House Speaker Mike Johnson campaigns with disgraced reality TV star Josh Duggar linked to Tony Perkins, accused sex offenders
Louisiana House Speaker Mike Johnson campaigned with Josh Duggar, now in prison for child pornography, and has close ties to sexual abusers.
Louisiana House Speaker Mike Johnson has been closely associated with individuals involved in sexual abuse scandals, including disgraced reality TV star Josh Duggar and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins. Despite his public condemnation of sexual immorality, Johnson has been connected to right-wing activists who have overlooked or tolerated sexual abuse of children and teens. Johnson proudly campaigned with Duggar, who is now in prison for child pornography, and referred to him as a "friend." Perkins, who recruited Duggar to work for the FRC, is a long-time friend and political ally of Johnson. Additionally, Johnson was tapped to be the inaugural dean of the Paul Pressler School of Law at Louisiana College, but the school never opened and Johnson resigned in 2012. Pressler, a retired judge and leader in the Southern Baptist Convention, was later accused of sexually abusing a minor, and evidence suggests that church leaders and local GOP politicians were aware of the allegations as early as 2004. Furthermore, Perkins was aware of an incident involving an associate, Wesley Goodman, who was accused of sexual impropriety with a teenager, but he tried to keep it quiet. Perkins has also been instrumental in shaping the agenda of the Council for National Policy, a secretive group of far-right conservatives, including pushing for anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion legislation. Despite these associations, Johnson's spokesperson has claimed that the Speaker was unaware of the claims regarding Pressler or Goodman. This raises questions about Johnson's close ties to individuals involved in sexual abuse scandals, and the extent of his knowledge of their actions.