democrats can make such a big deal out of it that the Republicans do lose seats in 2024.

Not surprisingly, George Santos announced on Friday that he intends to cooperate with the ethics probe. But what if he’s just lying like usual? Maybe he is. But the reality is that House Republicans have already decided they have to carry out this probe, and take some kind of bite out of Santos, in order to selfishly protect themselves. If Santos tries to undermine their probe, it’ll just force House Republicans to take more serious steps against Santos in order to protect themselves. So if Santos wants to stonewall, then by all means, please proceed. It’ll only increase the odds of the Democrats ending up with his seat before 2024.

So whether or not George Santos cooperates with this probe will ultimately come down to whether he understands that failing to cooperate will only force House Republicans to come down on him even harder, even if only to selfishly protect themselves. And again, House Democrats will end up winning this probe whether Santos is expelled or not, so long as Republicans’ failure to expel him becomes enough of a problem to cost them seats in 2024.

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