George Santos Pleads Not Guilty in Fraud Case, Defies Calls to Resign

George Santos Pleads Not Guilty in Fraud Case, Defies Calls to Resign

George Santos was released on a $500,000 bond after being arrested on fraud and money-laundering charges, as the embattled Republican congressman comes under increasing pressure to resign — snubbing those demands in defiant remarks outside court after his arraignment.

The 34-year-old representative from New York appeared before a judge on Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Central Islip, New York. Wearing khaki pants, a white dress shirt and a navy blazer, he walked into the packed courtroom without handcuffs looking slightly surprised and escorted by two deputy US Marshals. Someone in the crowd joked that he “looks like he shoplifts at the Gap.”

At the hearing, which lasted about 15 minutes, Santos pleaded not guilty, and his lawyer told the court Santos intended to carry on his campaign.

The charges come at a precarious time for House Republicans, whose 222-to-213-seat edge in the chamber means they can’t have more than four GOP defections to pass most bills.

“My client is running for re-election,” attorney Joseph Murray told US Magistrate Judge Anne Shields. “He wants to have the ability to campaign and the freedom to engage in election activities.”

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