Lying Long Island Rep. George Santos said he will not resign — and blasted the fraud and money laundering charges against him as a “witch hunt” — after he was released from federal custody on $500,000 bond Wednesday.
Santos, 34, was mobbed by reporters and cameras as he left federal court in Central Islip — telling the crowd that he still planned to run for reelection and would be heading back to Washington.
“Now I’m going to have to go fight to defend myself,” Santos said. “The reality is that it’s a witch hunt.”
Santos says that he’s going to share with the feds evidence and the finances of his company “to dispel their accusations against me.”
“I will not resign,” he said.
Earlier, a put-together Santos appeared in court wearing a blue blazer, white shirt, black sweater and khakis and calmly entered a “not guilty” plea to a 13-count indictment as a packed courtroom looked on.
Santos is accused of embezzling $50,000 in campaign money for designer duds and personal expenses, cheating his way to COVID unemployment pay and lying to Congress about his income.
The openly gay GOP lawmaker — who reps the 3rd District on Long Island and Queens — is charged with seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making false statements to the House of Representatives.
He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the top charges.
Judge Anne Shields agreed to release Santos on bail on the conditions that he turn over his passport and limit his travel to within the tri-state area and Washington, DC — unless he is otherwise given permission.
According to the indictment, Santos solicited two separate $25,000 payments from two donors in October 2022 under the pretense that the money would go toward funding his campaign.
But instead, Santos spent the money to pay his bills, credit cards and debt and also spent it on “personal purchases of luxury designer clothing,” the court papers allege.
Keeping track of Rep. George Santos’ lies
Santos has admitted he lied on the campaign trail about his education and work experience.
- Claimed to have attended Horace Mann private school
A school spokesperson told CNN, “We’ve searched the records and there is no evidence that George Santos (or any alias) attended Horace Mann.”
- Claimed to have earned degrees from New York University and Baruch College
After the New York Times reported that neither school could find his name in their records, Santos came clean to The Post.
- Claimed to have worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs
Both financial firms told the New York Times they couldn’t confirm his employment claims.
- Claimed to own 13 rental properties
Santos confessed to The Post that he “does not own any properties” and acknowledged that he lived in his sister’s home on Long Island.
- Touted himself as a ‘proud American Jew’ whose grandparents escaped the Holocaust
“I never claimed to be Jewish,” Santos said. “I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background, I said I was ‘Jew-ish.’”
- Claimed his mom was a groundbreaking executive who died as a result of the Sept. 11 terror attacks
Fatima A.C.H. Devolder died on Dec. 23, 2016, at Elmhurst Hospital Hospice.
He also allegedly lied on statements to the House of Representatives in 2020 and in 2022 — either inflating certain assets and income while failing to disclose others, the indictment charges.
And he claimed to be unemployed from June 2020 through April 2021 despite earning $120,000 at a job during the same time period.
Santos made national headlines last year after admitting to an elaborate series of lies about his education, work background and family history.
New York Republican lawmakers have called for him to step down.
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