George Santos: Actually, That $625K Wasn't Personal Funds

More questions swirling around campaign financing
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2023 12:20 AM CST
Updated Jan 25, 2023 6:15 AM CST
George Santos Unchecks Some Boxes, and More Questions Appear
Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., departs Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The latest issue regarding George Santos to have come under scrutiny: What's the origin of the more than $700,000 loaned to the campaign of the newly elected GOP congressman from New York? In filings with the Federal Election Commission from April 2022 and later in 2022, the Santos campaign said those loans were from Santos' personal funds. But in amended campaign finance reports filed Tuesday, his campaign unchecked a couple important boxes regarding a $500,000 loan and a $125,000 loan. While the amended forms still say those loans came "from the candidate," a box indicating they came from "personal funds of the candidate"—which was originally checked on the 2022 forms—is now unchecked for both of those loans. So if that $625,000 wasn't from Santos' personal funds, as previously indicated, where was it from? That's not clear, the Daily Beast reports. More of the latest on Santos:

  • Confusion about that $625,000: A spokesperson from a nonprofit watchdog group sums it up this way to the New York Times: "I have never been this confused looking at an FEC filing." And an elections lawyer muses that if the campaign loans didn't come from Santos' personal funds or a bank, they likely came from "illegal sources."
  • Why the amended filings? Most of the amended information in the new filings simply corrected routine discrepancies on the forms (the FEC commonly flags missing information and asks for errors to be fixed), but experts say the number of amended filings is strange; some reports, for example, have been amended seven times so far between 2021 and now.

  • Previous financial questions: The Times has previously flagged potential problems with Santos' campaign finances, finding that he likely left out important information in financial disclosures, among other issues. And a watchdog group has filed a complaint with the FEC alleging Santos hid the truth about where his campaign funding came from, and used some of the campaign funds improperly.
  • And more previous financial questions: Mystery also surrounds his personal finances, specifically, how he went from making $55,000 per year to owning and managing a million-dollar-plus company. He has claimed his money came from that work, which involved consulting for wealthy clients, but he has not said who those clients are or given much information about the work.
  • Consequences? Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday that if the House Ethics Committee finds Santos broke any laws, the congressman will be removed from office. The Hill reports it's "McCarthy’s most extensive comment yet on potential punishments Santos could face." However, it's not clear whether Ethics is actually investigating Santos.
  • Constituents: The Washington Post describes the feeling amongst voters in Santos' district as "a mix of regret and resignation."
  • A strange Twitter battle: After Santos took issue with his skewering on late-night TV, he ended up in a Twitter battle with a drag queen, Fox News reports.
  • More bizarre claims: The Daily Beast reports that last month on a Brazilian podcast, Santos claimed to have been the target of an assassination attempt. And in a newly resurfaced 2020 interview, he claimed he'd met Jeffrey Epstein, Business Insider reports.
  • Trouble keeping up? A number of outlets are keeping lists of Santos' alleged lies, including Slate, Gothamist, HuffPost, and the Daily Beast.
(More George Santos stories.)

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