Pressure Builds on Johnson to Actually Do Something About Jack Smith

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) has said forcefully that he will protect Donald Trump from politically motivated “legal action,” but pressure from Trump’s allies is ready to take action. is increasing.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who has emerged as Johnson’s most ardent critic on both sides of the aisle, has embarrassed Johnson with performative moves to defend Trump while also holding on to the presidency. A missed opportunity to use the authority of the Provide meaningful support for the former president.

Mr. Johnson traveled to New York on Tuesday, appeared in court with Mr. Trump, and addressed reporters outside a Manhattan courtroom. District Attorney Alvin Bragg is seeking to jail Trump on suspicion of falsifying business records.

“I’m working with the chairman.” [Jim] House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jordan [James] He is a member of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Oversight Committee on Measures to Curb Abuse,” Johnson said. “The recent revelations are that they may have manipulated documents and falsified evidence in the case, but that doesn’t surprise any of us. Congress has an oversight responsibility and we will hold them accountable. That is our purpose and our responsibility.”

Mr. Green believes Mr. Johnson’s words are hollow.

“He controls the financial power of the federal government,” she said of Mr. Johnson on Wednesday. “Rather than focusing on defunding Jack Smith or weaponizing the government, Mike Johnson flew to New York to focus on state-level lawsuits against President Trump. I have no authority to pretend to do so.”

She continued, “I have a bill to end the Jack Smith witch hunt. Mike Johnson needs to use the power of the Speaker’s gavel and get it passed!”

Last month, President Trump signaled support for Congress by using his constitutional authority to defund Smith’s office.he signed A printout of Mr. Green’s statement advocating cutting off funding to Mr. Smith. In his signature black marker, it says, “Great!”

But Mr. Johnson said in an interview hours after 163 Democrats voted to keep him as speaker that he would not use his authority to defund Mr. Smith.

“It’s not just a matter of waving a wand and eliminating the special prosecutor as a provision,” Johnson said. politikoAsked if he would write language into the spending bill to remove Smith’s job, he said “no.”

Green cited respected lawyers who disagree with Johnson’s legal assessment.

Greene and other conservatives have consistently attacked Johnson for bowing to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and President Joe Biden. In his short speech, Mr. Johnson told Mr. Biden three of his top priorities. That could be a lifeline for an unpopular president looking for something to tout as he struggles in the polls with Trump.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), who worked with Greene to force a vote on the speaker’s resignation earlier this month, cited Johnson’s “three betrayals,” particularly that Johnson financed Biden’s spending policies. and have frequently described higher spending levels. More than the last omnibus bill passed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Mr. Schumer, it would force an extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) without the requirement for a warrant before spying on Americans. , costing U.S. taxpayers tens of billions of dollars in taxes. Foreign aid was provided even though no progress was made on border security.

Government funding and FISA reauthorization were considered “must pass” bills. These bills provide a unique opportunity in a divided government to include provisions for one chamber of Congress that the other chamber would not consider in a standalone bill.

But Johnson had more support from Democrats than Republicans to pass the Biden-approved government funding bill, which fully funds the Biden Justice Department. And he reversed his long-standing position on warrantless surveillance and passed legislation that Mr. Biden and his administration officials personally lobbied for.

On Wednesday, the House passed another “must-pass” bill that would reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration for five years. Mr. Johnson once again gave up any influence to force consideration of Republican priorities, such as defunding Mr. Smith’s office, and gave Mr. Schumer control of the legislation.

Johnson has confronted Schumer at least once, though with no serious consequences. In another performance exercise this week, Johnson held a press conference in which he urged Schumer to bring up the Israel Security Assistance Assistance Act, a bill that would force Biden to speed up the delivery of aid to Israel.

Mr. Biden has vowed to veto the bill, and Mr. Schumer has said he will not take up the bill, saying it “doesn’t get us anywhere.”

There remains little opportunity for Mr Johnson to take meaningful action to rein in Mr Smith this year. Government funding and farm bills must be resolved by the end of September. However, Congress is likely to come up with its own policy and expand current spending levels through a continuing resolution, which many Congressional sources believe will extend the farm program by a year.

Meanwhile, a House of Commons inquiry into Biden’s business dealings has stalled as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told committee chairs to focus on combating anti-Semitism.

Trump, whose very freedom may depend on Johnson, remains a wild card, but he does not want to be seen as fomenting intraparty war in an election year.

Shortly after Democrats saved Johnson’s chairmanship, Trump also weighed in, suggesting it was not the time to oust Johnson, but the time may come.

“We are not in a position to vote on a motion to withdraw,” he said. “There’s a good chance it will happen someday, but now is not the time.”

Until that point, Greene and other Trump allies are expected to continue demanding that Johnson speak less and do more.

“I didn’t really care what words came out of his mouth,” she said. “Everyone’s attention to Mike Johnson is all about what he does, because he’s a really good talker. He’s a good talker.

“He’s not good at acting.”

Bradley Jay is Breitbart News’ Capitol Hill correspondent. Follow him on X/Twitter. @BradleyAJay.