Lying about every aspect of his resume may turn out to be the absolute least of the things that George Santos has done wrong. As Laura Clawson reported on Wednesday, every new fact that emerges about the freshly seated Republican congressman paints a picture of a con man, one who understood just how to play the money in campaign to avoid federal scrutiny. But even Santos’ careful manipulation couldn’t hide a $700,000 hole that was filled with a self-funded loan that seemed to emerge from bank accounts that never had nearly that much cash.
Now even that question may take a backseat to another: Where did the rest of Santos’ funding actually come from? Because Mother Jones is reporting that a look into Santos’ supposed donor list has found them even more of a fraud than George Santos. Some of the money reported on Santos’ donor list came from people who have stepped forward to say they never sent him a dime. Other reported payments came from people who appear to be entirely fictional, living at addresses that don’t exist. This follows an earlier report in which the listed treasurer of Santos’ campaign denied ever holding that position.
This additional evidence of campaign fraud may be why The Washington Post is reporting that the Justice Department has asked the Federal Elections Commission to hold back on their investigation into Santos. That’s not a sign that the DOJ is giving Santos some kind of kid glove treatment; it’s a strong signal that a criminal investigation is underway. Meanwhile Barely Speaker Kevin McCarthy refuses to take any action, and has given Santos two important committee assignments.
On Friday, con artist Santos—who, as Rebekah Sagar reported on Thursday, once scammed a homeless vet out of money that was intended to save his ailing dog—was back in the House, casting actual votes concerning actual legislation. Santos was also allowed to weigh in as Republicans used their new power to punish Democrats for being elected as Democrats.
McCarthy has decided to show his loyalty not just by defending Santos and giving him power that can affect every American, but by joining him to provide a blanket “everybody lies” defense that surely speaks to the integrity of the Republican leadership.
In their investigation, Mother Jones found more than a dozen of those who had maxed out their donations to Santos appear to exist only on paper. Other donations reportedly came from people who denied giving money to Santos campaign. The false donations found so far account for at least $30,000.
Santos’ campaign finance fraud isn’t the only crime catching the eye of federal prosecutors. On Friday, investigators for the Securities and Exchange Commission interviewed a pair of Santos’ associates concerning his role in supposed investment firm Harbor City Capitol. That firm has been identified as a “classic Ponzi scheme.”
There’s even an overlap between the campaign fraud and the investment fraud.
Il Bacco, the same Queens Italian restaurant where his campaign went on to spend $199.99 eight times, features as a place Santos brought a potential investor to woo him [into investing in Harbor City Capitol].
That $199.99 amount is one penny beneath the limit where the FEC requires campaign expenses to be reported. Astounding that Santos should manage to spend exactly that much, with a variety of people present, eight times.
It’s long been clear that Santos isn’t just some guy who padded his resume to make himself look better to voters. He’s a con man who fooled the voters of his district, and whose source of campaign funding was certainly illegal, even if the details are still unknown. Everything about Santos is phony. He’s a pathological liar. He’s also engaged in ongoing criminal fraud.
Republicans have been lying to the nation about election fraud, but there is certainly fraud being carried out on the voters—and they’re doing nothing but helping to promote it. McCarthy, who regards his tenuous grasp on that speakership gavel as the most important thing in the universe, refuses to take any action. He isn’t just ignoring Santos’ fraud. He’s participating.
And we still don’t know the answer to this question: Where did all the money come from? Who actually funded George Santos?
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