Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, released a statement Monday calling for Senate candidate Roy Moore to withdraw from the upcoming Alabama special election.
In the statement, Gardner called on the Senate to take unprecedented action should Moore choose to remain in the race and win:
I believe the individuals speaking out against Roy Moore spoke with courage and truth, proving he is unfit to serve in the United States Senate and he should not run for office. If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate.
The Senate is empowered to expel members through a two-thirds vote, as laid out in the Constitution. Article I, Section 5 reads:
“Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.”
According to Senate.gov, only 15 members have ever been expelled from the Senate. The Senate last expelled a member in 1862. Fourteen members were expelled for supporting the Confederacy, and one was expelled in 1797 for treason.