Republican Rep. George Santos is “trapped” and could plead guilty to criminal charges to reduce his future prison sentence, a former US attorney said.
Federal prosecutors have filed charges against the New York congressman, who is expected to appear in court as early as Wednesday, multiple media outlets reported on Tuesday. The exact nature of the charges has not yet been released, but they have been filed in the Eastern District of New York and are classified.
The New York Republican, who was elected in the fall of 2022, was quickly faced with questions about claims about his personal and professional past after winning his congressional election. He was investigated by the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office over allegations of misrepresentation in his campaign documents, but he denies it.
The House Ethics Committee has investigated alleged misconduct by the congressman. Santos said he will “stick with her 100%.” The bipartisan regulator, the Campaign Legal Center, also filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission in early January, saying he had “violated federal campaign finance laws.”
US Rep. George Santos (R-NY) waits for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress in the US Capitol House of Representatives February 7, 2023 in Washington, DC. Santos is reportedly facing criminal charges in New York. Win McNamee/Getty Images
Harry Litman, also a former deputy assistant attorney general, wrote on Twitter that Santos “will maintain his innocence and will be determined to fight these outrageous allegations etc.”
“Santos will plead guilty to minimize his jail time and fine,” Litman said. “He’s trapped and probably broke.”
Newsweek has emailed Santos’ office and the Justice Department for comment.
When contacted by the Associated Press, Santos replied that the reports of the indictment were “news to me.”
“You’re the first person to call me about this,” he said.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told CNN on Tuesday that he would “look at the indictments.”
Shortly after winning the November 2022 election, a New York Times report said Santos lied about his work on Wall Street.
“My sins here brighten up my CV. I’m sorry,” Santos told the New York Post in December 2022. He’s also admitted to lying about his college background, adding, “I didn’t get a college degree.”
Santos has denied several other allegations against him, including being involved in a GoFundMe campaign raising funds for a US Marine veteran’s dying dog. Santos said in January that “the reports that I would let a dog die are shocking and insane.”
He was repeatedly confronted with calls for his resignation, including from his own party, but resisted calls for his resignation. In mid-April, Santos announced his intention to run again for his congressional seat in 2024, saying he was “proud to announce my candidacy” for New York’s 3rd congressional district.
In a separate post Tuesday, Litman wrote that Santos “will be, at most, a one-term congressman.”
“The question is will he be less,” Litman tweeted.