The Union Democrat
Rep. Santos could be mulling guilty plea in federal fraud case
A new federal court filing in the criminal case against lying Rep. George Santos suggests that the first-term Republican may be in plea negotiations — though Santos denied he’s considering a deal.
In a motion filed Tuesday asking to push back Santos’ Thursday court appearance, federal prosecutors wrote that the government and Santos “are engaged in discussions regarding possible paths forward in this matter.”
A spokesman for Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Breon Peace declined to comment Tuesday, and Santos’ lawyer, Joseph Murray, did not immediately return requests for comment.
On Thursday, Santos texted Talking Points Memo saying the suggestion he was in plea talks as “wildly inaccurate.”
Santos was supposed to appear before Long Island Federal Court Judge Joanna Seybert Thursday, but lawyers from both sides are seeking an adjournment to Oct. 27.
Murray has received “voluminous” discovery material in the case, and the prosecutors predict they’ll be sending over even more material later this week, prosecutors wrote.
“Defense counsel has indicated that he will need additional time to review that material as well,” prosecutors wrote Tuesday.
Santos, who was indicted in May, has pleaded not guilty to wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and making false statements to Congress.
He’s accused of collecting Covid-related unemployment funds while working as an investment firm director, running a bogus PAC and using campaign donor money to buy designer clothes and pay his personal debts, and a string of lies to Congress about his assets and income.
Santos notoriously campaigned in 2022 on lies about his education, religion, family history, professional experience and property ownership.
Last month, one of his staffers, Samuel Miele, was also hit with federal charges — aggravated identity theft and four counts of wire fraud.
Miele is accused of impersonating House Speaker Kevin Mccarthy’s now-retired chief of staff, Dan Meyer, to dupe donors into giving Santos money during the 2020 and 2022 election cycles.
According to an indictment, Miele admitted the deception to Santos, and got a 15% commission for his efforts.