Protesters in Nassau County demand Santos release tax returns amid campaign funding controversy

"He is the biggest fraud in modern political history in this country," said legislator Joshua Lafazan.

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Thursday, January 26, 2023
Protesters demand Santos release tax returns
Chantee Lans reports on the latest controversy surrounding George Santos and questions about his campaign funding.

BETHPAGE, Nassau County (WABC) -- The twists keep coming in the scandal surrounding embattled Congressman George Santos.

In Nassau County Thursday, a group of voters are calling for Santos to release his tax returns.

The demonstration, led by Nassau County legislator Joshua Lafazan, took place at the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in Bethpage.

"Right now, he's taking so much energy, questioning his background, his finances, who he represents," said District 3 constituent Evelina Sarles. "Let's straighten this out and get back to work."

The calls come amid questions surrounding revisions to the congressman's campaign funding documents.

RELATED | George Santos scandal inspires new legislation on Long Island

The campaign's newly listed treasurer says he does not work for Santos, despite the fact that some fundraising committees that work with Santos notified the government that Santos has a new treasurer.

Thomas Datwyler says the documents were signed without his consent.

The revelation comes as controversy swirls around the source of Santos' campaign funds.

He initially indicated the money was self-funded, but a new filing made Tuesday does not indicate where at least $625,000 dollars came from.

Federal campaign finance laws require that candidates disclose how they are funding their campaign.

Rep. Matt Gaetz asked him where the money came from.

"Well, I'll tell you where it didn't come from - it didn't come from China, Ukraine, or Burisma. How about that?" Santos said. "It's the equity of my hard-working (laughs) self that I've invested inside of me."

Santos has still not answered how he was able to donate more than half a million dollars to his campaign after earning just $55,000 two years earlier.

ALSO READ | The saga of Rep. George Santos: Inside his many fabrications, exaggerations, and embellishments

Santos responded to the controversy on camera.

"Sir, let's make it very clear: I don't amend anything, I don't touch any of my FEC stuff, right?" he told a reporter. "So don't be disingenuous and report that I did, because you know that every campaign hires fiduciaries."

Santos continues to face multiple investigations. Federal prosecutors are looking into those campaign filings -- so are the Queens and Nassau County district attorneys, New York State attorney general and the Federal Election Commission.

"It is not normal to have a member of Congress so caught up in keeping himself out of jail, that he's unable to actually serve the district in which he was elected to represent," said Lafazan. "He is the biggest fraud in modern political history in this country."

In the meantime, outrage continues on Capitol Hill. Democrats and some Republicans have called for Santos to resign following the series of lies uncovered about his identity and resume.

But despite calls for him to step down, Santos has been given seats on two low-level committees.

Kevin McCarthy, who relied on Santos' vote to become the next Speaker of the House is not taking action against him for now.

"If for some way when we go through Ethics that he has broken the law, then we will remove him, but it's not my role," McCarthy said. "I believe in the rule of law. A person is innocent until proven guilty."


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