George Santos faces arraignment on new fraud indictment in New York
I’m going to fight the witch hunt. I’m going to take care of my name and I look forward to doing that today on power and politics. The indictment of Congressman George Santos. This is the beginning of the ability for me to address and defend myself. The embattled lawmaker denying wrongdoing as he faces federal charges, the allegations, the lies and what comes next? Power and politics starts right now. I’m Doug Geed. Welcome to this special edition of News Twelve’s Power and Politics. This scandal surrounding Congressman George Santos Boyd came to *** head this week, the Republican who represents much of Nassau county and the northeast part of Queens arraigned in federal court, Central Iceland. Here’s *** look at what’s in that 13 count indictment. Santos is facing the justice department accuses Santos of fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and making false statements. Santos has pleaded not guilty and says he plans to remain in office and right now, his defense team mulling over the indictment as it prepares for an incredibly high profile court battle, have to look at all the evidence, share the evidence we have and see if we can come to terms with the government. And that evidence of course, is what led federal prosecutors to that 13 count indictment for *** closer look at those charges and how Santos’s defense team may approach this case. Let’s bring in criminal law Professor Richard Klein from Touro Law Center, Richard, thanks for joining us. Good, good to see you. I want to begin actually with *** comment that the defense attorney made there. I found that kind of interesting where he said something like, uh, right now we need to see if we can come to terms with the government. Don’t want to read anything into that. But doesn’t that sound almost like throwing out *** line for, for *** plea deal? Absolutely. I don’t know what come to term come to terms can mean other than we’re gonna somehow reach an accord, which will mean that we’re gonna go ahead and plead guilty. Otherwise we have *** process in this country. It’s not *** matter of coming to terms except maybe coming to terms. Let’s agree on *** date on which we can go to trial. So who knows what that comment meant? I think the attorney is probably regretting ever having made it. Yeah, I’ve never heard an attorney making *** statement like that right at the beginning as your first comment, uh, let’s talk about some of these charges just for our audience who knows many of whom know very little about law wire fraud, things like that. How serious are these charges? Well, I think they’re pretty serious. Maybe if I can discuss them in terms of dealing with the simplest first, which is just theft of public funds. And there’s only one count of that. And the allegation is that George Santos applied for and received for unemploy, received unemployment insurance. He got 24,000, um, because he was unemployed, he maintained. But the records show that in fact, he had earned an income of 100 and $20,000 *** year from *** Florida based company. Um So that’s the theft of public funds. And the claim of course is that that money should be done to help people who are really unemployed and not someone who was earning 100 and $20,000 *** year. And secondly, we have the false statements, the financial disclosure forms, everyone, everyone who runs for Congress. Um and then when they’re elected have to file forms with the US House of Representatives. And the allegation is that he lied on those forms. Uh He lied in terms of overstating the funds he had in his checking and savings account and also as far as what his income was. So we have two counts of false statements made um on the house financial disclosure forms and the wire for father saying he set up essentially *** fake company who would collect donations for him. When in fact, allegedly he kept that money for himself. This indictment came uh uh so quickly, I don’t mean to belittle federal prosecutors, but was this such obvious evidence, if true? That’s what led to the speed of this. Well, it came so quickly but there were an awful lot of people and an awful lot of resources working on this. We know it was the FBI, the US Attorney’s office, the Nassau County DAS office, the Queen’s Das office, the Internal Revenue Service. So all of those different organizations were working investigating this. So an awful lot of resources and those resources can go quickly. Um And obviously there was *** desire here to get him as quickly as they can. But yeah, I mean it is, it’s quick. All right, Richard Klein, this interview was quick. I’m sorry, but we have *** lot to get to appreciate your time. Thanks for joining us, Richard Klein from the Toro Law Center. Sure. Ok. Thanks *** lot. Bye bye. And Santos was back in Washington Thursday. Republicans signing new legislation, border security, asylum seekers. GOP with that narrow four vote majority in the house and Republican leaders, they’ve taken the position that the whole process needs to play out before they try to force him to resign or expel Santos himself says he’s going to stay there and in fact, he has already announced he’s seeking re election for more on the political ramifications of this. And I have been *** political strategist, Mike de works for Republicans, both