CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) - U.S. Rep. George Santos pleaded not guilty on Friday to revised charges accusing him of several frauds, including making tens of thousands of dollars in unauthorized charges on credit cards belonging to some of his campaign donors.
Empty seats remained inside the courtroom as Santos prepared to make his appearance to enter a plea to the new allegations.
In usual Santos fashion, he wore bright red shoes and a big smile walking in and out of the courtroom with his attorney.
The court appearance came the morning after some of Santos' Republican colleagues from New York launched an effort to expel him from Congress.
According to Fox 5 NY's Jodi Goldberg, Santos remained rather quiet, smiling at times prior to the judge taking the bench.
Santos and his attorney left without making any comments.
As protesters chanted and yelled ‘lock him up,’ Santos blew a kiss and waved.
He had already pleaded not guilty to other charges, first filed in May, accusing him of lying to Congress about his wealth, applying for and receiving unemployment benefits, even though he had a job, and using campaign contributions to pay for personal expenses like designer clothing.
Santos' attorney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf and a tentative court date of Sept. 9, 2024, was set.
Santos has been free on bail while he awaits trial. He has denied any serious wrongdoing and blamed irregularities in his government regulatory filings on his former campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, who he claims "went rogue."
Marks told a judge when she recently pleaded guilty to a fraud conspiracy charge that she had helped Santos trick Republican Party officials into supporting his run for office in 2022 through bogus Federal Election Committee filings that made him look richer than he really was.
Santos has continued to represent his New York district in Congress since he was charged, rejecting calls for his resignation from several fellow New York Republicans.
U.S. Rep. Anthony D'Esposito, who represents a congressional district next to the one that elected Santos, introduced a resolution Thursday calling for Santos to be expelled from the House, saying he wasn't fit to serve his constituents. He was joined by four other New York Republicans, U.S. Reps. Nick LaLota, Michael Lawler, Marc Molinaro and Brandon Williams.
Santos previously said he intends to run for reelection next year, though he could face a lengthy prison term if convicted.
While Santos hasn't faced any criminal charges related to the lies he told, he does face allegations that he propped up his image as having made a fortune in the investing world by submitting a false financial disclosure to the U.S. House.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.