As of Wednesday, Congressman-elect George Santos still hadn’t bothered to open an office in his district or hire a staff to run it. This raised questions about whether Santos, who is under federal and local criminal investigation in the U.S., and is facing potential extradition to Brazil, and has already vowed not to seek reelection in 2024, is even going to bother going through the motions of pretending to be a real member of Congress. Now it’s gotten even uglier.
It turns out George Santos has in fact hired someone for his congressional staff: a Steve Bannon associate. This sets off alarm bells on a number of levels. For one thing, Bannon is a right wing extremist and an insurrectionist. For that matter, Bannon’s latest stunt centered around trying to convince Jair Bolsonaro to try to remain in office after losing reelection in the race for President of Brazil. And now Santos, who’s about to be criminally charged in Brazil, has hired a Bannon associate?
This whole thing just keeps getting weirder. George Santos has managed to avoid the headlines for a few days, but only due to the sheer spectacle of House Republicans’ embarrassing inability to elect a Speaker of the House. Once that debacle finally dies down, the media’s focus will be right back on Santos. House Republicans seemingly don’t have the guts to expel him, which means House Democrats will keep making Santos the poster child for Republican dishonesty and ineptitude until something finally gives.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report