parties. Thanks for your time here, Mike. What, what struck you about this? Just more of the same. I mean, he’s delusional. Uh, I mean, to say that he’s going to run for office again. It’s like, well, gee, you know, the, the Democrats sure don’t want to, your own party doesn’t want you and the vast majority of your constituents don’t want you, you know, you’re gonna run for reelection with *** lot of support there. I mean, it’s just, you know, it’s almost like, like you’re just ignoring this big storm that’s next. You pretending it’s not there and that it will go away. That seems to be the history here. And, you know, you, you made *** good point in, in, in, in, in talking to the professor, uh that this is lightning fast for *** federal indictment of this nature to come down because normally you have to follow the money and usually when people have done things like money laundering and fraud, they have made great pains to hide the money trail. So it takes *** long time usually for the FBI and whatever to unravel that and follow that money trail. So what that means to me is that this evidence was so overwhelming and obvious that they could move this quickly on an indictment and that he wasn’t that careful just like he wasn’t that careful on everything else. The wire, the wire fraud, you know, as we were explaining it there, uh, he hired *** essentially *** company or *** consultant or Super PAC to collect donations for him. But then allegedly took 50,000 of that money, his own expenses. But also, as Professor Klein pointed out the theft of services claiming you’re unemployed to get money while you’re employed. If that is true. I legally, I would think the wire fraud carries more consequences. But I think with the average person doesn’t that sort of thing, I’m claiming I’m unemployed and getting free government money while I’m working, I almost feel like that would anger constituents more. I would most certainly would. I mean, I will tell you that, you know, in 40 years of, of, of polling and political work, uh, when people take advantage of, of their position, um, and, and they take an advantage that the average voter cannot take themselves, you know, it gets them very, very angry, you know, and, and the thing is like, he don’t have any much support as, as it is 70 something percent of his, of his constituents want him to resign. So, all right. So if this is *** alienates another 10, what really difference does that make? He, he had such trouble getting *** staff together and then they left and new people came in. I forget what his lawyer would tell him if you’re his political advisor. What do you do? And don’t say step away from the job? Well, no, actually, I mean, at this point it really doesn’t matter he’s given, he had bargaining power prior to taking the oath of office. He has no power anymore. He’s now in *** completely weakened position. There’s nothing to, at, at, at this point. So, um, and at this point, I think he’s actually enjoying his Andy Warhol time. I think, you know, look, the whole country is talking about him. You know, news outlets in, in California and Texas are talking about George Santos. Uh, uh, he’s never gonna have that kind of fame again. Uh, I, I think he’s, I think he’s gonna keep this going for as long as he can and, and notice that, that defense that seems to have come into such play in recent years, the witch hunt, blame the accusers. I didn’t do anything. You’re out to get me and it’s all lies. Well, I think part of that is he’s trying to take *** page out of the Donald Trump playbook, which is, you know, if you say something longer and louder, you know, your, your followers will at least believe you, you know, and, and the problem here is he’s not Donald Trump. He doesn’t have Donald Trump’s gravitas, so it’s not working for him. Ok, Mike Dey, I appreciate your time as always. Uh, next up for you, *** former political heavyweight weighing in, in the Santos saga. We’re talking about Peter King, the former Long Island congressman. He’s standing by. That’s next here on News Twelve’s power and politics. Be right back. My reaction is finally, he’s not *** public servant. I wouldn’t trust him if his moral compass is being called into question. Let him go. Welcome back to News. 12 Power and Politics. You just heard from only *** small handful of the Long Islanders we spoke with about congressman George Santos who they elected to represent them. Joining us. Now, another man who represented Long Islanders in Congress for decades, Peter King, *** Republican from Seaford Mr King. Appreciate your time. Great to be here. Thank you. So *** few weeks ago, Santos actually announced he’s running for re election in *** year and *** half. You scoffed at that and said, I’m not sure he’s going to make it through summer. So you’re clairvoyant or you had connections with federal prosecutors. Now, I didn’t have any connections, but I just felt this is such *** clear case, you know, often in uh if it’s *** corruption investigation or financial uh investigation, they have to go through plow through bank records and uh going back years and everything else and usually it’s well hidden in this case, it was all out in the open. I mean, basically everything he’s done as far as the phony fundraising, the misappropriation of funds is all right there in many ways was the