Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) on Saturday said the expulsion of George Santos by an overwhelming majority of House lawmakers marked a “regrettable day” in the House, before adding that he would be forging ahead with Republican’s efforts to impeach President Joe Biden.
The House voted 311-114 on Friday to send Santos packing after his dizzying web of fabrications and fraud was unearthed by news reports, federal investigators and the House’s own Ethics Committee.
Still, neither the revelations that Santos spent donor funds on OnlyFans, Botox, clothes and rent; misrepresented his relationship with a campaign organization he founded to other lawmakers for profit; broadly misrepresented himself to voters; lied about founding a charity for animals; lied that his grandmother was a Holocaust victim; nor the various criminal charges that allege he lied to get unemployment benefits, faked a $500,000 loan, committed identity theft as well as several other brazen fraudulent schemes and more were enough to convince Johnson that Santos shouldn’t remain a federal lawmaker.
Johnson had voiced his reservations ahead of the vote but was powerless to stop it. Speaking on FOX News Saturday, Johnson argued the 23 criminal charges and damming House ethics report weren’t enough to determine Santos’ fate and he should have been given his day in court.
“Our party believes in the rule of law and due process,” Johnson said, adding that the vote makes his impossible job of governing House Republicans even harder.
“We’re down to a three-vote margin, it’s a difficult thing to govern under those circumstances,” he said.
Later in the interview, Johnson announced that he would bring forward a vote on an impeachment inquiry against Biden, even as Republicans have failed to produce hard evidence the president committed any crime.
“A formal impeachment inquiry vote on the floor will allow us to take it to the next necessary step,” he said. “I think it’s something we have to do at this juncture.”
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