Who is Mike Johnson, the new speaker of the House?

By Piper Hudspeth Blackburn and Shania Shelton | CNN

Rep. Mike Johnson, just elected to be Speaker of the House, has been a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump and was a key congressional figure in the failed efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

The Louisiana Republican was first elected to the House in 2016 and serves as vice chairman of the House Republican Conference, as well as GOP deputy whip, an assistant leadership role. An attorney with a focus on constitutional law, Johnson joined a group of House Republicans in voting to sustain the objection to electoral votes on January 6, 2021. During Trump’s first impeachment trial in January 2020, Johnson, along with a group of other GOP lawmakers, served a largely ceremonial role in Trump’s Senate impeachment team.

Johnson also sent an email from a personal email account in 2020 to every House Republican soliciting signatures for an amicus brief in the longshot Texas lawsuit seeking to invalidate electoral college votes from multiple states.

After the election was called in favor of Joe Biden on November 7, 2020, Johnson posted on X, then known as Twitter, “I have just called President Trump to say this: ‘Stay strong and keep fighting, sir! The nation is depending upon your resolve. We must exhaust every available legal remedy to restore Americans’ trust in the fairness of our election system.’”

Although Trump said he won’t endorse anyone in the speaker’s race Wednesday, he leant support to Johnson in a post on Truth Social.

“In 2024, we will have an even bigger, & more important, WIN! My strong SUGGESTION is to go with the leading candidate, Mike Johnson, & GET IT DONE, FAST!” Trump posted.

Johnson serves on the Judiciary Committee and the Armed Services Committee. He is also a former chair of the Republican Study Committee.

After receiving a degree in business administration from Louisiana State University and a Juris Doctorate from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Johnson took on roles as a college professor and conservative talk radio host. He began his political career in the Louisiana legislature, where he served from 2015 to 2017, before being elected to Congress in Louisiana’s Fourth District.

Rep. Kevin Hern, an Oklahoma Republican who chairs the influential Republican Study Committee, dropped out of the race for speaker Tuesday evening and backed Johnson.

“I want everyone to know this race has gotten to the point where it’s gotten crazy. This is more about people right now than it should be,” he said. “This should be about America and America’s greatness. For that, I stepped aside and threw all my support behind Mike Johnson. I think he’d make a great speaker.”

Johnson’s win in the secret-ballot race for the House Republican Conference’s nominee for speaker followed Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer’s decision to drop out of the race hours after Republicans chose him to be the nominee following resistance from the right flank of the conference and a rebuke from Trump. Reps. Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan have also dropped out after earlier seeking the speaker’s gavel.

Johnson joined the speakership race in a Saturday post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“I have been humbled to have so many Members from across our Conference reach out to encourage me to seek the nomination for Speaker. Until yesterday, I had never contacted one person about this, and I have never before aspired to the office,” he said in a posted letter. “However, after much prayer and deliberation, I am stepping forward now.”