Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., departs Capitol Hill in WashingtonInternationalIndiaAfricaMary ManleyNews outlets and media coverage have been reporting on the scandal-ridden politician for months. Santos first shocked his supporters when it was revealed he had lied about his education, work experience, and religion. US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has indicated that he will not be requesting embattled Rep. George Santos’ resignation after the New York lawmaker pleaded not guilty to a indictment filed by prosecutors.Acknowledging that Santos does not sit on any House committees, McCarthy told reporters on Wednesday that time will tell what exactly happens to the congressman.”He will go through his time in trial, and let’s find out how the outcome is,” the House speaker said in response to his potential resignation. The GOP leader further admitted that charges were a “concern.”Earlier Wednesday, Santos entered a not guilty plea after he was arrested on a 13-count federal indictment. The congressman was charged with seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.Santos later doubled down after news of the indictment broke, announcing outside a courthouse in Central Islip, New York, that he would not resign from Congress. The Republican underscored that he still intended on running for reelection.Santos took the opportunity to describe the indictment as a “witch hunt,” and attempted to compare his criminal charges to the Hunter Biden laptop controversy, a move the instantly prompted the crowd to boo the congressman.Members of the GOP responded to Santos’ indictment, and while an empty House seat left by Santos could be filled by a Democrat, some Republican members were quick to condemn the freshman lawmaker.“He should have resigned a long time ago. He’s an embarrassment to our party. He’s an embarrassment to the United States Congress,” said Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT).
Mitt Romney on George Santos: "He should have resigned a long time ago. He's an embarrassment to our party. He's an embarrassment to the United States Congress." pic.twitter.com/joy9H6KnHX
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 10, 2023
When asked if it would be better for Santos to resign, Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) said: “Oh absolutely.”“It’s a distraction, and it’s a punchline for a lot of commentary regarding the Republican party that we don’t need,” added Womack.
Santos was released on a $500,000 bond, the New York attorney’s office reported; however, he is reportedly being required to submit to pretrial services, random monitoring at his home, surrender his passport, and is restricted from traveling outside of the New York state nor Washington, DC, without first receiving approval from the court.
Santos is expected to next appear in court on June 30.