Prosecutors hit Rep. George Santos with 80,000 pages of discovery documents

Prosecutors handed Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., more than 80,000 pages of discovery materials to review in the federal fraud case against him during his short appearance court on Friday. Santos, dressed in a gray suit with red tie, was in a Long Island courtroom for just about five minutes as the judge determined the case schedule, with his next court date set for Sept. 7. The embattled congressman did not speak, but his attorney Joseph Murray said the upcoming congressional recess in August would be a “wonderful” time to review the mound of evidence prosecutors presented.  Santos faces a 13-count federal indictment, with 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. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and maintained his innocence even as several of his House colleagues, including some Republicans, have called for his resignation or expulsion from the body.  HOUSE ETHICS ISSUES 30 SUBPOENAS IN GEORGE SANTOS INVESTIGATION The charges stem from allegations that Santos duped donors, stole from his campaign, collected fraudulent unemployment benefits, and lied to Congress about being a millionaire. Taken together, the allegations suggest Santos relied on “repeated dishonesty and deception to ascend to the halls of Congress and enrich himself,” according to U.S. Attorney Breon Peace. Santos has denied the charges and labeled the federal investigation a “witch hunt.” He has pledged to both remain in Congress and seek re-election in 2024.  A handful of protesters, calling themselves Concerned Citizens of NY-03, awaited Santos and his legal defense team outside the courthouse Friday. They chanted “resign” and “shame” as Santos left the building.  COURT UNSEALS NAMES OF GEORGE SANTOS’ BOND GUARANTORS One of the protesters was Richard Osthoff, a Navy veteran who says Santos stole more than $3,000 that was raised to pay for surgery for his dog, which later died. The FBI is evaluating Osthoff’s claims while Santos has said he’s an animal lover who would never let a dog die.  “You killed my dog!” Osthoff yelled at Santos as the congressman walked to his vehicle. He and the other demonstrators spoke to reporters and called for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to expel Santos from Congress.  “You got no backbone, Kevin McCarthy,” Osthoff said. “Wake up to yourself, man. This guy is bringing you down. He’s making your entire party look horrendous. It’s time for him to go.”  Another protester, Taiva Mahmad, accused McCarthy of leaving members of New York’s 3rd Congressional District without effective representation in Congress by permitting Santos to remain in the House. “McCarthy feels we do not need proper representation as he watches George Santos desecrate his congressional seat,” Mahmad said.  Federal prosecutors allege Santos in June 2020 wrongly claimed he had been unemployed since March of that year and received benefits through April 2021. The indictment states that during that time, Santos was receiving a $120,000 salary as a regional director at a Florida-based investment firm.  GEORGE SANTOS BECOMES TREASURER OF HIS OWN CAMPAIGN FOLLOWING INDICTMENT He also allegedly pocketed tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, laundering it into his personal bank accounts so that he could pay down his debt and purchase designer clothes. The House Ethics Committee has opened a parallel probe into the allegations against Santos and has issued more than 30 subpoenas to determine whether he “engaged in unlawful activity with respect to his 2022 congressional campaign; failed to properly disclose required information on statements filed with the House; violated federal conflict of interest laws in connection with his role in a firm providing fiduciary services; and/or engaged in sexual misconduct towards an individual seeking employment in his congressional office.”  Santos was released from federal custody after posting a $500,000 bond in May secured by his father Gercino dos Santos and aunt Elma Santos Preven.  CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP As Santos exited the courthouse, a lone supporter greeted him and gave him an American flag. Santos smiled as he accepted the flag, and walked to the car that was waiting for him.  Fox News’ Danielle Wallace, Greg Wehner, Marta Dhanis and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 
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