House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Tuesday said Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) will be removed from Congress if the House Ethics Committee finds he broke the law.

Why it matters: It’s the closest McCarthy has come to outlining potential consequences for the Long Island freshman amid a battery of investigations into revelations he fabricated huge swaths of his resume.

  • In addition to the internal House Ethics probe, federal, state and local investigators are also probing various elements of the resume scandal for potential law-breaking.

What he’s saying: “If for some way when we go through Ethics and he has broken the law, then we will remove him,” McCarthy told reporters at a press conference outside his Capitol office on Tuesday.

  • Still, McCarthy said he will protect his embattled colleague for the moment. “You know why I’m standing by him? Because his constituents voted for him,” he said.
  • “I do not have the power, simply because I disagree with somebody on what they have said, that I will remove them from elected office.”

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