The troubles facing embattled New York Republican George Santos continue to mount as a new campaign finance violation has been leveled against him.
Santos was sworn in as a member of the 118th Congress under a cloud of controversy after a multitude of reports emerged in late December alleging that he had lied about numerous aspects of his own backstory, including his education, employment history, charitable work and heritage.
He ultimately admitted to the fabrications but refused to step down, claiming that he was nevertheless fit for Congress.
A number of probes have been opened against Santos at the federal, state and county levels, giving him little respite from scrutiny as he makes his way in Washington. Those matters managed to get worse on Monday when the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) announced that it had filed a complaint against him to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for a “tasting menu of campaign finance law violations.”
This morning we filed a complaint before the Federal Election Commission alleging that George Santos, in addition to his abundant and ludicrous lies about his background, committed a tasting menu of campaign finance law violations. Long thread incoming…
— Roger G. Wieand (@g_wieand) January 9, 2023
CLC senior researcher Roger Wieand laid out the allegations against Santos in a lengthy Twitter thread, including statements that the congressman supposedly lied about the sources of his campaign’s funding, a subject raised by many in the wake of the revelations about his widespread dishonesty.
“Our allegations against Santos fall into three categories: I. that he concealed the true sources of his campaign’s funding; II. that he misrepresented his campaign’s spending; and III. that he illegally paid for personal expenses with his campaign’s funds,” Wieand explained.
Wieand continued, explaining how Santos’ stories about the source of his campaign’s funding, his own income, and the nature of his business dealings have shifted frequently. The complaint therefore alleges a scheme to provide secret contributions to his campaign.
“We think that rather than Santos making overnight millions from a business he can’t explain, he, and others unknown, engaged in a scheme to provide secret, illegal contributions to his campaign,” Wieand explained.
The complaint further highlighted a trend in which Santos reported campaign expenses in the amount of $199.99, a cent less than the limit at which candidates must keep a receipt to document what the expense was for. Finally, it also alleged that his “campaign was illegally paying his rent, and that he tried to hide it.”
“All this takes place amid Santos’s compulsive lying about his entire background—and a pattern of serious reporting problems the FEC already knows about, including excessive contributions,” Wieand wrote near the end of the thread.
“The FEC sent the Santos campaign TWENTY letters in the 2022 cycle about these. Santos has become a punchline in the national media, but these campaign finance violations are no joke,” Wieand added. “We think the people of New York’s 3rd District deserve truth and transparency about where Santos’s money came from and how it was spent. We’re asking the FEC to investigate.”
Newsweek reached out to Santos’ office for comment.
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