The U.S. attorney prosecuting the case against freshman Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) has indicated they are involved in discussions on how to resolve the case. However, in a series of texts to TPM, Santos insisted those talks have nothing to do with a potential plea deal on charges related to his campaign finances and false statements he made in official filings.
On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace filed a letter to the presiding judge in the case requesting to move a planned status conference from Thursday to Oct. 27. Peace said he was making the request jointly with Santos and his attorneys while they reviewed the evidence and engaged in further discussions.
“Defense counsel has indicated that he will need additional time to review that material as well. Further, the parties have continued to discuss possible paths forward in this matter,” Peace wrote. “The parties wish to have additional time to continue those discussions.”
Requests such as these are often an indication of ongoing plea negotiations. However, in a series of texts to TPM, Santos called the suggestion the prosecutor is working on a plea agreement with his counsel “wildly inaccurate” and angrily suggested they are finding another “path forward.”
“You’re a real hack of a reporter,” Santos wrote. “Please do not contact me any longer or I will deem your unsolicited communication as harassment.”
Santos’ election last November prompted a cascade of headlines about fabrications in his personal story and resume as well as investigations into irregularities with his campaign finances. TPM has reported extensively on Santos’ unusual campaign finances, questions about his claims of an immense personal fortune, the mounting concerns from outside groups, regulators, and even former members of his team, donors who claim they were bilked, and his ties to a mysterious network of shell companies and an alleged ponzi scheme.
Despite admitting he lied about elements of his past and the extensive evidence of improprieties, Santos has maintained he is the victim of political attacks. Even as his counsel is apparently negotiating with federal prosecutors, the congressman posted a message on Twitter.com in the wee hours of Tuesday morning indicating he is undaunted.
“My energy is Unbreakable because my will is strong,” Santos wrote. “Many have tried to break me and failed, It won’t be the political establishment elites and corrupt bias media that will succeed.”