Republican Rep George Santos turned himself into a Long Island Federal Court and bonded out ($500,000) on Tuesday, answering to a 13-count federal felony indictment. The indictment hosts a laundry list of allegations that have led to fellow Republicans calling for Santos’ resignation as early as January following the discovery that the 34-year-old had exaggerated and/or lied about key details of his resume, which awarded him the ability to rise to such success.
The indictments include seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.
The charges stem from accounts of everything from misappropriation of campaign funds into personal purchases and a luxury lifestyle and the laundering of that money; the aforementioned fabrication of biographical information; and claiming to be unemployed to access covid 19 unemployment insurance funds, although an investment firm employed him at the time.
Speaking to the charges, Santos addressed the media in an impromptu press conference, where he appeared unphased by the charges but combative in the face of what he described as a “witch hunt.”
“This is the beginning of the ability for me to address and defend myself,” Santos said. “We have an indictment, we have the information that the government wants to come after me on, and I’m going to comply. I’ve been compliant throughout this entire process…The reality is it’s a witch hunt. Because it makes no sense that in four months, four months, five months, I’m indicted. You have Joe Biden’s entire family receiving deposits and nine family members receiving money from foreign destinations into their bank accounts. It’s been years of exposing… and yet no investigation is launched into them. I’m going to fight my battle. I’m going to deliver. I’m going to fight the witch hunt. I’m going to take care of clearing my name. And I look forward to doing that,”.