In the face of new criminal charges, accusing embattled New York Congressman George Santos of stealing donors’ identities to make fraudulent credit card charges, the Republican vowed that he would continue his 2024 run.
He indicated to reporters on Wednesday that the new charges wouldn’t get in the way of his re-election campaign.
“I’m going to continue to fight this as much as I said in the past. Nothing has changed,” Mr Santos said, CNN reported. “I think I’ve made it clear that I will fight this to prove my innocence. So yeah, I’m pretty much denying every last bit of charges.”
In a superseding indictment unsealed on Tuesday, the scandal-plagued New York Republican was accused of using donor cards to make multiple unlawful credit transactions without their owners’ knowledge, including moving the “vast majority” of a $12,000 transfer to his personal bank account, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
“As alleged, Santos is charged with stealing people’s identities and making charges on his own donors’ credit cards without their authorization, lying to the FEC and, by extension, the public about the financial state of his campaign,” US Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement.
Mr Santos also said that a plea deal is out of the question.
“The No. 1 question you all ask me is, ‘Are you going to take a plea deal?’ No. The answer is, I will not take a plea deal,” Mr Santos said. He added that he believes the campaign finances charges are “bulls***.”
Before the superseding indictment came into play, the congressman last month called reports of a plea deal “speculative” and “wildly inaccurate” after prosecutors asked for the delay of a court-ordered meeting, in part to continue “discussions” with the Republican representative.
He pleaded not guilty to the initial set of charges.
Meanwhile, in Congress, fellow New York Rep Anthony P D’Esposito announced on X on Wednesday that he will be “introducing an expulsion resolution to rid the People’s House of fraudster, George Santos.”
He added that the resolution will be co-sponsored by Reps Nick LaLota, Mike Lawler, Nick Langworthy, Brandon Williams, and Marc Molinaro.
Congressman Molinaro also posted on X on Tuesday following the news of the new charges: “I said he should resign and he should still resign.”
California Congressman Ted Lieu also spoke about the resolution to expel Mr Santos on Wednesday: “I believe if a motion to expel was put on the floor, it would pass. He can save himself that embarrassment by simply resigning.”
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