Rep. George Santos calls charges ‘witch hunt’; Trump calls civil verdict ‘disgrace’

WASHINGTON – Two prominent Republicans are reacting to their latest legal issues: New York U.S. Rep. George Santos and former President Donald Trump.

Santos was arrested Wednesday on charges of wire fraud, money laundering and theft of public funds.

“It’s a witch hunt,” Santos said. “It makes no sense that in four months I am indicted.”

The 13-count indictment outlines how the first-term Republican congressman allegedly took funds from political contributions, unlawfully applied for pandemic-era unemployment benefits, and made false statements to the House of Representatives.

““It’s alleged, so are you accusing me or are you going to let the process play out?” he asked.

U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, weighed in: “He will get his day in court, but clearly his misrepresentations have so embossed him and our nation that he really should not be in Congress.”

If convicted, Santos could still serve in Congress, but can be removed from office by a two-thirds majority vote in the House.

In the meantime, while Santos prepares for trial, in a different court case, E. Jean Carroll is now speaking out after her civil victory over Trump.

The former president was found liable for sexual abuse and defamation against the author.

“He said terrible things about me, dragged me through the mud,” Carroll said. “He said terrible things.”

Trump has denied sexually assaulting Carroll or anyone, calling the jury verdict a disgrace.

“What else can you expect from a Trump-hating, Clinton-appointed judge who went out of his way to make sure that the result of this trial is as negative as it could possibly be?” Trump asked.

Trump’s attorney said he plans to appeal the jury’s decision.

About the Author:

Ben Kennedy is an Emmy Award-winning Washington Bureau Chief for Local 10 News.