"Embarrassment": George Santos vows to stay in Congress despite facing 23 felony charges

George Santos Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
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Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., is facing a new set of criminal charges in a superseding indictment unsealed Tuesday, accusing him of stealing family members' identities and pilfering thousands from donors' credit cards, exacerbating his legal troubles five months after he was charged with a slate of other financial crimes, The Washington Post reports. According to the indictment, the freshman congressman has incurred 10 additional charges: one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of falsifying records submitted to obstruct the Federal Election Commission, two counts of making materially false statements to the FEC, two counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of access device fraud.

Santos' new charges came days after his once-trusted campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, pleaded guilty to fraud conspiracy and implicated the Republican congressman in a plot to doctor up his campaign finance reports with a fake loan and fake donors. He was charged in May with 13 counts for allegedly defrauding donors and wrongfully claiming unemployment benefits, ultimately pleading not guilty. Santos, who is due in court on Oct. 27 on the new charges, told reporters outside the U.S. Capitol that he does not intend to resign from office or take a plea deal, vowing to prove his "innocence" while daring colleagues to expel him. “They can try to expel me, but I pity the fools that go ahead and do that and think that that's the smartest idea,” Santos said, according to Politico. “They're in tough elections next year, but they're setting precedent for the future.”

"This office will relentlessly pursue criminal charges against anyone who uses the electoral process as an opportunity to defraud the public and our government institutions,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said, in part, in a statement Tuesday. "Rep. George Santos’ outrageous and deceptive conduct has now resulted in a much expanded new indictment," Noah Bookbinder, the president of ethics watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, wrote on X, formerly Twitter. "His continued presence in Congress is an embarrassment and a disservice to his constituents. He needs to resign."