CNN revealed on Tuesday that federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against embattled Rep. George Santos (R-NY). The first-term representative admitted to repeated lies about his background and qualifications but resisted calls to step aside.
The outlet reported that Santos will appear in a courtroom in New York’s Eastern District, where the charges are now sealed.
There is no word on the specific nature of the charges. As for Santos himself, the Associated Press quoted him after he was informed of the legal action as responding, “This is news to me. You’re the first to call me about this.”
However, it is known that the FBI and the Justice Department have been probing accusations of false statements made in Santos’ campaign filings. He is also under investigation in several jurisdictions and by the House Ethics Committee.
Congress is looking into whether Santos committed illegal acts in his 2022 campaign, did not correctly disclose required information on House statements, and ran afoul of federal laws with regard to his position in a financial firm.
Federal prosecutors file criminal charges against New York Rep. George Santos, three sources tell CNN. Exact nature of the charges are not known. https://t.co/ltBsyV2oI2
— CNN (@CNN) May 9, 2023
His office previously declared that he is cooperating with the House investigation.
Santos was initially a rising star, but his base began to crumble late last year when many of his boasts about his past were called into question.
He was elected in November on a day that many Republicans predicted would see a “red wave,” but his victory was one of the few positives on election night. He became the first GOP candidate self-identified as gay to win a U.S. House seat.
Santos falsely claimed while campaigning that he was Jewish, and he listed several high-profile firms that he said he previously worked for. Many called for his resignation, but House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) responded, “in America, you’re innocent until proven guilty.”
Many of those assertions were determined to be false. In an interview with the New York Post, Santos admitted that he was not truthful about his college experience and employment history.
He confessed that he was not a college graduate and had never directly worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup as he said on his resume. He had done business with them through a former employer.