Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres, NY residents demand FEC investigate George Santos' campaign finances

Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Calls grow for FEC to investigate George Santos' campaign finances
George Santos is already under state and federal investigation for his campaign finances.

WASHINGTON D.C. -- Rep. Ritchie Torres on Tuesday continued to put pressure on government agencies to launch an investigation into Rep. George Santos's campaign finances.

At a briefing on Long Island, Torres announced that he had sent a letter to Federal Election Commission Chairman Allen Dickerson requesting an investigation into the relationship between Santos's campaign and Redstone Strategies.

This week, the New York Times reported the unregistered fundraising entity's practices on behalf of the Santos campaign might have contributed to multiple violations of the Federal Election Campaigns Act.

"Mr. Santos either illegally coordinated with independent expenditure, or he illegally received a campaign contribution to a pass-through. In either case, Mr. Santos likely broke campaign finance law for which he should be investigated by the FEC and for which he must be held accountable," Torres said.

Torres was joined by the non-partisan group Concerned Citizens of NY-03 which wants a special election held to replace Santos.

Last week, Torres and Rep. Daniel Goldman filed an official complaint with the House Committee on Ethics calling for an investigation into Santos.

Initially, the victory by Santos, the only openly gay Republican in Congress, was seen as a bright spot for the party in an otherwise underwhelming midterm election. But as reports began to emerge that Santos had lied about having Jewish ancestry, a career at top Wall Street firms and a college degree, he turned into a distraction and an embarrassment to the party as it took control of the House.

Public filings show that when he first ran for Congress in 2020, Santos listed no assets and a salary of $55,000. During his most recent run Santos said on a financial disclosure form he made millions from a company he founded in 2021, Devolder Organization.

A disclosure form with the Federal Election Committee showed Santos loaned his 2022 campaign $705,000.

City, state, and federal officials are already looking into his campaign finances.

Tuesday's development comes as both party leaders in the House, Kevin McCarthy and Hakeem Jeffries, address the controversy themselves.

McCarthy is insisting that he was always skeptical about Santos's background.

"I never know about his resume or not, but I always had a few questions about it," McCarthy said.

McCarthy is also saying that he was unaware that a Santos staffer pretended to be McCarthy's chief of staff to court money from donors for Santos' campaign.

Despite that fact, McCarthy said he is sticking by Santos for now and will not ask Santos to resign, and according to GOP sources, Santos will get a seat on two House committees, the House Small Business Committee and the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

McCarthy said "I believe so, yes," as he left the Steering Committee meeting when asked if Santos received committee assignments.

Santos was sworn into Congress despite ongoing investigations and calls from his constituents to step down.

McCarthy cautioned that Santos has a long way to go to earn the public's trust.

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While all of that is happening, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn is once again calling on Santos to resign.

"Why have House Republicans embraced him and not done what the New York Republicans have clearly done, which is to say enough is enough," Jeffries said on CNN. "He's lied to the people of Long Island and Queens, lied to New Yorkers, lied to the American people as part of an effort to come to Congress, and perhaps it's time to move on from him."

Congressmen Ritchie Torres and Dan Goldman hand-delivered a complaint filed to the House Ethics Committee last week.

Santos has already admitted to lying to Queens and Long Island voters about where he worked, went to college and his Jewish heritage.

ALSO READ | Watchdog group calls for FEC to investigate Rep. Santos

Federal watchdog Campaign Legal Center urged the FEC to investigate New York Rep. George Santos, alleging he violated federal campaign finance laws.


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