Representative George Santos’s court hearing this week has been postponed by a judge at the request of the prosecution, which wanted additional time for the parties to negotiate “possible paths forward in this matter.”
Federal prosecutors in the case asked that a status conference set for Thursday be postponed until October 27th in a court filing on Tuesday. According to the prosecution, Santos (R-N.Y.) concurred with the proposal.
“The parties have continued to discuss possible paths forward in this matter. The parties wish to have additional time to continue those discussions,” prosecutors wrote.
Additionally, according to the federal prosecutors, they wanted to postpone the status meeting in order for Santos to “better analyze the case materials.”
Later on Tuesday, Judge Joanna Seybert approved the government’s motion and scheduled the subsequent status conference for October 27th.
Santos was charged with lying on financial reports, defrauding unemployment insurance agencies, and misleading campaign contributors when he was indicted on 13 federal counts in May.
The congressman entered a not-guilty plea.
In recent weeks, Santos has stated that while he is not yet interested in a plea agreement, he is not completely ruling one out in the future. Last month, on a program called “Dan Abrams Live,” Santos was questioned about whether or not he would contemplate entering a guilty plea. He answered, saying: “Look, I don’t know.”
“I’m not making, I’m not making any assertions right now. Like I said earlier, I’m like, it’s — right now, the answer is no. But you just never know. Life is — you don’t know what life’s gonna come at you, you know. So,” Santos said.
In another interview with Fox, Santos reiterated, “Right now, I’m fighting to prove my innocence, and I think that’s what everybody should do.”
Prosecutors and the GOP congressman reached an agreement to stop the federal criminal trial’s clock on May 1st, the day Santos was charged, for “engagement in continuing plea negotiations,” according to a separate court filing.
Since before he took the oath of office, Santos has been the subject of debate due to concerns over his background and personal claims.
On Capitol Hill, there were calls for him to resign or be expelled, but he has since maintained his innocence and asserts that he intends to finish out the rest of his term.
A House Democrat forced a vote on a motion to expel Santos in May, but the chamber finally decided to refer the matter to the Ethics Committee instead, a step that was generally considered unnecessary given that the committee has been looking into the congressman for months.