George Santos Trial Date
George Santos pleads not guilty to new charges, trial set for September 2024. Prosecutors request a speedy trial.
George Santos, a New York representative, appeared in federal court on Long Island on Friday, where he pleaded not guilty to new charges brought against him in a superseding indictment. His trial date has been set for September 9, 2024, following the Republican primary that Santos has committed to participating in. Prosecutors have requested a speedy trial, emphasizing the urgency of the case.
Prior to the arraignment, Santos made it clear that he has no intention of resigning from his seat despite the ongoing legal issues he faces. This statement highlights his determination to continue serving as a representative despite the mounting challenges.
Recently, prosecutors added ten new charges against Santos, including identity theft and conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States. These charges are in addition to the 13 counts already pending against him since May. The allegations state that Santos directly defrauded donors by using their credit-card information to make campaign contributions without their knowledge. To conceal these actions, Santos falsely attributed the donations to members of his family. Additionally, prosecutors claim that Santos and his former campaign accountant, Nancy Marks, fraudulently inflated the number of campaign donations received to meet the $250,000 requirement for additional support from a Republican Party committee program. Marks has already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Congressman Anthony D'Esposito introduced a resolution to expel Santos from the House of Representatives, citing his legal troubles and a history of misrepresenting his and his family's connections to significant events such as the Holocaust, the September 11th terrorist attacks, and the Pulse nightclub shooting. House Democrats have also proposed a similar motion, which has been referred to the Ethics Committee. The resolution will be voted on next week and has gained support from other New York Republicans, including Representatives Nick LaLota, Marc Molinaro, and Mike Lawler, who have long expressed their opposition to Santos.
However, despite Santos's widespread unpopularity, achieving the two-thirds majority required for expulsion will be a challenging task. Throughout the history of the U.S. Congress, only 20 members have been successfully expelled, with most cases occurring during the Civil War. The most recent expulsions from the House of Representatives were Congressman Michael "Ozzie" Myers of Pennsylvania in 1980, involved in the FBI's Abscam sting, and Congressman James Traficant of Ohio, convicted of bribery in 2002.
Mike Johnson, the newly elected Speaker of the House, expressed his reluctance to support efforts to expel Santos, particularly given the slim margin of the majority held by his party in the chamber. Johnson emphasized the need for due process and acknowledged the precarious position of his party's majority.
"With a four-seat majority in the House, there is a possibility that this number may decrease further in the upcoming weeks and months. We could potentially have the thinnest majority in the history of Congress. Therefore, it is crucial that we afford George Santos due process," Johnson stated in a Fox News interview.
The situation surrounding George Santos and his legal troubles continues to unfold, with the upcoming trial and the impending decision on the resolution to expel him from the House of Representatives. The outcome of these events will have significant implications for both Santos and the political landscape in New York.