New York congressman George Santos Charged by Federal Prosecutors

New York congressman George Santos Charged by Federal Prosecutors – Congressman George Santos, a House Republican who has been facing scrutiny from the justice department over his campaign and financial activities during the 2022 election, has been charged by federal prosecutors in New York, as per sources familiar with the matter. The indictment, which was reported by CNN earlier, is currently under seal and its specifics are unknown.

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According to one individual, it is anticipated that Santos will surrender himself to the authorities at the federal court located in Brooklyn, possibly on Wednesday morning. At his arraignment, which is expected to take place during this initial appearance, the precise charges against him will probably be disclosed. Santos, who was told about the charges on Tuesday before they were widely reported, seemed to be caught off guard by the news of the indictment. 

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Neither his attorney nor a spokesperson from his congressional office responded to a request for comment. For several months, the US attorney’s office for the eastern district of New York and the FBI have been investigating Santos’s federal campaign filings for potential criminal activity, including the possible unlawful use of funds for non-election-related purposes. The irregularities in Santos’s filings, which were reported by various news outlets, were apparent.

These included 1,200 payments of $199.99, just two cents under the receipt threshold, an unregistered fund that raised a substantial amount of money for Santos, and around $40,000 for air travel. When Santos and his campaign ultimately amended the campaign finance disclosures, as they did 36 times, some donors claimed in interviews that the disclosures misrepresented the amount they gave. Additionally, some contributions later vanished entirely from the record.

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The irregularities also included odd payments, such as $11,000 to a company named Cleaner 123, ostensibly for “apartment rental for staff” for a home on Long Island that neighbors told the New York Times in interviews that Santos himself had been living in. Despite his extensive deception of voters, Santos has managed to avoid any significant political consequences thus far. This is likely because Republicans hold a narrow majority in the House, and Santos was a critical vote for House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy’s election as Speaker.

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Prior to the indictment, the most pressing issue facing Santos was a House ethics investigation. This investigation was being carried out by a congressional committee that infrequently disciplines House members. However, since news of the charges against Santos became public, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has indicated that he would request Santos to resign if he were found guilty. If Santos chooses not to resign, he could face pressure from his fellow Republicans in Congress to do so.

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