Long Island Congressman George Santos charged by U.S. Justice Department
Long Island Congressman George Santos has been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice, sources say.
Santos was charged by federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York Tuesday evening, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The charges remain under seal so the nature of the allegations is unclear, according to CNN.
“This is news to me. You’re the first to call me about this,” he said in a brief phone interview with the Associated Press.
Rep. Ritchie Torres issued a statement saying the criminal prosecution of Santos is “long overdue.”
“He is a pathological liar and lawbreaker who lied to the voters of New York State and defrauded his way into the United States Congress,” the statement read. “About 800,000 Americans have been continually deprived of the honest representation they deserve in the People’s House. Although the details of the federal prosecution are not yet fully known, one thing is crystal clear – either Rep. Santos must resign or House Republican leadership, under Speaker Kevin McCarthy, must summon the courage to join House Democrats in expelling him. Rep. Santos is a deep rot of corruption at the core of Congress.”
These charges come just a month after the embattled congressman announced he would run for re-election.
Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan condemned Santos for having the nerve to run again in light of misleading voters the first time.
“To think that one human being would have the audacity to vote for you after what you did to our constituents, then you’re either insane, incompetent or a little bit of both,” Lafazan said.
The New York Republican has admitted to lying about having Jewish ancestry, a Wall Street background, college degrees and a history as a star volleyball player. Serious questions about his finances also surfaced – including the source of what he claimed was a quickly amassed fortune despite recent financial problems, including evictions and owing thousands of dollars in back rent.
Politicians from both parties have called for his resignation.
Nassau County prosecutors and the New York attorney general’s office had previously said they were looking into possible violations of the law.
The congressman’s constituents have also expressed outrage at the lies Santos fabricated while campaigning and have held protests outside of his Long Island office.
The freshman lawmaker is facing several investigations including a House Ethics Committee probe over lies told on the campaign trail.