The Republican congressman George Santos was expected to appear in court in New York on Wednesday, a day after it was announced that he had been indicted by federal authorities.
As the indictment was sealed, the nature of the charges was not known.
Since winning election to Congress in November, Santos has enjoyed a brief if highly picaresque time in the national spotlight.
The subject of a stream of reports about inaccuracies in his résumé and alleged criminal behavior, he has denied all wrongdoing.
Among other matters, federal authorities have been investigating alleged campaign finance violations.
As news of the indictment broke, Santos told the Associated Press: “This is news to me. You’re the first to call me about this.”
Multiple news outlets said he was due to appear in court in Central Islip, on Long Island, as soon as Wednesday afternoon.
Ritchie Torres, a New York Democrat who has demanded action against Santos, issued a lengthy statement.
Santos, Torres said, “is a pathological liar and lawbreaker who lied to the voters of New York state and defrauded his way into the United States Congress.
“… Although the details of the federal prosecution are not yet fully known, one thing is crystal clear: either Santos must resign or House Republican leadership, under Speaker Kevin McCarthy, must summon the courage to join House Democrats in expelling him.
“Santos is a deep rot of corruption at the core of Congress.”
On Tuesday, McCarthy said Santos would not face immediate action.
“If a person is indicted,” the speaker said, “they’re not on committees. They have the right to vote but they have to go to trial.”
McCarthy pointed to previous cases of members of Congress being indicted but staying in their seat, among them Bob Menendez, the Democratic New Jersey senator acquitted on federal corruption charges who now chairs the foreign relations committee.
Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic House minority leader, called Santos “a disgrace” but said he was “not focused on George Santos right now”.
Pointing to the most pressing issue facing Congress, Jeffries said: “We’re working through trying to avoid a catastrophic default on our debt.”
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