Home Feature News Santos says he will not settle for plea deal and can run for reelection | CNN Politics

Santos says he will not settle for plea deal and can run for reelection | CNN Politics

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Santos says he will not settle for plea deal and can run for reelection | CNN Politics

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CNN
 — 

Embattled Rep. George Santos remained defiant on Wednesday after going through new federal felony prices, insisting he wouldn’t settle for a plea deal and that he’ll run for reelection subsequent 12 months.

Santos, a New York Republican, claimed that not one of the 23 prices in opposition to him had any benefit, contending that he would combat all of them in courtroom and battle requires his expulsion.

“I’m going to proceed to combat this as a lot as I stated up to now. Nothing has modified,” Santos instructed a small group of reporters in his workplace on Wednesday morning. “I believe I’ve made it clear that I’ll combat this to show my innocence. So yeah, I’m just about denying each final little bit of prices.”

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday unveiled a recent spherical of prices in opposition to Santos, known as a superseding indictment, that brings the full variety of counts in opposition to him to 23. This indictment is wider in scope and offers new and damaging particulars about Santos’ alleged efforts to personally revenue by his marketing campaign, together with allegations that he stole donors’ identities and made fraudulent prices on their bank cards to the tune of hundreds of {dollars}. Federal prosecutors additionally alleged he embezzled money from his firm and conspired along with his former marketing campaign treasurer to falsify donation totals.

Santos on Wednesday insisted he gained’t settle for any plea deal as he pushed again – typically with profanity – in opposition to the costs within the indictment.

“The No. 1 query you all ask me is, ‘Are you going to take a plea deal?’ No. The reply is, I can’t take a plea deal,” Santos stated, including that he thinks the marketing campaign funds prices are “bullshit.”

When pressed by reporters on the array of prices in opposition to him, Santos claimed he didn’t defraud any donors or faux fundraising objectives and stated he didn’t embezzle cash from the marketing campaign.

On the particular prices at present arrayed in opposition to him in federal courtroom, Santos claimed he had no clue who was racking up fraudulent bank card prices and acknowledged that he could have obtained extra in unemployment advantages than he ought to have.

“I by no means really I by no means transacted a single finance process within the marketing campaign. That’s why you pay treasurers and fundraisers and monetary advisers for a marketing campaign. That’s why you might have these hefty marketing campaign bills. Why would in God’s inexperienced earth I even deal with a bank card? It was simply not the case,” Santos stated, including that he has no thought who made the fraudulent prices.

In an indictment earlier this 12 months, the federal government charged Santos in collaborating in an unemployment insurance coverage scheme that resulted in him receiving greater than $24,000 in unemployment advantages. However Santos on Wednesday downplayed the cost, saying he could have obtained an additional examine or two and will show that.

“Even when I have been to have taken two checks too many, let’s make it very clear, no person on this nation will get indicted for taking a examine, or two greater than they’re entitled to, throughout (an) unemployment interval or in that case, within the fully extenuating circumstances of the pandemic. You don’t indict individuals for that, as a result of for those who have been going to indict each single American who obtained overpaid by unemployment advantages in the course of the pandemic, you’d just about indict half the nation at this level. So, you understand, it is a $1,100 indictment that I can simply write that examine and make the federal government complete,” he stated.

In Could, Santos, 35, pleaded not responsible to 13 federal prices. These preliminary prices included seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of cash laundering, one depend of theft of public funds and two counts of constructing materially false statements to the US Home of Representatives.

Elected final 12 months to symbolize a district that features elements of Lengthy Island and Queens, Santos has been underneath investigation in a number of jurisdictions and by the Home Ethics Committee. The congressman has admitted to creating some deceptive claims about his training and monetary standing however continues to disclaim the extra severe allegations. He has not admitted any crimes.

He introduced in April that he will search reelection in 2024 to symbolize New York’s third Congressional District, which is able to probably be aggressive turf subsequent 12 months. President Joe Biden would have gained the district by about 8 factors in 2020 underneath redrawn strains.

Democratic former Rep. Tom Suozzi, who left Congress for an unsuccessful 2022 gubernatorial bid, introduced earlier Tuesday that he’s operating for his previous seat.

“The insanity in Washington, DC, and the absurdity of George Santos remaining in the US Congress is clear to everybody,” he stated in an announcement on social media.

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