Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., holds a miniature American flag that was presented to him as he departs federal court on Friday, June 30, 2023, in Central Islip, N.Y. | John Minchillo/AP Photo
NEW YORK — Rep. George Santos and his former campaign aide, both indicted by federal prosecutors, appear to be in plea talks with the government, according to court papers filed Tuesday.
Prosecutors in the Santos case asked the judge overseeing the case to delay a court hearing set for Thursday because “the parties have continued to discuss possible paths forward in this matter.” They added: “The parties wish to have additional time to continue those discussions.”
Santos, a first-term Republican from New York, pleaded not guilty in May to federal charges of wire fraud, money laundering and theft of public funds. Prosecutors accused him of fraudulently obtaining unemployment benefits, using campaign contributions to pay down personal debts and purchase designer clothing and lying to the House of Representatives about his financial condition.
Last month, one of Santos’ former campaign aides, Samuel Miele, was also indicted for allegedly impersonating a House leadership aide while soliciting contributions for Santos’ campaign. Miele, who was charged with wire fraud and identity theft, pleaded not guilty.
On Tuesday, however, prosecutors in his case told the court that they and Miele needed to delay a hearing “to accommodate ongoing discovery review and plea negotiations,” adding that “negotiations concerning a potential resolution of this case without the need for a trial are active and ongoing.”
Santos, who is running for reelection, has previously said he doesn’t plan to resign from the House and intends to continue his campaign. “I’m going to fight the witch hunt,” he told reporters in the hours following his arraignment. “I’m going to take care of clearing my name.”