Mike Johnson Suggests He’s Willing to Put Up With George Santos’s Bullshit So Republicans Can Maintain the House Majority

On Friday morning, congressman and serial liar George Santos pleaded not guilty to 23 criminal counts, including conspiracy, identity theft, and credit card fraud. Judge Joanna Seybert set a trial date of September 9, 2024, and, should he be convicted, the GOP lawmaker may face many, many years in prison. But well before that? He might actually be booted from Congress once and for all—if Republicans decide even they don’t want to be associated with the guy any longer. Which, obviously, is a very big “if.”

On Thursday, Representative Anthony D’Esposito, a fellow New York Republican who represents a neighboring district, introduced a resolution to kick Santos out of the House, with a floor vote expected as early as next week. In announcing the legislation, D’Esposito cited Santos’s many lies about his biography—including his connection to the Holocaust, 9/11, and the Pulse nightclub shooting—as well as the crimes he’s been accused of committing, which, according to D’Esposito, demonstrate he is “not fit to serve his constituents as a United States representative.”

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The resolution was cosponsored by Representatives Nick LaLota, Michael Lawler, Marc Molinaro, and Brandon Williams. In a statement earlier this month, LaLota said: “George Santos belongs in federal prison, not in the halls of Congress. Since December, I have called on him to resign. While I would have preferred the Ethics Committee to deliver its findings any time in the last 147 days since it was referred this case, expulsion is now the necessary next step.”

Of course, in order to actually send Santos packing, the resolution must receive a two-thirds majority, meaning every Democrat would need to vote to expel along with, most crucially, dozens of Republicans. And, unfortunately, while most reasonable people would probably agree that Santos should’ve been kicked out of Congress a long time ago, it’s not clear that the House GOP—which is famously willing to put up with all manner of bad behavior and have had months to deal with Santos (and chose not to)—is going to grow a collective conscience by next week.

One seemingly big sign that George Anthony Devolder Santos probably needn’t clear out his office just yet? The fact that new House Speaker Mike Johnson does not exactly appear enthused about giving him the boot. And by “not exactly enthused,” we mean he basically told Sean Hannity last night that Republicans can’t kick out Santos because it would shrink their already tiny majority.

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Is Santos an accused con man who, according to the indictment, allegedly ripped off donors, and is still in the habit of making the absolute most dubious claims to reporters, like that his niece was kidnapped by Chinese communists? Sure! But, alas, Republicans still need his vote.

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