Johnson Vows to Protect Jack Smith Hours After Democrats Save His Speakership

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) wasted little time after 163 Democrats voted to save his speakership to announce he would not use Congress’s constitutional power of the purse to stop special counsel Jack Smith’s “lawfare” against Donald Trump.

The Speaker, in some of his earliest public comments after Democrats saved his gavel, refused to make any attempt to defund Smith’s office as it continues its prosecutions of Trump.

“That’s not something you wave a wand and just eliminate the special counsel as a provision,” Johnson told Politico. “There is a necessity for a function like that, because sometimes the Department of Justice — which is an executive branch agency — can’t necessarily, without a conflict of interest, investigate or prosecute the president who’s their boss, or the president’s family.”

When asked straightforwardly if he would write language eliminating Smith’s job into appropriations bills, Johnson replied “no.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) disdainfully pointed out Johnson’s statement on X, writing, “Mike Johnson when asked if he will stop the witch hunt that aims to throw President Trump in jail FOR LIFE!”

Greene and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), who partnered to pull the trigger Wednesday night forcing a vote to eject Johnson after weeks pressuring him to end his coalition government with Democrats, had been pressuring Johnson to put up a fight against Democrats with spending bills and other must-pass legislation, such as the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) reauthorization, currently being considered.

Wednesday afternoon, Johnson, who had already surrendered leverage on the FAA bill to the Senate, unexpectedly scheduled a vote on a one-week FAA extension that would give Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) more time to finalize a package before the Friday night deadline. Johnson then canceled House votes for the remainder of the week, giving his members a long weekend while Schumer and his Senate continued preparations to once again jam the House.

Greene and Massie forced a motion to vacate vote hours later to let voters know where their representatives stood. The tally was revealing.

With a small but firm opposition to Johnson inside his own party, his speakership would be in jeopardy if Democrats revoked their support.

Trump earlier in the week signaled his support for defunding Smith. He signed a printout of a Greene statement about her defund strategy, writing “Great!” in his iconic magic marker.

Moments after Democrats saved Johnson’s speakership Wednesday night, Trump weighed in, suggesting the time was not right for ousting Johnson — although the time may come.

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

Bradley Jaye is a Capitol Hill Correspondent for Breitbart News. Follow him on X/Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.

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