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Disgraced former Rep. George Santos says he wants more time to reach plea deal

UPI
Republican Rep. George Santos of New York leaves the U.S. Capitol after being expelled from the House of Representatives after a bipartisan vote on Dec. 1. File Photo by Julia Nikhinson/UPI

Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Rep. George Santos says he wants more time to negotiate a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

During a status conference on Tuesday, Santos asked U.S. Eastern District of New York Judge Joanna Seybert for more time to work out a plea deal while facing 23 felony charges.

The charges against Santos include two counts of wire fraud, two counts of making false statements to the Federal Election Commission, two counts of falsifying records submitted to the FEC, two counts of identity theft, and one count of access-device fraud, according to the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Seybert said she is aware that Santos and federal prosecutors are negotiating a potential plea deal and might resolve the matter out of court.

Santos was joined by two new attorneys. Robert Fantone Jr. and Andrew Mancilla joined the legal team led by Joseph Murray, local news reported.

Santos took office in January 2023 representing New York's 3rd Congressional District after winning election as a Republican during the 2022 mid-term election. Santos served less than a year before being expelled from office amid allegations of campaign finance fraud and other alleged offenses that resulted in the 23 charges he now faces.

Santos is scheduled to go to trial on Sept. 9 and is scheduled for a court appearance on Aug. 13 for a status update.

The House of Representatives twice tried and failed to expel Santos amid allegations that he falsified his history after federal prosecutors initially charged him with 13 felonies and again after 10 new charges were filed against him.

A third attempt to expel Santos succeeded on Dec. 1 by a vote of 311-114.

Santos' former treasurer Nancy Marks pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge, while former Santos fundraiser Sam Miele pleaded guilty to charges of identify theft and wire fraud after he allegedly impersonated an aide for former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.