Embattled Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., escaped being expelled from the House of Representatives on Wednesday night after a group of his fellow New York Republicans spearheaded an effort to boot him.

The final vote fell 179 to 213 against expelling Santos, with 19 lawmakers voting “present.” Expelling a member of the House, something that is historically rare, requires a vote of two-thirds of all members present. 

Santos spoke in his own defense earlier on the House floor, accusing the Republicans who moved against him of playing “judge, jury and executioner.”

“Efforts taken by other members in this body to act as jury and executioner are unconscionable and reckless to our Republican system of government and to the integrity of this body,” Santos said.

“I stand today to continue to prove my innocence of these allegations and charges leveled against me. I’d like to say I understand the point of view of my colleagues, but I don’t. One can’t say that they are pro constitution and at the same time act as judge, jury and executioner. Where is the consistency?”

Santos was the only member of Congress to speak in his defense during debate ahead of the resolution.