NEW YORK — Former Rep. George Santos is in talks to plead guilty to federal charges, prosecutors disclosed in a court filing Monday, 10 days after the onetime congressman was expelled from the House.
“The parties are presently engaged in plea negotiations with the goal of resolving this matter without the need for a trial,” Brooklyn federal prosecutors wrote in the filing, ahead of a court conference planned for Tuesday. Prosecutors added that “[t]he parties wish to continue those negotiations over the next thirty days” before meeting for an additional court conference.
Santos, a former first-term Republican from New York who was originally indicted in May and was hit with an updated indictment in October, faces an array of 23 charges, including wire fraud, money laundering and theft of public funds.
Prosecutors also allege he stole people’s identities, made charges on his donors’ credit cards without their authorization and submitted false campaign reports that listed nonexistent loans and contributions that were fabricated or stolen.
Santos has long maintained his innocence, calling the federal charges a “witch hunt.” “I’m going to take care of clearing my name,” he said following his initial arraignment.
But last month, the House Ethics Committee disclosed “substantial evidence” supporting federal prosecutors’ charges, as well as other salacious offenses, including that Santos spent campaign funds on Botox treatments and lavish Atlantic City trips with his husband.
Santos subsequently became the sixth person ever voted out of the House, with 311 members voting yes.
And in the time since prosecutors first charged the former congressman, he has seen several of his former associates plead guilty to related charges.
One of his former campaign aides pleaded guilty to impersonating a House leadership aide while soliciting contributions for Santos’ campaign, and another former Santos ally, his former campaign treasurer Nancy Marks, pleaded guilty to fraudulently reporting a nonexistent loan that Santos had claimed to have made to his campaign.