DOJ files charges against Republican lawmaker George Santos in federal probe

Federal prosecutors have filed charges against Rep. George Santos, the fabulist Republican lawmaker whose outlandish fabrications about his personal and professional life raised his national profile and attracted legal scrutiny.

It was not immediately clear what charges the freshman lawmaker faces, though the FBI and Justice Department prosecutors in New York and Washington have been investigating allegedly false claims in his campaign finance filings, among other things.

The charges against Santos were filed in the Eastern District of New York and remain under seal. The embattled lawmaker could appear at federal court there as soon as Wednesday, according to CNN and NBC. CNN first reported the charges.

The charges mark a major escalation in the many probes Santos has faced since taking office. The scandal-ridden congressman announced his reelection bid last month, despite facing an investigation from the House Ethics Committee on top of other legal probes.

The ethics committee voted to establish a subcommittee of two Republicans and two Democrats to look into whether Santos engaged in "unlawful activity" during his 2022 campaign and investigate a sexual misconduct allegation involving a staffer.

Santos has admitted to lying about having Jewish ancestry, a Wall Street background, college degrees and a history as a star volleyball player.

Santos' office did not immediately respond to USA TODAY's request for comment. The Brooklyn US Attorney's office declined to comment. And the FBI directed USA TODAY's inquiry to the Justice Department, which also declined to comment.

Contributing: Associated Press

U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) leaves the Capitol Hill Club as members of the press follow him on January 31, 2023 in Washington, DC. Amid ongoing investigations into his finances, campaign spending and false statements on the campaign trail, Santos recused himself from his House committee assignments.

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