Rep. George Santos’ Revised Campaign Finance Report Draws Criticism
Rep. George Santos, the embattled freshman representative from New York, has yet again drawn criticism for his filing of amended campaign finance reports on Tuesday. The documents showed that the $500,000 loan he gave his campaign didn't come from his personal funds, as he had initially claimed. The report was first reported by The Daily Beast.
The changes in the filing also indicated that a separate $125,000 loan was not sourced from Santos’ “personal funds.” But Derek Ross, the attorney for former treasurer Nancy Marks, said there had been a “disconnect” between Monday's conversation between the Santos campaign and Marks, and the filing on Tuesday, which he did not authorize. “On Monday we informed the Santos campaign that Mr. Datwyler would not be interested in serving as their treasurer,” Ross said.
The scandal-plagued lawmaker has been under intense scrutiny by the public and watchdog groups over the sources of his wealth and reports of links to a Russian oligarch and a company found to be a Ponzi scheme. Two congressional Democrats, Joe Morelle and Gregory Meeks, sent a letter to McCarthy expressing their “serious” concerns about whether it’s “appropriate” for Santos to access classified information.
McCarthy has echoed the sentiment and refused to join in his party's criticism of the freshman congressman, saying “his constituents voted for him” and “I do not have the power simply because if I disagree with somebody or what they have said that I remove them from elected office.”
The speaker has also faced criticism for his decision to assign Santos seats on two committees, saying it's because “his constituents voted for him.” Despite the calls for resignation and overall concerns, McCarthy has yet to join in the criticism.
Issues have arisen in relation to the Santos campaign's fundraising and expenditure, such as alleged donors who have made contributions that exceed the federal limit, and many expenses of $199.99, just below the $200 mark which necessitates a receipt for reporting to the Federal Election Commission.
Wednesday's filing saw Thomas Datwyler, a longtime GOP operative, take over as treasurer, replacing Nancy Marks. Santos' campaign finance report was signed with Datwyler's name. It's unclear whether Datwyler has any more information about the source of the funds.
0. “McCarthy Says Santos Can Be Removed, But Only For Crimes” Bloomberg, 25 Jan. 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-01-25/mccarthy-says-santos-can-be-removed-but-only-for-crimes
1. “Rep. George Santos now says campaign loan didn't come from his personal funds” CNBC, 25 Jan. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/01/24/rep-george-santos-now-says-campaign-loan-didnt-come-from-his-personal-funds.html
2. “Santos loans deepen questions around campaign finances” The Hill, 26 Jan. 2023, https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/3831566-santos-loans-deepen-questions-around-campaign-finances/
3. “George Santos Snaps at Reporter After Being Grilled About Fake Signature” Newsweek, 27 Jan. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/george-santos-snaps-reporter-grilled-fake-signature-1777021
4. “Democrats urge McCarthy to deny George Santos access to classified data” The Guardian US, 26 Jan. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jan/26/democrats-kevin-mccarthy-george-santos-classified-data
5. “Kevin McCarthy lashed out at reporters over George Santos support” Business Insider, 26 Jan. 2023, https://www.businessinsider.com/kevin-mccarthy-lashed-out-at-reporters-over-george-santos-support-2023-1
6. “Speaker McCarthy: Santos will be removed from Congress if ethics probe finds he broke law” USA TODAY, 25 Jan. 2023, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2023/01/25/kevin-mccarthy-santos-removed-congress/11119787002/
7. “Santos lists new treasurer — who says he doesn't work for the congressman” ABC News, 26 Jan. 2023, https://abcnews.go.com/US/santos-lists-new-treasurer-claims-doesnt-work-congressman/story?id=96675494
8. “George Santos' New Treasurer Wants You to Know He's Not George Santos' Treasurer – Mother Jones” Mother Jones, 25 Jan. 2023, https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2023/01/george-santos-new-treasurer-wants-you-to-know-hes-not-george-santos-treasurer/