George Santos indictment: Congressman pleads not guilty to 13 counts

The freshman representative pleaded not guilty to 13 criminal counts.

Last Updated: May 10, 2023, 4:34 PM EDT

Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., has been indicted on 13 criminal counts, including 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, federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York said Wednesday.

The embattled congressman, who was taken into custody Wednesday on Long Island, New York, pleaded not guilty on all counts at his arraignment then was released on bond.

Top headlines:

Here's how the news is developing. All times Eastern.
May 10, 2023, 4:34 PM EDT

Santos says he'll vote on border bill tomorrow

Addressing reporters outside the Long Island federal courthouse after his arraignment, Santos said his case is about being "innocent until proven guilty."

"I have my right to fight to prove my innocence," he said.

The freshman congressman, who was released on bond, said he'll return to Washington to vote on the House Republicans' border security bill Thursday.

Rep. George Santos leaves Central Islip Federal Courthouse in Central Islip, N.Y., May 10, 2023.
Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

"I have to go back and vote tomorrow," Santos said. "We have one of the most consequential vote in this Congress, which is a border bill, and I'm very looking forward to being there."

Saying "the media is not jury or the judge," Santos said he would present evidence of his innocence "to the jurist and to the judge in this courthouse."

"If Congress requested, I will present it to them as well," he said.

May 10, 2023, 4:00 PM EDT

'I will get to clear my name,' Santos says

Asked by ABC News' Rachel Scott why he would apply for unemployment benefits while he had a job that paid $120,000 a year as alleged in the federal indictment, Santos said, "This is inaccurate information."

"I will get to clear my name on this. During the pandemic, it wasn't very clear. I don't understand where the government is getting their information, but I will present my facts."

"My employment was changed during the time," he said of the period when prosecutors allege he collected $24,000 in unemployment funds under false pretenses. "I don't understand where the government's coming from. I'll present my defense."

May 10, 2023, 3:49 PM EDT

Santos says he won't resign

Speaking to reporters outside the Long Island federal courthouse following his arraignment, Santos said that he will not resign from Congress as a result of his indictment.

U.S. Representative George Santos leaves Central Islip Federal Courthouse in Central Islip, New York, May 10, 2023.
Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

"I'm going to fight my battle," Santos said. "I'm going to deliver. I'm going to fight the witch hunt. I'm going to take care of clearing my name and I look forward to doing that."

May 10, 2023, 2:46 PM EDT

Santos won't have to wear ankle monitor

Ryan Harris, a federal prosecutor speaking on behalf of the government, laid out the conditions of Santos' bond, which defense counsel had agreed to as "something palatable for both of us."

Among the conditions, Santos can travel within the continental U.S. -- but must notify pretrial services before doing so.

He can travel freely within and between New York City, Long Island, and Washington, D.C.

A spokesperson for the Eastern District of New York confirmed that Santos will not be required to wear an ankle monitor.

Santos' next hearing is scheduled for June 30.

-ABC News' Olivia Rubin and Lucien Bruggeman

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