George Santos is a “dead man walking.” That’s how Brendan Buck, former press secretary to Republican House Speaker John Boehner and current political analyst, described the U.S. representative while on Tuesday night’s episode of “Alex Wagner Tonight.”
“The problem is George Santos, as we have seen, is not a stable person,” Buck said.
Buck emphasized that most representatives who get into situations where they know they will likely be convicted and “have no future” step down. “I just don’t know that we can trust George Santos is going to see that that clearly. He has really nothing to lose. He’s a dead man walking,” Buck said. “It wouldn’t surprise me is he resists all efforts to remove him. Even if he’s convicted it wouldn’t surprise me if he resists that.”
Federal prosecutors have indicted Santos on 13 charges, including wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and “making materially false statements to the House of Representatives. He turned himself in Wednesday.
Many have said that the fate of Santos rests in the hands of Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, who said on Wednesday morning that he will be standing with Santos and will not ask him to resign. Even if McCarthy wasn’t backing Santos, Buck doubts the Speaker of the House’s power in this situation.
“On some level, McCarthy doesn’t really have the ability to push him out unless they bring that almost unprecedented vote to the floor,” Buck said.
To date, only five members of the House of Representatives have been expelled: John B. Clark, John W. Reid, Henry C. Burnett, Michael J. Myers and James Traficant. Of those, three were removed for supporting the Confederate rebellion, a historic detail that puts the rarity of Santos’ situation into perspective.
Buck also said that Santos stepping down will come down to “peer pressure” and that the representative is “deeply unpopular” with officials at the Capitol. “Members are sick and tired of talking about it,” Buck said. “George Santos is nothing but an anvil around their necks.”
“I’m sure they would love to find a way to push him out but I doubt that this is somebody who’s going to be rational enough to think that maybe it’s a good idea to leave,” Buck said.