George Santos is in plea negotiation talks, prosecutors say

Former Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., is in plea negotiations with federal prosecutors over the criminal charges filed against him this year, according to a new court filing.

“The parties are presently engaged in plea negotiations with the goal of resolving this matter without the need for a trial,” prosecutors wrote Monday in a document submitted to the district judge overseeing the case. “The parties wish to continue those negotiations over the next thirty days.”

Santos lawyer Joe Murray would not confirm whether Santos would be taking a plea deal. A spokesperson for the Eastern District of New York declined to comment.

In an interview Sunday, Santos told a CBS New York reporter that a plea “is not off the table, obviously, at this point,” adding, “But we just don’t know that yet.”

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Prosecutors said in the filing that the government “respectfully renews” its request for a trial in May or June. The judge overseeing the case had previously set a trial date for next Sept. 9.

In October, Santos was hit with a 23-count superseding indictment in the Eastern District of New York on a litany of charges, including conspiracy to commit offenses against the U.S., wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and making materially false statements to the Federal Election Commission. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

“This Office will relentlessly pursue criminal charges against anyone who uses the electoral process as an opportunity to defraud the public and our government institutions,” Breon Peace, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement in October about the superseding indictment.

Santos previously faced a 13-count federal indictment, in May, on charges including wire fraud, money laundering and theft of public funds. He was released on $500,000 bond and pleaded not guilty to those charges, as well.

Following a scathing ethics report, the House voted this month to expel Santos, making him the first House member to be expelled in more than 20 years.