Rep. Santos Pleads Not Guilty to New Fraud Charges

Savannah Pointer
By Savannah Pointer
October 27, 2023Politics
Rep. Santos Pleads Not Guilty to New Fraud Charges
Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) walks out of a federal courthouse in Long Island in Central Islip, N.Y., on Oct. 27, 2023. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) pleaded not guilty to 10 new charges of multiple frauds, including unauthorized use of campaign supporters’ credit cards for tens of thousands of dollars worth of purchases.

The New York lawmaker’s attorney entered the plea on his behalf at a Long Island courthouse on Oct. 27.

The 10 charges were initially released in a superseding indictment filed on Oct. 10, bringing the total to 23 indictments, including 13 filed earlier this year.

Among the charges (pdf) faced by the 35-year-old first-term congressman are one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of making materially false statements to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), two counts of falsification of records submitted to the FEC, two counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of access device fraud.

In May, Mr. Santos pleaded not guilty to 13 federal charges. They were seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one act of theft from the public treasury, and two counts of making materially false statements to Congress.

The morning before his court appearance, some of his New York Republican colleagues pushed forward their campaign to have him expelled from Congress.

Mr. Santos left the courthouse without speaking to the media but did smile and wave at a group of protesters across the street who were shouting insults at him.

Despite calls for his resignation from several New York colleagues, Mr. Santos has continued to represent his New York district in Congress.

In a motion submitted on Thursday, Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, whose district borders the one that elected Mr. Santos, said that the neighboring lawmaker should be ejected from the House because he is unfit to represent his voters. Joining him were four other New York Republicans—Reps. Nick LaLota, Michael Lawler, Marc Molinaro, and Brandon Williams.

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) endorsed an investigation into Mr. Santos’s actions by the Ethics Committee at the time that the charges were leveled.

Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson spoke to the issue of the New York lawmaker’s potential expulsion during an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Oct. 26, saying that his decision could come down to an issue of the majority in the House.

“Here’s the reality: we have a four-seat majority in the House, it is possible that that number may be reduced even more in the coming weeks and months,” Mr. Johnson said. “And so we’ll have what may be the most razor-thin majority in the history of the Congress. We have no margin for error.

“And so George Santos is due due process, right? My understanding is I think he’s appearing in a federal court tomorrow, and we have to allow the process to play itself out. That’s what our system of justice is for.”

Mr. Johnson went on to point out that Mr. Santos is “not convicted” and has only been charged with the crimes: “So if we’re going to expel people from Congress just because they’re charged with a crime, you know … that’s a problem.”

Mr. Santos’s office did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’s request for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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