easiest case for the prosecutors to, uh you know, uh go after him on now. I think there’s gonna be more coming after this. Like, for instance, the indictment does not really talk about where he got the $700,000 from whose money was that? I think that could be included in *** super seating indictment, but I think the federal defense wanted to get it out there, get the indictment out there to put him on notice and put people on notice that this is going to move quickly. Yes, I want to bring that up that he claimed he made $750,000 from his Devolder organization. And I think between one and 5 million in dividends, federal prosecutors said in *** statement that’s simply not true. But then, you know, do, do, do, do, do we’re waiting for more. So you think that could come and also the district attorney in your county there? And Donnelly said that she’s pretty much continuing her probe as well. Yeah, this is gonna go on now, the problem is this may not come to trial for another year, year and *** half, which is before or after the next election and also he’d be in Congress all that time. What I’m hoping is that this is an incentive for the House Ethics Committee to speed up its investigation. I’m not saying it rush to justice, but what they should do is is get all the information they have, get it as quickly as they can. And if, if they can show serious violations, which I think they can, then they can, uh, recommend that he be expelled from the House of Representatives. And I think that would move the Congress once it’s there, once that actual recommendation is there to expel him, that gives everyone the cover they need. I’m sure you get every Democrats to vote for it and you have to pick up 75 to 80 Republicans. And to me this goes beyond party politics. This, he’s really *** cancer on the uh the US Congress. And it’s really *** reflection, unfortunately, very bad reflection on Long Island. And in fact, right now, the third district does not have *** congressman. If someone wants to work with this guy, nobody trusts him. No one believes him. Well, it does. The speaker, uh, Kevin mccarthy deserve ***, *** hit here. Uh, you know, with his very slim majority of four and Santos strongly voted with him. You know, he’s, he’s, he’s kind of taken, uh, you know, *** back seat if Santos was *** Democrat, I’m sure he would have been calling for him to resign. And I’m also sure that if Kevin had *** 10, 15, 20 vote majority, he’d be, uh, uh, you know, telling, uh, Santos to resign or, or, uh, he’ll be threatened with expulsion. Now, Kevin mccarthy is *** tough spot but his position has actually changed *** bit because he did say, uh about, uh, you know, being, uh convicted in court, which again could take *** year and *** half. He also mentioned the ethics committee for that. I think it’s the first time he’s really mentioned that. So I, I think, uh, again, they can slow walk this thing, which I think would be bad. And I’m, again, I’m not calling for *** rush to judgment, but I’m saying that someone’s there, they should be able to move through it fairly quickly and, uh, to have the longer he’s in congress, the more of *** stained it is on the entire Congress, what they’re trying to do. And also if I can be very political about it in, in this fall to have George Santos, uh hung around the next of every Republican running for local office here when they have nothing to do with them. But listen, I, you know, yeah, I, I understand what Democrats would do. They would basically say we’re the party of Joe Santos, we have to show we’re not. Yeah. Yeah. Santos represents *** good chunk of Nassau County. There’s three other Long Island congressmen, all Republicans all shunning him. They don’t even talk with him. So, you know, to your comment that you just made about the third district essentially has no congress person. How was there anyone in your tenure there? That was so shunned. What happens? I mean, literally, people won’t even talk to them as they walk by in the hall. Much less work with them on any kind of legislation. I’ll be honest with you when I was there over the course of 28 years. *** number of people were indicted at one time or another and no, they really weren’t shunned. They sort of, they were given *** certain bit of privacy. Uh, none of them were charged with heinous crimes. They were generally, uh, you know, financial crimes, things like that. I’m not minimizing it. But then that’s the type of thing that would, uh, shock somebody. So, basically they were left alone. Santos is different because he’s such *** compulsive liar and he’s putting himself out front. I mean, I, I’ve been told that, uh, I know when I was there and still the first morning back of each week, the Republican party holds *** conference of all the members to go over the agenda for the week and, and if anyone wants to say something, they get up and speak, I think I spoke twice in 28 years. It’s basically, uh, not, you know, not expect you to say much of that. It’s just more of *** briefing session every time. Apparently Santos is on his feet going on about how important he is, how unfair the other New York Republicans are to him, how important he is to the party, all this stuff. He’s just an annoying person besides being dishonest and I never met anyone whether it’s in politics or law anywhere who is just totally, uh, morally