Federal charges against Republican Rep.
George Santos have added to the burden faced by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the Republican Party.
The news was shared by Alex Wagner, who revealed McCarthy’s reaction upon learning about the charges.
Brendan Buck, former press secretary to Republican House Speaker John Boehner, offered some analysis on the situation.
The charges against Congressman George Santos were brought by federal prosecutors, raising questions about his future in Congress.
McCarthy, in response to the news, referred to the case of Nebraska Congressman Jeff Fortin Barry, who was found guilty of lying to a federal grand jury for foreign campaign donations.
McCarthy stated that in America, the usual pattern is followed, where indicted individuals are not on committees but retain their right to vote until they go to trial.
However, McCarthy made it clear that he had removed Fortin Barry from committees and urged him to resign after he was found guilty.
The discussion surrounding Santos’s case prompted concerns about the optics for the GOP, considering the numerous lies Santos is alleged to have told and the recent news of the party’s titular head being found civilly liable for sexual assault.
Despite the distraction caused by Santos’s situation, McCarthy’s defense mirrored the approach of previous Republican and Democratic speakers, waiting for a conviction before taking action to remove someone.
However, the unpredictability of Santos’s behavior and his lack of stability posed challenges to McCarthy’s strategy.
It was suggested that most individuals in similar situations would recognize their lack of a future and resign, but Santos might resist all efforts to remove him, even if he gets convicted.
Expulsion from the House of Representatives is rare, with only five people having been expelled in its entire history.
Resignation is typically the preferred outcome when members face trouble, but Santos’s unpopularity and the burden he poses to other members might make it difficult to rely on that outcome.
The situation could potentially result in a peer pressure scenario, where the majority of members exert pressure on Santos to resign.
Members are tired of addressing questions related to Santos and would prefer to focus on more politically beneficial matters.
Unlike Donald Trump, who at least offers some political advantage, Santos appears to be a liability for the Republican Party.
Finding a resolution to this issue would likely be welcomed by members.