George Santos Faces Criminal Charges by Justice Department

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Representative George Santos, the embattled New York Republican who took office despite fabricating much of what he had claimed about his education and career, has been indicted on federal charges, according to two people familiar with the case.

Santos, who was elected to a district that includes parts of Long Island and the New York City borough of Queens in 2022, has rejected demands from both Democrats and Republicans that he resign after his lies were exposed.

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Charges filed in the Eastern District of New York could be unsealed as early as Wednesday afternoon and the case could be prosecuted out of the Eastern District’s central office in Islip on Long Island, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Santos had been under investigation over possible campaign finance violations. In January, the Justice Department asked the Federal Election Commission to hold off on any enforcement action against him, a signal that there was an ongoing criminal investigation.

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Santos, his congressional office and his lawyer didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Danielle Hass, a spokeswoman for Brooklyn US Attorney Breon Peace, whose office has been prosecuting the case, declined to comment.

CNN, which reported on the charges earlier Tuesday, said he was expected to be in court as soon as Wednesday to answer the charges.

With Republicans holding the House by just five seats, Santos’s vote is a critical part of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s hold on power.

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McCarthy said Tuesday that he would ask Santos to resign if he’s found guilty. Santos had already been stripped of his committee assignments, an interim measure usually taken for members facing an indictment.

Santos, 34, was part of a Republican wave that crested over Long Island last November, as the GOP picked up House seats in New York State despite disappointing returns in midterm races elsewhere.

A month later, however, the New York Times reported that large parts of the congressman-elect’s life story were invented. During the campaign, he claimed to have worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, graduated from Baruch College in New York, played on a championship volleyball team and that he was Jewish.

None of those things were true.

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As reports about the indictment circulated, Representative Daniel Goldman, a New York Democrat, said Santos “should resign, the speaker should require him to resign, or we should bring the expulsion resolution already filed to the floor.”

In campaign finance filings, Santos reported that he had loaned his campaign $705,000. He claimed to be worth between $2.6 million to $11.2 million — with a salary of $750,000 — in a disclosure he filed before the election. It was a remarkable turnabout from his campaign two years earlier, when he disclosed no assets and an income of $55,000.

In March, he filed paperwork declaring his intention to seek reelection in 2024.

—With assistance from John Harney, Bill Allison, Justin Sink and Erik Wasson.

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