corrupt as far as you can’t believe anything he says, I remember, you know, people exaggerate they say they graduated from school, they only went there for three years. They say they do this and there’s always some element of truth to what they’re saying. This is totally everything about him is *** lie. Last, last, last, quick question here and answer if you can, um, you know, many times corrupt public corruption cases like this don’t go to trial and ends in *** plea. His lawyer actually said, made *** comment, something like, you know, we need to find um, an agreement or something of those terms. I forget the exact words, you know, with the government come to terms with the government. How do you see this playing out? I know it’s *** dangerous game. But, you know, many times you say, OK, I’ll plead guilty, I’ll resign that sort of thing. And pardon me here for this, you got about 20 seconds if you can answer that. Yeah, sure. I got it. Now. Uh Basically what II I would, I would say on that is that uh he can use his seat in Congress as *** uh as leverage, use that saying I’m gonna stay in Congress as long as I can. I’m gonna fight this all away. But if you give me *** better deal, I’ll step down. So he may try to use this as *** bargaining wedge for himself. All right. But again, he’s *** nut. So who knows what he’ll do? All right, Pete King. Good insight. As always Good to see you. I hope you’re doing well. Thank you, Doug. You too. All right. Still to come for you tonight. News shows power and politics. *** deeper look at the indictment and the charges against George Santos including unemployment benefits. He allegedly took while earning money. We’ll be right back. I think he needs to go right away. I hope that he resigns. I want to concentrate on things like the border, China and debt. He’s *** complete embarrassment. He should have resigned *** long time ago. He said embarrassment to our party. He’s an embarrassment to the United States Congress walk through like every American you have your day in court and go through just like another member inside the house. Santos, we never put on committee so he won’t serve on committee. He will go through his time of trial and find out how the All right, that’s just some of what Santos’s fellow republicans are saying in Washington DC. Santos remains an active member of Congress and like any American, he’ll have *** chance to defend himself from those federal charges. As we’ve reported, the indictment contains 13 separate counts for more on how prosecutors say Santos carried out his alleged fraud. Here’s news, 12 investigative reporter Rachel Yank. This is *** long list of serious charges including money laundering and wire fraud. This 13 count indictment accuses Congressman George Santos of devising *** scheme to line his own pockets and defraud campaign donors. Prosecutors say Congressman George Santos persuaded his supporters via emails, text messages and phone calls to give money to *** company he controlled under the guise that money will benefit his campaign such as paid TV ads. Instead. Santos allegedly transferred $50,000 of campaign funds to his personal bank account. According to the indictment, he used the money for cash, designer clothes, credit card payments, *** car payment, personal debt during the pandemic. Santos allegedly applied for and received nearly $25,000 in unemployment benefits but prosecutors say at that same time, Santos was earning *** six figure salary as regional director at *** Nevada investment firm. These candidate financial disclosure forms also being challenged. Prosecutors say Santos lied about his multi million dollar assets and 750,000 salary leaving federal court. The embattled congressman had this to say I’ve been complying throughout this entire process. I have no desire not to comply at this point. They’ve been gracious in there. Now, I’m going to have to go and fight to defend myself. Santos was released on *** $500,000 bond and his travel is restricted to New York, Washington DC and places in between, he could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted back to you. All right. And again, Santos pleading not guilty to that indictment. He was released on *** $500,000 bond and the Republican currently free as you heard to travel between Long Island and Washington where he’s still taking part in house activities as for what is next, Santos due back in court at the end of June and for the record news, 12 did reach out to Congressman Santos to invite him to be on this show, but we did not hear back from him or his office and we are learning that the investigation into George Santos in Nassau County is still in the process of being carried out. My office is continuing this investigation and if we need to go back to our federal partners, we will. NASA district attorney Anne Donnelly says her office also worked closely with the Feds on Santos initial indictment. Stay with News 12 as we track the indictment and case of Congressman George Santos, we’ll bring you the latest developments as they happen and be sure to check the News 12 app and news 12 dot com for our complete coverage that does it for this edition of News Twelve’s power and politics. We want to thank our guests for joining us today and of course, thank you for watching. I’m Doug more local news and weather straight ahead.
