Why did George Santos show up outside Trump trial court?

Disgraced former congressman George Santos surprised reporters and bystanders on Thursday when he showed up outside the court where Donald Trump is on criminal trial.

Mr Trump is on trial on charhes of falsifying business records in a bid to conceal a hush money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has denied all wrongdoing – and denied that the affair even took place.

On day three of the trial on Thursday, Mr Santos – the ex-congressman and vocal Mr Trump supporter – was spotted outside of Manhattan criminal court as the former president’s criminal proceedings continued in court.

However, it doesn’t appear that the former lawmaker was there to lend support to the former president.

Instead, Mr Santos was passing by on his way to a different event: a hearing in his own court case – a lawsuit against late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

“Today’s a big day,” Mr Santos said in a selfie video posted to X on Thursday. “I’m actually in federal court against Jimmy Kimmel for my fraud case against him.”

The hearing was in Manhattan federal court, just blocks away from Mr Trump’s courtroom.

The former congressman alleges Mr Kimmel deceived him into making more than a dozen videos on Cameo — a mobile app that allows users to pay for personalised videos from celebrities — that Mr Kimmel then played on his show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

Mr Santos sued him in February for copyright infringement, fraudulent inducement, breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

George Santos, pictured in a selfie video (left), was spotted outside the Manhattan Criminal Court (right) on Thursday where Donald Trump is on trial (George Santos/X/Beyond My Ken)
George Santos, pictured in a selfie video (left), was spotted outside the Manhattan Criminal Court (right) on Thursday where Donald Trump is on trial (George Santos/X/Beyond My Ken)

The late-night personality took to his show to mock the disgraced lawmaker just after the suit was filed, highlighting that Mr Santos claims he believed video requests about a dog named Adolf and a man eating six pounds of loose ground beef were “real messages and that he was duped”.

“He’s being represented by the prestigious law firm of Pot, Kettle, and Black,” Mr Kimmel joked on his show.

Separately, the former New York representative is currently facing 23 federal criminal charges, including charges of wire fraud, money laundering, and theft of public funds.

In March 2023, the House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into the then-New York lawmaker, who was first elected in 2022.

Two months later, the Department of Justice handed him the first thirteen indictments — and he was arrested the next day.

In October, Mr Santos was then hit with a 23-count superseding indictment, adding another ten charges to his total. The former congressman has denied all the allegations and has pleaded not guilty.

Mr Santos was expelled from the US House of Representatives in a 311 to 114 vote on 1 December 2023.

While his schedule might seem busy, between a lawsuit and federal criminal charges, Mr Santos still hopes to further his political career.

Mr Santos said last month he is seeking re-election in a different New York district as an independent candidate.