George Santos Booed During Pathetic Post-Arrest Press Conference
Criminally-indicted Congressman George Santos (R-N.Y.) gave his first public statement following his arrest flanked by protesters holding signs decrying the many lies he’s told the public.
The representative from Long Island was indicted and arraigned Wednesday on 13 criminal counts that included wire fraud, money laundering, and lying to Congress. “I will not resign” declared a defiant Santos in a press conference outside of the Central Islip, New York, courthouse, where he sparred with reporters and incensed protesters.
A chorus of booing interrupted the congressman when he attempted to claim that the charges against him were a “witch hunt” and shift attention to the finances of the Biden family.
“The reality is it’s a witch hunt,” Santos said, “it makes no sense that in four months — four months, five months — I’m indicted. You have Joe Biden’s entire family receiving […] money from foreign destinations into their bank accounts […] and yet no investigation has launched unto them.”
As Santos spoke the gathered crowd jeered at his statements.
“I don’t understand where the government is getting their information but I will present my facts,” Santos said when questioned by reporters on allegations that he collected unemployment benefits while working at a Florida investment firm and receiving a $120,000 salary.
The 20-page indictment against Santos covers three major allegations against the congressman: Unemployment fraud, donor fraud, and making false statements to Congress in campaign disclosure forms. Authorities allege that Santos used funds raised through his campaign to purchase designer goods, pay off his credit cards, and even finance his car payments.
Santos has also been charged with fudging campaign finance disclosures not only in his 2022 campaign, but in his previous — unsuccessful — 2020 run for Congress. Prosecutors allege that he knowingly misrepresented his income and assets on official forms.
“This indictment seeks to hold Santos accountable for various alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace in a statement released by the Justice Department Wednesday. Peace added, “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… My Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively root out corruption and self-dealing from our community’s public institutions and hold public officials accountable to the constituents who elected them.”
Santos took to Twitter to attempt his own version of Trump’s strategy for dealing with investigations, echoing his earlier sentiments in all-caps: “WITCH HUNT!”
On CNN, former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney Bernarda Villalona offered Santos some free advice: “Shut up, shut your mouth, no interviews because anything you say can be used against you. So shut up, callate.”
Trump-Nominated Judge Will Now Oversee Disney-DeSantis Lawsuit
- Financial Conflict