Today: March 02, 2024
Today: March 02, 2024

George Santos attorney expresses optimism about plea talks as expelled congressman appears in court

Share This
George Santos attorney expresses optimism about plea talks as expelled congressman appears in court
AP
PHILIP MARCELO
December 12, 2023

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. George Santos ' lawyer expressed optimism about plea negotiations in Santos' criminal fraud case Tuesday, successfully fending off prosecutors' attempts to speed up the the ousted congressman’s trial.

In Santos' first court appearance since he was expelled from Congress earlier this month, his attorney, Joseph Murray, argued that it was premature to bring the September trial forward while the two parties were in talks to resolve the case.

“We should focus on the plea deal. I believe they can be fruitful,” Murray told Judge Joanna Seybert in the federal court in Long Island. He also argued that he was “struggling” to keep up with “voluminous materials” produced by the government during the discovery process.

Seybert sided with Murray, saying she would try to move the case “as expeditiously as possible” but that September seemed like the earliest possible date based on her current caseload. She set the next hearing in the case for Jan. 23.

Santos, wearing a blue blazer over a dark sweater, declined to comment on the case to reporters as he left the courthouse, saying to one, “It’s cold, go home.”

Santos earlier this month became only the sixth lawmaker in history to be expelled from the U.S. House of Representatives.

In an interview with WABC radio that aired early Tuesday morning, Santos said he hopes to eventually regain the trust of the American people and return to public office.

“I’m not done with public service, I want to go back to Congress,” he said. “I’m not saying today, I’m not saying tomorrow. I’m 35, I have a lot of things I need to take care of first, I think we all know.”

The ex-lawmaker faces a slew of criminal charges, including allegations that he defrauded campaign donors, lied to Congress about his wealth, received unemployment benefits while employed, and used campaign contributions to pay for personal expenses like designer clothing. Among the charges are allegations that he made unauthorized charges on credit cards belonging to some of his donors.

Santos pleaded not guilty to a revised indictment in October.

Prosecutors revealed in a court filing Monday that they were negotiating with Santos to potentially resolve his criminal case without a trial.

In an interview on CBS New York that aired Sunday, Santos said he hadn’t ruled out pleading guilty, saying “there’s obviously conversations taking place, especially after what happened in Congress, and we’ll see.”

Santos was elected last year after campaigning as a self-made Wall Street whiz, but was revealed after the election to have been a fabulist who had lied about where he worked, where he went to college and big chunks of his personal background.

Since leaving Congress, Santos launched an account on the website Cameo, where the public can pay him for a personalized video message. In the televised interview, Santos said he made more money in a week on the platform than his annual salary as a congressman.

A special election will be held Feb. 13 to elect his successor in a House district that includes a mix of wealthy Long Island suburbs and a working-class section of Queens.

That race will likely pit former U.S. Rep. Thomas Suozzi, a Democrat who previously held the seat before running unsuccessfully for governor, against one of a number of Republicans.

___

Follow Philip Marcelo at twitter.com/philmarcelo.

Popular

Two buildings damaged, people evacuated after 'incident' in Russia's St Petersburg, governor says

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) - Two buildings were damaged and people were evacuated in Russia's St Petersburg on Saturday morning after local residents reported a loud explosion that blew out windows.

Oregon lawmakers pass bill to recriminalize drug possession

The Oregon Legislature has passed a bill that recriminalizes the possession of small amounts of drugs

Powerful storm in California and Nevada shuts interstate and dumps snow on mountains

A powerful blizzard is dumping snow in the Sierra Nevada as gusty winds and heavy rain hit lower elevations

Last surviving member of the first team to conquer Mount Everest says it is crowded and dirty now

The only surviving member of the mountaineering expedition that first conquered Mount Everest says the world’s highest peak is too crowded and too dirty and the mountain is a god that needs to be respected

A party like no other? Asia's richest man celebrates son's prenuptials with a star-studded bash

Tycoons from around the world, heads of state, as well as Hollywood and Bollywood stars have descended on the small western Indian city of Jamnagar where billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani is kickstarting a big fat wedding celebration for his youngest son

Haruki Murakami unveils his new short story at a Tokyo literary event

Only 1,100 lucky audience members were there to hear the yet-to-be published short story “Kaho,” read aloud by bestselling Japanese author Haruki Murakami himself

Related

Peace, music and memories: As the 1960s fade, historians scramble to capture Woodstock's voices

An estimated 450,000 people attended the Woodstock festival in August 1969

College athletes would need school approval for NIL deals under bill passed by Utah Legislature

College athletes in Utah who are looking to profit off their name, likeness and image will have to seek written approval from their school for any business deal exceeding $600

World Trade Organization ends meeting in UAE after failing to reach major agreements

Negotiators taking part in a World Trade Organization meeting in the United Arab Emirates have ended their summit after failing to reach agreements on several major initiatives

Iris Apfel, fashion icon known for her eye-catching style, dies at 102

Iris Apfel, a textile expert, interior designer and fashion celebrity known for her eccentric style, has died

- Advertisement -
Advertisement: Limited Time Offer