How did George Santos think he was going to get away with it?
We know the freshman congressman lied and lied and lied again. It was a manufacturing plant. He got elected to a district on Long Island by making up that he had gone to college, making up that he was a volleyball star there, and making up that he had worked for two big Wall Street companies – all easily verifiable but successful in the press until after Election Day.
It’s not a crime to lie to the public. But after accumulating evidence of financial irregularities, Santos turned himself in to authorities yesterday as the Justice Department unveiled a 13-count indictment.
The Republican has been charged with wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and making false statements to the House. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $500,000 bond, posted by three unidentified people.
DESANTIS’ BOOK TO REACH TRUMP AS A FALSE CONSERVATIVE
In a chaotic session with screaming reporters who embarrassed themselves by constantly yelling at Santos, he said it ‘didn’t make sense’ that he had been charged in a few months but no charges had been filed. brought against the Biden family.
Calling the investigation a “witch hunt,” Santos said outside the Long Island Courthouse, “I will fight my battle…I will clear my name…The media is not a jury or a judge.”
Santos is entitled to the presumption of innocence and, as an indicted lawmaker, he would have to give up his committee duties if he had not already done so. Kevin McCarthy didn’t want to kick him out, in part because a Democrat would likely win the seat in the next special election. But several House Republicans have said they hoped Santos would quit because he became troublesome.
Santos was shameless with his litany of lies and embraced his notoriety, at times appearing to enjoy his bizarre moment of glory. But he may not be so cocky now that there are concrete criminal charges that carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
NEW POLL SHOWING TRUMP BEAT BIDEN COULD DAMAGE PRESIDENT’S CASE
He is accused of defrauding supporters of his campaign by soliciting donations from a Florida-based company, which he claims was a political committee. Santos then used thousands of dollars for his own expenses, which included luxury designer clothes, a car and credit card payments, according to the indictment.
He is also accused of lying on his home disclosure forms, sometimes wrongfully inflating his income and failing to disclose income to others.
And Santos is accused of defrauding New York out of $25,000 in unemployment benefits when he was actually being paid $120,000 by the Florida investment firm.
GEORGE SANTOS IN GUARD, FEDERAL CHARGE UNSEALED AHEAD OF FIRST COURT APPEARANCE
Attorney for wealthy investor Andrew Intrater, who is listed in the indictment as the No. 2 contributor, told The New York Times: “Andy is pleased that Santos now has to answer in court for the many lies that George told Andy and so many other Americans.”
There is a gaping hole in the indictment, possibly because prosecutors wanted to focus on clear allegations that could be proven with bank statements and documents. Santos claimed to have loaned $750,000 to his campaign, but it was never confirmed where that money came from – especially now that we know he was in dire financial straits.
WHAT THE INDICATION MEANS FOR REP. GEORGE SANTOS: WILL HE BE THROWED OUT OF CONGRESS?
It was a week before Christmas that the Times reported that Santos falsely claimed to have attended Baruch College in New York and worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, which was untrue. He claimed to have founded a tax-exempt animal rescue group, but the IRS had no record of it.
It turns out that some campaign officials resigned after conducting a routine investigation of their candidate and Santos refused to give up, despite their warnings of public humiliation.
Journalists quickly unearthed more ridiculous lies. Santos was accused of stealing money from a veteran who planned to use the funds for an operation for his dying dog. Santos said his mother was at the World Trade Center on 9/11, but she wasn’t even in the country. Santos falsely claimed his mother was Jewish and his grandparents escaped the Nazis, but later claimed he only said he was “Jewish”. Santos, who has come out as openly gay, planned an engagement party with her boyfriend while still married to a Brazilian.
SUBSCRIBE TO HOWIE’S MEDIA BUZZMETER PODCAST, A RIFF ON THE DAY’S HOTTEST STORIES
Ex-boyfriend, Pedro Vilarva, told Fox’s New York station: “He never showed he was the psychopathic liar he’s showing right now.”
Her life is like a room of distorted mirrors, each leading to a new twisted image.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
But now prosecutors will try to prove who the real George Santos is – and whether he deserves to go to jail.