House Speaker Mike Johnson’s adopted son has had a string of run-ins with law enforcement for crimes ranging from drug possession to theft since leaving the care of the Louisiana Republican congressman and his wife Kelly, records show, but he’s since turned his life around.
The Johnsons met Michael T. James, now 40, when he was a teenager while the couple were doing charity work for a Christian ministry in Baton Rouge, La., in 1996.
The newlyweds took the troubled then-14-year-old into their home and filed court papers to become his legal guardians in 1999 after James became homeless.
However, once the Johnsons moved from Baton Rouge to Mike’s hometown of Shreveport in 2002, James stayed behind and struck out on his own, as he was then legally an adult.
Since 2003, James has been arrested more than a dozen times, according to records reviewed by The Post.
Charges against him in Florida ranged from marijuana and cocaine possession, theft, possession of a concealed weapon, violating a protective order and possession of drug paraphernalia.
On two occasions he was sentenced to prison time, serving 37 days on the cocaine possession rap in 2003 and a 30-day term in 2007 on a retail theft charge. He was also ordered by a court to take an anger management class in 2017.
James is understood to have moved around to a number of places during this time period, at times living with his biological mother and older brother, moving to both Florida and Texas.
Additional court documents seen by The Post indicated James was indicted on a theft charge in 2003 while living in Houston. However, the case was dismissed in 2013.
Mike Johnson, 51, told The Post in a statement Friday that “I believe God intended for Michael to be a part of our lives. Kelly and I have always seen him as one of our own.
“Despite any mistakes he’s made, we love Michael and are blessed to have him in our family.”
The Johnsons have four biological children in addition to James.
When a Post reporter went to the most recently listed address for James in Carson, Calif., this week a woman said he hadn’t been living at the house for months, but was still involved in his four children’s lives.
“If the Johnsons hadn’t taken me in as a teenager, my life would look very different today,” James told DailyMail.com this week. “I would probably be in prison or I might not have made it at all.”
Sources told The Post James has long been committed to turning his life around and works as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) in California.