U.S. Rep. George Santos is set to be arraigned Friday on a revised indictment accusing him of several frauds, including making tens of thousands of dollars in unauthorized charges on credit cards belonging to some of his campaign donors.The New York Republican was scheduled to appear at a courthouse on Long Island to enter a plea to the new allegations. He has already pleaded not guilty to other charges, first filed in May, accusing him of lying to Congress about his wealth, applying for and receiving unemployment benefits, even though he had a job, and using campaign contributions to pay for personal expenses like designer clothing.The court appearance comes the morning after some of Santos’ Republican colleagues from New York launched an effort to expel him from Congress.Santos has been free on bail while he awaits trial. He has denied any serious wrongdoing and blamed irregularities in his government regulatory filings on his former campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, who he claims “went rogue.”Marks in turn has implicated Santos. She told a judge when she recently pleaded guilty to a fraud conspiracy charge that she had helped Santos trick Republican party officials into supporting his run for office in 2022 through bogus Federal Election Committee filings that made him look richer than he really was, partly by listing an imaginary $500,000 loan that had supposedly come from his personal wealth.Santos has continued to represent his New York district in Congress since he was charged, rejecting calls for his resignation from several fellow New York Republicans.U.S. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, who represents a congressional district next to the one that elected Santos, introduced a resolution Thursday calling for Santos to be expelled from the House, saying he wasn’t fit to serve his constituents. He was joined by four other New York Republicans, U.S. Reps. Nick LaLota, Michael Lawler, Marc Molinaro and Brandon Williams.Santos posted a cryptic note on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying “Everything has an end in life,” but later added three points of clarification.“1. I have not cleared out my office. 2. I’m not resigning. 3. I’m entitled to due process and not a predetermined outcome as some are seeking,” he wrote.He has previously said he intends to run for reelection next year, though he could face a lengthy prison term if convicted.During his successful 2022 run for office, Santos was buoyed by an uplifting life story that was later revealed to be rife with fabrications. Among other things, he never worked for the major Wall Street investment firms where he claimed to have been employed, didn’t go to the college where he claimed to have been a star volleyball player, and misled people about having Jewish heritage.While Santos hasn’t faced any criminal charges related to the lies he told the public, he does face allegations that he propped up his image as having made a fortune in the investing world by submitting a false financial disclosure to the U.S. House.
U.S. Rep. George Santos is set to be arraigned Friday on a revised indictment accusing him of several frauds, including making tens of thousands of dollars in unauthorized charges on credit cards belonging to some of his campaign donors.
The New York Republican was scheduled to appear at a courthouse on Long Island to enter a plea to the new allegations. He has already pleaded not guilty to other charges, first filed in May, accusing him of lying to Congress about his wealth, applying for and receiving unemployment benefits, even though he had a job, and using campaign contributions to pay for personal expenses like designer clothing.
The court appearance comes the morning after some of Santos’ Republican colleagues from New York launched an effort to expel him from Congress.
Santos has been free on bail while he awaits trial. He has denied any serious wrongdoing and blamed irregularities in his government regulatory filings on his former campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, who he claims “went rogue.”
Marks in turn has implicated Santos. She told a judge when she recently pleaded guilty to a fraud conspiracy charge that she had helped Santos trick Republican party officials into supporting his run for office in 2022 through bogus Federal Election Committee filings that made him look richer than he really was, partly by listing an imaginary $500,000 loan that had supposedly come from his personal wealth.
Santos has continued to represent his New York district in Congress since he was charged, rejecting calls for his resignation from several fellow New York Republicans.
U.S. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, who represents a congressional district next to the one that elected Santos, introduced a resolution Thursday calling for Santos to be expelled from the House, saying he wasn’t fit to serve his constituents. He was joined by four other New York Republicans, U.S. Reps. Nick LaLota, Michael Lawler, Marc Molinaro and Brandon Williams.
Santos posted a cryptic note on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying “Everything has an end in life,” but later added three points of clarification.
“1. I have not cleared out my office. 2. I’m not resigning. 3. I’m entitled to due process and not a predetermined outcome as some are seeking,” he wrote.
He has previously said he intends to run for reelection next year, though he could face a lengthy prison term if convicted.
During his successful 2022 run for office, Santos was buoyed by an uplifting life story that was later revealed to be rife with fabrications. Among other things, he never worked for the major Wall Street investment firms where he claimed to have been employed, didn’t go to the college where he claimed to have been a star volleyball player, and misled people about having Jewish heritage.
While Santos hasn’t faced any criminal charges related to the lies he told the public, he does face allegations that he propped up his image as having made a fortune in the investing world by submitting a false financial disclosure to the U.S. House.
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