House Speaker Mike Johnson revealed some of his thoughts about the drive to expel New York Republican George Santos from Congress, and it does not appear he fully backs the move.
Johnson addressed the drive to expel Santos in a press conference on Wednesday noting that his caucus has spoken both pro and con on the resolution.
The vote is set to take place this week, the Associated Press reported.
Santos has been accused of a long list of lies and is the subject of a 13-count indictment.
Even his communications director, Naysa Woomer, resigned over her boss’ behavior.
But on Wednesday, Johnson told the media that the House is moving forward on a vote to expel Santos.
“I’ll say this, we had a Republican conference meeting in the last hour, there were opinions shared on both sides. But I’ll answer it this way… I said the Republican Party is the rule of law team, and we are. We believe in the rule of law,” he said in reply to a question.
.@SpeakerJohnson on resolution to expel Rep. George Santos (R-NY) from Congress: “I trust that people will make that decision thoughtfully and in good faith. I personally have real reservations about doing this. I’m concerned about a precedent that may be set for that.” pic.twitter.com/6lXBjeW6qt
— CSPAN (@cspan) November 29, 2023
“There are people of good faith who make an argument both pro and con for the expulsion resolution for Santos,” he insisted.
“There are people who say you have to uphold the rule of law and allow for someone to be convicted in a criminal court before this tough penalty would be exacted on someone,” the Louisiana Republican said. “That’s been the precedent so far.”
“There are others who say, ‘Well, upholding the rule of law requires us to take this step now because some of the things he’s alleged to have done, the House Ethics Committee having done their job, are infractions against the House itself,'” he continued.
“And so what we’ve said, as the leadership team, is we’re going to allow people to vote their conscience,” he explained. “I think it’s the only appropriate thing we can do,” Johnson added. “We’ve not whipped the vote and we wouldn’t. I trust that people will make that decision thoughtfully and in good faith.”
But Johnson clearly has problems with the whole discussion.
“I personally have real reservations about doing this. I’m concerned about a precedent that may be set for that. Everybody’s working through that and we’ll see how they vote tomorrow,” he concluded.
In his speech on the House floor when he introduced his resolution to expel, Rep. Anthony D’Esposito noted that “These charges indicate that George Santos engaged in a serious financial fraud throughout his 2022 campaign for the House of Representative.”
“George Santos is not fit to serve his constituents as a United States representative,” he stated.
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 26, 2023
Johnson does have a point. For good or ill, George Santos was put into office by his voters. Ideally, it should be up to them to vote him out in a subsequent election. And the act of House members expelling each other could be a dangerous precedent to set. After all, we know how human nature is. If they do it once, they’ll want to do it again and the grounds will erode each time until the reasons for expulsion end up being very loose.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.