Republican Congressman George Santos (R-N.Y.) has been taken into federal custody following a 13-count indictment on various charges.
The allegations against Santos include misleading donors, misrepresenting his finances to the public and government agencies, and lying to Congress.
The Justice Department has unsealed the charges, which encompass theft of public funds, wire fraud, money laundering, and lying to the U.S.
The indictment accuses Santos of using campaign funds for personal expenses, such as purchasing expensive designer clothing, and misusing unemployment benefits tied to COVID-19 relief.
Despite the federal probe, Santos remains defiant, stating that he has no intention of stepping down.
He still enjoys the support of high-ranking GOP leaders, although some Republicans, along with Democrats, have called for his resignation.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has indicated that he will review the charges before making a decision on whether Santos should be expelled.
McCarthy has affirmed his support for Santos, emphasizing the presumption of innocence and stating that Santos will go through the legal process.
It is worth noting that this is not the first time a member of Congress has faced indictment.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Pete Aguilar has stated that Santos’ future as a congressional leader lies with Speaker McCarthy’s decision.
At least a dozen Republicans have already joined Democrats in demanding Santos’ resignation.
The legal proceedings will now unfold in a New York courtroom, as Santos awaits his arraignment on the 13 federal charges.