Two New Lawyers Join George Santos Defense Team; No Plea Deal Yet As Talks Continue

George Santos
Disgraced former Rep. George Santos leaves court alongside his attorney, Joseph Murray. Behind them are Santos’s new attorneys, Andrew Mancilla and Robert Fantone.
Michael Malaszczyk/Long Island Press

Two New Lawyers Join George Santos Defense Team; No Plea Deal Yet

Two new attorneys appeared alongside disgraced former Rep. George Santos in court Tuesday for his federal trial on 23 counts of fraud.

Andrew Mancilla and Robert Fantone have joined Joseph Murray in representing Santos. Together, Mancilla and Fantone run a criminal defense law firm based in Manhattan.

The hearing was business as usual; there were no new charges for Santos nor did he accept a plea deal, although Judge Joanna Seybert acknowledged that plea negotiations were “ongoing.”

Currently, Santos is set to go to trial in September if he doesn’t take a plea deal, with his next court appearance set for Aug. 13.

Santos took office in January 2023, less than a month after the New York Times exposed much of his claimed background as fiction.

In May, he faced 13 counts of fraud related to campaign finance – the same month House Democrats introduced a resolution to expel Santos, which failed.

In October, 10 more counts were added to those 13, bringing it to a total of 23 counts. In November, House Republicans – led by his New York colleagues, Reps. Mike Lawler, Anthony D’Esposito, and Nick LaLota – introduced a resolution to expel him, which also failed. 

However, the House Ethics Committee, which his Long Island colleague Rep. Andrew Garbarino sits on, released its report on Santos on Nov. 17, they found evidence that Santos had committed federal crimes. A third vote to expel Santos was introduced shortly thereafter; he was expelled on Dec. 1.

Related Story: EXPELLED! George Santos gets boot from House of Representatives for lies and fraud indictments

Related Story: George Santos Pleads Not Guilty To New Fraud Indictment

Related Story: “It’s a Witch Hunt” – Santos Struggles to Maintain Bravado After Arrest

George Santos
Santos glares at reporters before getting into a car after his Jan. 23 court appearance.Michael Malaszczyk/Long Island Press