On Wednesday, President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice filed criminal charges against a Republican congressman, who was then arrested and taken into custody.
U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) was indicted on 13 counts, including money laundering, wire fraud, theft of public funds and making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York said in a statement that Santos will be arraigned Wednesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York.
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“As today’s enforcement action demonstrates, the FBI remains committed to holding all equally accountable under the law. As we allege, Congressman Santos committed federal crimes, and he will now be forced to face the consequences of his actions. I would like to commend the diligent efforts of the investigative and prosecutorial teams in this matter,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll said in a statement.
Santos was apparently unaware of the charges before his arrest, according to a congressional reporter for The Associated Press.
“Um, I think I just (accidentally) informed Rep. George Santos of reports that he has been charged by the Justice Department…’That’s news to me,’ he said a few minutes ago. ‘You’re the first to call me about this,’” journalist Farnoush Amiri tweeted.
Santos’ election in November helped Republicans secure a narrow majority in the House of Representatives.
After the high-stakes midterms, Santos admitted to lying about some details relating to his career and personal life, but insisted he did not break any laws.
“I am not a criminal,” Santos said in December. “This will not deter me from having good legislative success. I will be effective. I will be good.”
In February, he reiterated that he would not cave to calls for his resignation.
“Let me be very clear, I’m not leaving, I’m not hiding and I am NOT backing down. I will continue to work for #NY03 and no amount of Twitter trolling will stop me. I’m looking forward to getting what needs to be done, DONE!”