Embattled US congressman George Santos (R-NY) pleaded not guilty to 10 new felony charges in a superseding indictment on Friday.
Mr Santos appeared in the US District Court in Central Islip, New York on Friday morning. He and the US government agreed that his trial would begin on 9 September of next year. Mr Santos also requested that his bond conditions be changed so he could contact individuals including his family members who are witnesses in the case against him.
Federal officials included new charges against Mr Santos earlier this month, accusing him of stealing campaign contributors’ identities to make more than $44,000 in credit card purchases. They also accused him of moving the “vast majority” a $12,000 transfer to his personal bank account.
On Thursday, Mr Santos posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, and said he would remain in office.
“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 said. “God bless!
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.
— George Santos (@MrSantosNY) October 26, 2023
Mr Santos has faced serious scrutiny since before he was sworn in, ever since numerous news outlets discovered that he had fabricated many parts of his personal and professional life.
On Thursday, fellow New York Republican Rep Anthony D’Esposito filed a resolution calling for Mr Santos to be expelled. During his floor speech, Mr D’Esposito listed Mr Santos’s multiple federal charges.
Mr D’Esposito said that Mr Santos “engaged in a serious financial fraud throughout his 2022 campaign” and that he “engaged in election fraud throughout his 2022 campaign by deceiving voters regarding his biography, defrauding donors and engaging in other illegal campaign behaviour,” calling him “not fit to serve his constituents.”
But an expulsion would be a high bar to clear since two-thirds of members must vote to expel a member of Congress.