A complaint was filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission accusing Republican Rep. George Santos of a plethora of campaign finance violations, The Washington Post reports.
Filed by the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, the complaint could launch an investigation by the federal regulator, according to the Post.
“Particularly in light of Santos’s mountain of lies about his life and qualifications for office, the Commission should thoroughly investigate what appear to be equally brazen lies about how his campaign raised and spent money,” the complaint argues.
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To add insult to injury, along with all of the ubiquitous lies that have emerged from the congressman’s lips, CNBC reported Monday that during the 2020 and 2022 election cycles, a member of Santos’ campaign team had a dubious plan to dupe donors by impersonating Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s chief of staff, Dan Meyer.
The staffer’s name was actually Sam Miele, according to CNBC.
Santos is already embroiled in an investigation by the Nassau County, New York, district attorney’s office and authorities in Brazil involving a fraud case dating back to 2008.
Then there’s the gesture Santos made last Friday during his vote for McCarthy for House speaker; he raised his right hand to vote—and with his left hand, delicately formed his fingers into what appeared by some to look eerily similar to the infamous “okay” symbol the Anti-Defamation League calls a “sincere expression of white supremacy.”
The hand gesture was brief. Hardly noticeable, especially among all the attention paid to the fight Rep. Kevin McCarthy was having, convincing his Republican colleagues to vote for him. Watch as he appears to intentionally make the gesture, however briefly.
Of course, there is absolutely no way to know for sure if the first openly gay Latino congressman from New York meant to convey such a notoriously racist symbol. And Santos himself has not acknowledged the allegations. But Democratic Rep. Ritchie Torres of New York ripped Santos in an interview on MSNBC Sunday with guest host Julian Castro, calling Santos “an indictment on what the Republican Party has become.”
When Torres was asked about claims swirling around the internet that Santos made a white power gesture, the congressman said, “Apparently, Santos is not only Latino and Black, but he’s also white now.”
Torres is referring to the many ethnicities Santos has claimed. He’s said his grandparents were Ukrainian Jewish refugees from Belgium who “survived the Holocaust” and converted to Catholicism, CNN reports. He’s called himself a “Latino Jew” and said he was “biracial,” telling a commenter in one of his tweets that he was “Caucasian and black.” Santos later backtracked, saying he was "Jew-ish."
The New York Post reports that at the recommendation of Rep. Matt Gaetz, Santos recently hired Viswanag “Vish” Burra, a MAGA “fixer,” to help salvage his horrible reputation. Burra has ties to Steve Bannon and Carl Paladino, who, like Ye, once spoke positively about Adolph Hitler.
“He’s just an utter embarrassment,” Torres said. “He has no business serving in Congress. It diminishes the institution to have him seated, to have him sworn in.”
Torres has called on Santos to resign.
In December, Torres introduced titled the Stopping Another Non-Truthful Office Seeker Act, aka the SANTOS Act.
If the bill passes, Torres wrote in a tweet, it would “require candidates to disclose under oath their employment, educational, & military history so we can punish candidates who lie to voters about their qualifications.”
“George Santos is not simply a reflection of himself; he’s an indictment of what the Republican party has become,” Torres told Castro. “When you have a political party that has been hijacked by Donald Trump and the far right, charlatans like George Santos will inevitably follow. I see the scandal of George Santos in the context of the Trumpian rot, the far-right rot that lies at the core of the Republican Party.”
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