Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) on Thursday said he is still not interested in taking a plea deal in his case related to campaign finances.
Asked if would consider a guilty plea that may require him to leave Congress, Santos said, “Look, I don’t know” while appearing on NewsNation’s “Dan Abrams Live.”
“I’m not making, I’m not making any assertions right now,” he said, suggesting the door may still be open to the decision in the future.
“Right now, the answer is no. But you just never know,” Santos added. “Life is you… don’t know what life is going to come at you, you know?”
The New York Republican was echoing remarks he made last week.
“Look, right now? No,” Santos said at the time. “Right now, I’m fighting to prove my innocence, and I think that’s what everybody should do.”
Santos was indicted on 13 counts earlier this year on accusations that he misled donors and misrepresented his finances to the public and government agencies.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include 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.
If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
“Look, I think anybody would be scared to go to prison, right?” he said when asked by Abrams if he was scared, adding, “But the reality is, is right now, I’m confident I won’t.”
Santos also said he plans to challenge “everything” from the federal charges to the ethics investigation in the House. Instead, he said he would like to focus less on his past and more on his “civic duty.”
“It is what it is, you just take it day by day at this point,” Santos told Abrams. “I’m human, I’ve made mistakes, I move on. I’ve done the apology, I’ve made those apologies, as sincere as I could.”
“At this point, if I continue to put any effort into that, then I’m reneging on the civic duty that I have to serve the constituency, which is where I’m putting all my focus on,” he said.
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