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Former fundraiser for Rep. George Santos pleads guilty to federal charge

A former fundraiser for embattled Rep. George Santos pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire fraud, making him the second aide to the New York Republican to plead guilty to federal charges, according to multiple reports.

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Samuel Miele also stipulated to committing access device fraud, according to CNN and CNBC. He entered his guilty plea three months after authorities accused him of sending out “fraudulent fundraising solicitations” while impersonating a “high-ranking aide to a member of the House with leadership responsibilities.”

Court records did not name Santos or say who Miele was accused of impersonating. However, The New York Times reported that Miele impersonated former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s then-chief of staff to solicit funds for Santos’ campaign.

In January, McCarthy told reporters, “My staff raised concerns when he had a staff member who impersonated my chief of staff, and that individual was let go when Mr. Santos found out about it,” according to The Hill.

Last month, Santos’ former campaign treasurer pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the U.S. government. Authorities said she submitted false reports to the Federal Election Commission to get support from Republican Party officials.

Santos is also facing a slew of charges. Authorities said he lied to the FEC, stole identities, and used his campaign donors’ credit cards without authorization. He has denied all charges and is expected to face a trial in September 2024.