Kevin McCarthy Will Reportedly Not Support Embattled GOP Rep. George Santos’ Reelection

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reportedly told CNN on Wednesday that he will not back Republican New York Rep. George Santos for re-election following his arrest.

Federal prosecutors arrested Santos early Wednesday with 13 charges related to money laundering, lying to Congress, theft of public funds and wire fraud. With a slim House majority, Santos has proven to be a key vote for McCarthy and House Republicans.

CNN chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju said McCarthy made it clear he will not support Santos’ re-election in 2024. The embattled congressman launched his re-election in April despite the several investigations into his alleged campaign finance violations and false statements to Congress as well as during his 2020 campaign.

McCarthy reportedly said, “Santos has a lot of things going on. I think he has other things to focus on in his life other than running for re-election,” Raju said.

The speaker has not yet called on Santos to resign from Congress nor commented on any process to expel him from his seat. He told Raju there is a “process” for removing congresspeople. (RELATED: Biden Responds To George Santos’ Arrest)

McCarthy did reportedly say, however, that he would call for Santos’ resignation if the House Ethics Committee finds that the embattled New York representative violated campaign finance laws, Raju said. The House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into Santos on March 2 to investigate the alleged campaign finance violations, in which ethics experts and reporters alleged Santo’s campaign finance filings were designed to avoid disclosing certain purchases.

“I asked McCarthy directly, I said, ‘if the Ethics committee comes back and finds that Santos broke the law, alleges that he did, would you call him to resign?’ McCarthy said quote, ‘yes.’ So that is the speaker’s bar for trying to push Santos out,” Raju said on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

Santos, who pleaded not guilty to all charges, called the criminal charges a “witch hunt” and lashed out about the criminal allegations made about President Joe Biden’s family in a statement to reporters after his arrest. He has refused to resign from office over the charges.