It has not been a good week for embattled gay Republican U.S. Rep. George Santos.
Santoswho has refused calls to step down, even from fellow GOP members in his home district in New Yorkwas hit with more criminal charges on Oct. 10, with prosecutors accusing him of exaggerating his campaign's fundraising numbers and charging campaign contributors' credit cards without their consent, Reuters reported.
A 23-count indictment filed in federal court in New York charged the Long Island congressman and his former treasurer, Nancy Marks, with falsely telling the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that their family members had made significant financial contributions.
In May, Santos pleaded not guilty to a 13-count indictment charging him with defrauding potential political supporters by laundering funds to pay for his personal expenses, illegally receiving unemployment benefits and lying to the U.S. House about his assets.
Last week, Marks pleaded guilty to a felony charge related to a case against Santos, The Advocate noted.
Marks pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the U.S. governmentand implicated Santos in court, according to the AP. Marks told the judge that she and the lawmaker lied on finance reports that he loaned his political campaign $500,000. Santos has blamed Marks for any financial disparities in his campaign.
In a related development, Democratic former U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi announced his comeback bid for the Long Island seat that Santos currently holds, Politico noted. Former Democratic state Sen. Anna Kaplan (who is another candidate for the post) criticized Suozzi, saying, "After almost a year of this district having embarrassing representation, Tom Suozzi thinks voters on Long Island have forgotten that he abandoned us to George Santos."