Johnson Announces He Will Protect Jack Smith After Democrats Saved Speakership

Following a pivotal vote that saw 163 Democrats rally behind him to safeguard his speakership, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has opted against employing Congress’s financial authority to hinder special counsel Jack Smith’s ongoing “lawfare” against former President Donald Trump.

In one of his earliest public statements after the vote, Johnson firmly stated his refusal to pursue defunding measures against Smith’s office, asserting its essential role in cases where conflicts of interest may arise within the Department of Justice regarding investigations into the President or their family.

When pressed about the possibility of including provisions to eliminate Smith’s position in appropriations bills, Johnson categorically replied with a “no.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) voiced her discontent with Johnson’s decision, framing Smith’s investigations as a “witch hunt” against Trump.

“Mike Johnson when asked if he will stop the witch hunt that aims to throw President Trump in jail FOR LIFE!” the Georgia congresswoman wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Greene, alongside Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), had been urging Johnson to adopt a more aggressive stance against Democrats in crucial legislative matters, such as the ongoing Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) reauthorization.

In an unexpected move, Johnson scheduled a vote on a one-week FAA extension, effectively surrendering leverage to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and extending negotiations. Subsequently, House votes were canceled for the remainder of the week, allowing members an extended weekend while Senate preparations continued.

Later, Greene and Massie forced a motion to vacate vote, revealing a small yet resolute opposition within Johnson’s own party, potentially imperiling his speakership should Democrats withdraw their support.

Trump had previously signaled his support for defunding Smith’s office, endorsing Greene’s defund strategy in a statement.

Trump, following the decision to preserve Johnson’s speakership, hinted that while the time for ousting Johnson may come, it was not opportune at present.

“We’re not in a position of voting on a Motion to Vacate,” Trump stated. “At some point, we may very well be, but this is not the time.”