Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: George Santos has the locks changed on him at his ex-office

Ex-Congressman George Santos is the first Republican Congressman expelled from Congress. And the locks were immediately changed on the office door, as some Hill staffers posed for selfies.

Cook Political Report:

NY-03: With Santos Expulsion Likely, Toss Up Special Looms on Long Island

Per New York law, Gov. Kathy Hochul would be required to proclaim an open seat within ten days of a vacancy and schedule a special election to be held between 70 and 80 days thereafter. That would mean a stand-alone special election in late February. President Biden carried this Nassau County seat 53%-45% in 2020 but GOP gubernatorial nominee Lee Zeldin carried it over Hochul 56%-44% in 2022, per Bloomberg’s Greg Giroux.

The big difference between a special election and a regular election (if Santos were allowed to serve out his term) is that per New York law, there are no primaries held for special elections and county party leaders get to select nominees. So even though dozens of candidates on both sides have been vying to replace Santos, all the power now rests with two party bosses: Nassau Democratic chair Jay Jacobs and Nassau GOP Chair Joe Cairo.

The New York Democratic party has its own issues, but the likely D candidate for this toss up district is former Rep. Tom Suozzi, who gave up the seat to run against Kathy Hochul for governor.


Dana Milbank/Washington Post:

The last temptation of George Santos

Santos alleged that “many members of Congress have rap sheets” (he didn’t name them) and said “I will be filing a slew of complaints in the coming hours of today and tomorrow” with the Ethics Committee against his soon-to-be-former colleagues.

And he bashed the institution that was about to oust him. “It represents chaos — chaos — because we have a House that doesn’t work for the people,” he said, vowing to “take that story back to the American people” of a place where “no real work is getting done.” …

It was a bravura performance by the man who had become the embodiment of this year’s unparalleled dysfunction in the House. During his ludicrous tenure, he was lawless, dishonest, vindictive, attention-grabbing, ignorant, goofy and ineffective. So was the House — and this week was yet another entry in the annals of maladministration.


US appeals court says Trump must face lawsuits over US Capitol attack

 A U.S. appeals court on Friday ruled that Donald Trump must face civil lawsuits over his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol by his supporters, rejecting the former president’s claim that he is immune.

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found that Trump was acting “in his personal capacity as a presidential candidate” when he urged his supporters to march to the Capitol on the day of the riot. U.S. presidents are immune from civil lawsuits only for official action

Capitol police and members of Congress can now sue. And it helps Jack Smith’s Federal January 6 case down the road. Raw Story quotes former Federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann:

“His, really, remaining shot for presidential immunity is the Supreme Court, and that seems like a really long shot in this case.”

He went on, “I think that Judge Chutkan, quite rightly, was waiting to see if this decision would come down and provide guidance, because she is a district court judge in the same circuit so that she is going to be bound by any decision that comes from the circuit.

“… I would think that we could expect a decision next week,” Weissmann added.

Joe Biden was no fan of the [still dead] Henry Kissinger:

Fabiola Santiago/Miami Herald:

If Moms for Liberty co-founder had sex with a woman, why is she targeting Florida’s gays?

Wouldn’t it be ironic if the woman who led an ultra-conservative movement in Florida education that sought to put gays back in the closet was having a long-term, three-way lesbian relationship with a lover she shared with her husband, the state’s GOP chairman? That’s the allegation being made about Bridget Ziegler — co-founder of far-right Moms for Liberty and a Sarasota School Board member — by an unnamed woman accusing Christian Ziegler of rape and sexual battery. Hypocrisy on steroids, if true.


Politico interviewed Steve Scalise:

“The way that Kevin got removed was a shock to everybody, including myself. I didn’t want it to happen the way it did. And yet when it happened, you don’t have a choice. There’s an opening for speaker, and you have to make a quick decision.”

He may not have wanted it to happen “the way it did”, but it sure sounds like he wanted it to happen.

Charles P Pierce/Esquire magazine:

Are the Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans Kidding With This?

On Thursday they did everything to clog the committee’s business short of whipping out flamethrowers and setting the room alight.

Thursday was a merry old holiday gala in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Democratic majority on the committee recommended two judges for confirmation, they also voted to issue subpoenas to Maximum Sugar Daddies Harlan Crow and Leonard Leo to come in and talk about techniques for pricing Supreme Court justices. The Republicans did everything to clog the committee’s business short of whipping out flamethrowers and setting the room alight. In doing so, they all played to type. Senator Jubilation T, Cornpone of Louisiana drawled out some cracker-barrel nonsense that he’d obviously picked up at Oxford during his time as a Rhodes Scholar. Senator Marsha Blackburn was a sack of hair. Senator Tom Cotton, the bobble-throated slapdick from Arkansas, cemented his reputation as Rock Santorum’s successor as a colossal dick. (Cotton probably sneers when he prays.) Senator John Cornyn’s light continues to dim. And Senator Lindsey Graham was half avenging angel and half poor soul. The basic Republican position was that if the Democratic majority behaved like a majority, then they would do worse when and if they were back in the majority. Cotton was particularly noxious on the subject.

There’ll be a lot of consequences coming if you go down this road. I’ve cautioned a lot of you…Listen to me. I’ve cautioned a lot of you… Is your plan to end all debate or are you going to rely on someone whispering in your ear?


Who you gonna believe, Fox news pundits or your lying eyes?


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