Rep. George Santos, a New York Republican who has been the subject of numerous investigations into his personal and campaign finances since his biography turned out to be a web of lies and exaggerations, said federal prosecutors in New York. prosecuted by an officer. the survey said.
The indictment follows a months-long investigation by the Eastern District of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which has conducted one of the investigations into Santos’ finances and campaigns.
The specific charges against Santos, 34, have not yet been released. Santos could appear in federal court as early as Wednesday, according to CNN, which first reported the charges.
Santos said last year, following a report published by The New York Times, that he lied to voters about his background, education and work history, and raised questions about his personal wealth and campaign finances. has been subject to rigorous scrutiny.
Subsequent reports uncovered evidence of possible wrongdoing. This includes unregistered funds allegedly raising millions of dollars for Santos’ campaign that appear to violate campaign finance laws, hundreds of thousands of dollars in unexplained spending, It included a bizarre series of his $199.99 payments. The receipt is below the required threshold.
The FBI, federal prosecutors and the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office are also investigating Santos’ brokering of a $19 million luxury yacht deal between two wealthy donors. The Securities and Exchange Commission also launched an investigation into the work Santos did for troubled financial firm Harbor City, his Capital.
Santos has also been charged with check fraud in Brazil. A hearing on the matter will be held on Thursday.
Santos, his attorneys and a spokeswoman for the Washington office did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. The Justice Department and his FBI declined to comment, and a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn could not be reached.
Santos admitted to falsifying many of his resumes and exaggerating other claims, but lawmakers supported other apparent fabrications and denied criminal activity. has also pleaded not guilty to , and has said those documents are the responsibility of his campaign finance officer, Nancy Marks.Marks’ attorney, Ray Perini, declined to comment Tuesday night.
Santos, who was elected in November to represent a constituency that includes parts of Long Island and Queens, despite mounting pressure from several investigations and numerous calls from his colleagues in the House to resign. , has adamantly insisted that he would not resign.
The timeline for the lawsuit against Mr. Santos is still unknown. But even if Mr. Santos was convicted, he could continue to serve in Congress. He will be removed from office only if two-thirds of the members of the House vote to oust him.
California House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who oversees a very tight Republican majority, would ask Santos to resign if convicted, but not before.
McCarthy said he had already asked lawmakers not to sit on the committee, but said Santos, like other lawmakers who have been indicted in the past, has the right to vote against the charges.
“Just follow the same pattern as ever,” he said. “If you are indicted, you will not be on the committee, you have the right to vote, but you must go to court.”
“In America, you’re innocent until proven guilty,” he added.
But some of McCarthy’s Republican colleagues were not lenient with their views of Santos. There are already a dozen Republicans on board, along with dozens of Democrats demanding Santos resign. Many of them doubled down on their calls for action on Tuesday.
“Time is ticking and George Santos should have resigned in December,” said Rep. Mark Molinaro, a Republican from New York. “He should have resigned in January. He should have resigned yesterday and he may resign today. But sooner or later, honesty and justice will be served.”
For months, McCarthy has decided Santos’ fate in Congress based on the results of an investigation by the House Ethics Committee. The committee, which is split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, said that Santos failed to properly fill out financial disclosure forms during his 2022 election campaign, violated federal conflict of interest laws, or committed other illegal activities. We are investigating whether you were involved.
Last month, Mr. Santos announced that he was seeking re-election. “I’m not going anywhere,” he told a group of Republicans at an event in Washington weeks later. “You’re going to have to drag my dead, cold body out of this facility.”
The report was contributed by Nicholas Fundos in New York and Katie Edmondson and Luke Broadwater in Washington.