Republican congressman George Santos (R-N.Y.) has signed a deal with Brazilian authorities to confess to theft in order to drop the criminal charges from a case in 2008.1
On Thursday, Santos agreed to confess to the charges and pay nearly $5K in fines in exchange for having the charges dropped.2
According to court records from 2011, Santos faced criminal charges for passing two stolen checks to buy items at a shop in Niteroi when he was 19 years old. This totaled 2,144 Brazilian reais (then equal to approximately $1,350).3
The resolution comes just one day after Santos pleaded not guilty to 13 federal charges in New York that he stole from his campaign and lied to Congress about being a millionaire while fraudulently collecting unemployment benefits.4
In addition to the federal case he faces in New York, Santos is the subject of a probe by the House Ethics Committee. The committee announced in March that it was probing several issues involving Santos's past business dealings, campaign finance expenses, as well as an allegation of sexual misconduct.5
Despite the charges and investigations he faces, Santos says he plans on seeking reelection in 2024. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, he reiterated his plans to run for Congress again saying, 'I’m going to fight my battle, I’m going to deliver, I’m going to fight the witch hunt, I’m going to take care of clearing my name and I look forward to doing that.”6
Democratic narrative, as provided by MSNBC. George Santos is a joke. Not only is he a compulsive liar, but he's also a criminal, having just confessed in court to theft. It doesn't matter that the Brazilian charges against him have been dropped, he faces an additional slew of legal and ethical problems in the U.S. GOP leaders may ignore this fiasco in order to hold on to their small legislative majority, but one thing is for sure, Santos is not doing the party any favors.
Republican narrative, as provided by Bloomberglaw. While it may be controversial, no law stops Santos from staying in Congress while fighting criminal fraud and money laundering charges. Even if he is convicted he could still run for reelection. The Constitution doesn’t bar convicted people from running for office. Despite the allegations against him and the charges he faces, in the U.S., people are presumed innocent until proven guilty. We will just have to wait and see what happens.