Federal charges were filed yesterday against U.S. Rep. George Santos, a freshman Long Island Republican quickly famed for lies, grifts and frauds astounding even by the illustrious standards of Congress. This morning he was arrested and taken into custody by the FBI. His aides fled from media.
U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said the indictment “seeks to hold Santos accountable for various alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations.”
“Taken together, the allegations in the indictment charge Santos with relying on repeated dishonesty and deception to ascend to the halls of Congress and enrich himself,” Peace said.
Santos was taken into custody Wednesday and was expected to make an initial court appearance later in the day at a federal courthouse on Long Island.
The 13-count indictment was unsealed after his arrest: seven counts of wire fraud, three of money laundering, one of theft of public funds, and two counts of making lying to the House of Representatives.
A spokeswoman for Santos, Naysa Woomer, would not respond to shouted questions from reporters Tuesday afternoon and abruptly departed the congressman’s DC office with her backpack when asked about the federal charges against him. Prior to her departure from the office, CNN witnessed three staffers for Santos abruptly depart with their bags. They wouldn’t talk when pressed for comment.
Some expected charges to focus on campaign finance violations, but the Department of Justice intends to eviscerate him a little bit more thoroughly than that. One of the counts relates to stealing unemployment benefits! No mention of Amish puppies, though.