But Santos defiantly told a throng of reporters Wednesday that he would not resign.
House GOP leadership is also very desperate to ignore the calls by Nassau County Republicans among other people, such as former GOP Rep. Pete King, who represented Long Island.
McCarthy brushed off reporters’ questions Wednesday, saying that a “a lot of people here” fabricate parts of their résumé and affirming that Santos would indeed get a committee assignment.
The reason Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his cronies would much rather chew glass followed by a salt-water gargle than aid the ouster of their own disgraced member is simple—they cannot afford to lose even one more seat. After an historic speakership fight that left McCarthy practically in a straight jacket, the idea of giving the extremists in his caucus any more power is likely giving him night sweats.
Santos also flipped a seat that Biden won in 2020, so his resignation would trigger a special election that could easily result in Democrats reclaiming the seat.
“It’s a simple numbers game for leadership right now,” once source told CNN of the Republican leaders’ reticence to throw Santos overboard.
But Santos is just the beginning of the potential peril posed by legal probes that could further cripple the precarious Republican House majority.
Let's not forget that the now-defunct House select committee investigating Jan. 6 revealed that at least five GOP members sought pardons from Donald Trump before he left the White House and three of them remain in office: Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Matt Gaetz of Florida, and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.
Notably, last August, the FBI seized Perry's phone as part of an inquiry into Republican efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Perry introduced Trump to former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, who sought to lead the Justice Department so he could help prevent certification of the election.
Perhaps not so coincidentally, Perry is now seeking a seat on House Republicans' newly created committee to literally investigate the investigators who have been scrutinizing GOP criminality.
Gaetz, who was also caught up in a sex trafficking probe, appears to have escaped from that criminal inquiry unscathed.
Still, Republicans have largely become a party of radicalized deviants who believe they are above the law. Another shoe could drop at any moment that could further imperil their slim majority in the lower chamber.
In the meantime, Santos supporters are livid.
"I am completely betrayed," Teodora Choolfaian, a Republican Santos voter, told CNN during a protest calling for the Congressman’s resignation. "The whole persona that he created and the ability to deceive us is just so troubling. This man should not be allowed to be in office, and we all know it."
Nassau County Republicans are clearly responding to the anger and dismay of their voters, even as House GOP leaders seek to ignore it. That's not a good look, and voters won’t soon forget it. Whether there's a special election in the offing at some point or Santos manages to hang on until 2024, the Biden district he represents is going to be ripe for the Democratic picking.
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