Rep. George Santos Surrenders After Justice Department Files Criminal Charges Against Him
Embattled Rep. George Santos (R-New York) faces federal criminal charges from the Justice Department following a months-long investigation into his campaign conduct. He has been charged with wire fraud, money laundering, illegally procuring public funds and lying on federal disclosure forms.
Santos turned himself into authorities on Wednesday morning. New York and Washington prosecutors had been looking into potential ethics and campaign finance violations.
The criminal charges do not impact Santos’s Congressional standing unless there is further party pressure from top Republicans. Congress members with active investigations and criminal trials can legally maintain their seats during their trials.
The first-year congressman lied about his professional background, educational background, ethnicity and charitable donations.
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Santos faced public scrutiny for his lies before being sworn in. He gave up his House committee assignments weeks into his House tenure. Despite growing pressure, the congressman filed paperwork to seek reelection in 2024.
“I’ll look at the charges,” Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said following the report.
While leading Republicans haven’t taken steps to hold Santos accountable, some GOP members have joined the chorus of Democrats calling for Santos to step down.
“I reiterate my call for George Santos to step down,” fellow New York Republican Rep. Mike Lawler said in a statement. “Resign.”
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-New York) didn’t go as far as to ask Santos to resign. Speaking to reporters, Malliotakis pointed to Republican success during the midterm elections in New York state, saying Santos’ lying stands in the way of the GOP capitalizing on their wins.
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