New York GOP Congressman George Santos faces new felony charges U.S. Attorney Breon Peace has now charged Santos, the freshman Republican from New York, with 23 felony charges including credit card fraud. He's also accused of stealing his donors' identities.

Embattled N.Y. Republican Congressman George Santos faces 10 new felony charges

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Republicans are preparing to choose a new leader to serve as House speaker. But while that's happening, a member of their conference, Congressman George Santos of New York, is facing 10 additional federal felony charges. Prosecutors say Santos ran a credit card scam that targeted his own political donors. NPR's Brian Mann has this report.

BRIAN MANN, BYLINE: George Santos, the freshman Republican whose district includes parts of Long Island and Queens, has admitted lying to voters about most of his life story, including his family escaping the Holocaust - not true - his career - mostly fiction - and his education, which is nothing like he described.

In May, federal prosecutors arrested him and charged him with 13 felony counts, alleging his political campaign was rife with corruption, including wire fraud and false statements to the Federal Election Commission. In a superseding indictment filed yesterday in federal court, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace expanded those charges to 23 counts. Santos, who's denied any criminal wrongdoing, is now accused of identity theft and credit card fraud that allegedly targeted his political donors. Prosecutors describe one instance where a contributor texted Santos billing information for two credit cards. Santos then allegedly attempted to run up more than $44,000 worth of charges without the contributor's knowledge or authorization.

Santos is also accused of lying on federal forms to inflate his fundraising numbers as part of a fraudulent effort to bilk money out of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. These new charges come less than a week after his former campaign treasurer pleaded guilty to similar federal charges linked to her work for the Santos campaign.

Santos, who also faces a House ethics probe, has been relieved of committee assignments but otherwise serves as a member in full standing of the Republican conference. This week, Santos announced he's backing Congressman Jim Jordan in the House speaker fight, and he could be a key vote. Santos is due back in court October 27.

Brian Mann, NPR News, New York.

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