Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) said in an interview that the possibility of him accepting a plea deal is “not on the table” as the freshman lawmaker is facing a slew of new criminal charges against him.
In an interview on CNN’s “Inside Politics Sunday,” anchor Manu Raju asked the embattled GOP lawmaker if there was a chance he would accept a plea deal.
“Well, I’m not exploring any of that right now, right?” Santos replied. “Those conversations are yet to be had.”
“But they may happen?” Raju asked.
“I don’t know,” Santos added. “I don’t know. Right now, I’m pretty focused on my defense and putting together my defense with my attorneys.”
When asked if he’s not ruling out a potential plea deal, Santos replied: “I’m not saying I’m not — I’m not saying I’m not ruling it out. As of right now, it’s not on the table.”
Santos, who was elected to Congress last November, also made remarks about his former campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, who pleaded guilty last month to conspiring with the then-candidate to fraudulently inflate his campaign finance reports.
“People will say whatever they have to say, cut whatever deal they have to cut in order to save their hide. And this isn’t surprising,” Santos said. “I don’t know why people are so stuck.”
“So, she’s making this up in court?” Raju asked.
“I’m not accusing her of anything. All I’m saying is, she has her story,” Santos added. “I’m going to come with my facts, and I’m going to tell my side of the story.”
This development comes as Santos has been at the center of controversy since allegations surfaced of him falsifying his background during his campaign. Santos, 35, was charged with 10 new criminal charges last month over accusations that he inflated his campaign finance reports and charged donors’ credit cards without authorization.
In May, the lawmaker was charged on 13 counts of misleading donors, fraudulently receiving unemployment benefits and lying on House financial disclosures, bringing his total charges against him to 23.
House Republicans attempted to expel Santos from Congress in a chamber vote last week, but the resolution failed to pass in a 179-213-19 vote.