Rep. George Santos pleads not guilty to new federal charges

Rep. George Santos on Friday pleaded not guilty to new fraud and money laundering charges leveled against him earlier this month.

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The New York Republican is facing nearly two dozen charges, accused of lying to the Federal Election Commission, stealing identities and using the credit cards of people who donated to his congressional campaign without authorization. Authorities said he also reported non-existent loans and contributions.

Santos pleads not guilty

Update 12:10 p.m. EDT Oct. 27: Santos pleaded not guilty at a federal courthouse in New York, Reuters reported. A trial has been scheduled to begin on Sept. 9, 2024.

Authorities charged Santos with 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, two counts of falsifying records submitted to obstruct the FEC, two counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of access device fraud.

Earlier, officials charged the embattled lawmaker with seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds and two counts of making materially false statements to the United States House of Representatives.

In a social media post on Thursday, Santos reiterated that he has no plans to resign from office.

“I’m entitled to due process and not a predetermined outcome as some are seeking,” he wrote.

Original report: He is expected to plead not guilty after earlier denying initial charges filed in the case.

In May, he said the allegations levied against him were part of a “witch hunt” and said he had “plenty of evidence” of his innocence.

“I’m going to fight the witches,” he said. “I’m going to clear my name and I look forward to doing that.”

His former campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, pleaded guilty earlier this month to charges related to the investigation.

Santos’ arraignment Friday comes one day after Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, a Republican who also represents New York, formally introduced a resolution to expel Santos, pointing to his “long history of misrepresenting his and his family’s connections to major events, including the Holocaust, Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the Pulse nightclub shooting.”

On social media, D’Esposito added, “Santos is a stain on the House.”

Santos has resisted calls to step down since he admitted to lying about parts of his education and work history during his run for Congress.

He claimed to have graduated from New York’s Baruch College in 2010 and said that he worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, although neither the school nor the companies could confirm his statements, according to The New York Times. He also claimed that his mother was at the World Trade Center during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, though immigration records obtained by CNN contradicted him.

In an interview last year with the New York Post, Santos acknowledged that he embellished his resume, though he insisted that the fabrications would not impact his ability to get things done in the House. In January, he stepped down from his committee assignments amid the ongoing scrutiny. He is also facing a House ethics probe.

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