(NEW YORK) — Former Congressman George Santos is talking to federal prosecutors on Long Island about a plea deal, prosecutors said during a brief court appearance Tuesday.

“We’ve started preliminary sessions on a plea,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob Steiner told the judge.

One day earlier, a court filing also said the disgraced former representative was discussing a plea deal.

“The parties are presently engaged in plea negotiations with the goal of resolving this matter without the need for a trial,” the filing said.

Santos, a Republican, was in federal court in Central Islip on Tuesday for a status conference.

A trial has been set for Sept. 9, 2024. On Tuesday, Santos’ lawyers requested the trial date be moved to June, but the judge said she has a heavy case load and it is normal for such a case to take a year before trial, leaving the date unchanged.

Santos was initially indicted on 13 criminal counts, including seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives, by federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York in May.

In October, he faced a superseding indictment accusing him of 10 more crimes, including two counts of wire fraud, two counts of making materially false statements to the Federal Election Commission, two counts of falsifying records submitted to obstruct the FEC, two counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of access device fraud.

He twice pleaded not guilty to those crimes.

Two associates of Santos, his former campaign finance chief Nancy Marks and fundraiser Sam Miele, have already pleaded guilty to charges.

Santos had represented New York’s 3rd Congressional District since January 2020 before being expelled on Dec. 1 in a bipartisan vote, 311-114, with 112 Republicans voting with Democrats, far eclipsing the two-thirds majority threshold needed to remove him from office.

His removal came two weeks after a scathing House Ethics Committee report detailed what investigators said was Santos’ use of campaign funds for his own personal benefit, including spending on gambling in Atlantic City, Botox injections, designer clothes and rental properties.

He was just the sixth member of Congress to ever be expelled.

ABC News’ Alexandra Hutzler and Lauren Peller contributed to this report.


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