Documents filed with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday show embattled Republican Representative George Santos no longer claims that a $500,000 loan for his congressional campaign came from personal funds.
The Daily Beast first reported on the amended FEC filing, which shows Santos unchecked the box that said “candidate’s personal funds” detailing the source of the six-figure loan, which still listed the congressman as his primary source.
The Santos campaign filed a number of financial documents with the FEC on Tuesday afternoon, as the New York Republican tries to clean up a series of controversies surrounding his backstory, including how he got on. ended up with a six-figure income and was able to self-fund his campaign.
The amended documents, however, shed no light on the source of these campaign funds.
Documents filed with the Federal Election Commission show embattled Republican Rep. George Santos no longer saying a $500,000 campaign loan came from personal funds
THE ORIGINAL: Mid-September FEC filing shows source of Santos’ $500,000 campaign loan is Santos’ ‘candidate’s personal funds’
THE CHANGED: A new filing from Tuesday shows that the box indicating the loan was from ‘applicant’s personal funds’ was unchecked
In another updated document, Santos’ campaign details that the candidate loaned his campaign $125,000 in October, but the “candidate’s personal funds” box is unchecked.
Last month, The New York Times reported that Santos, 34, has lied about most of his resume, including where he went to college and that he previously held positions at prestigious financial institutions Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.
Since then, even more Santos biographies have plummeted, including his claim to have attended $59,800 a year prep school Horace Mann, before dropping out when his parents ran into financial difficulties.
One of the biggest puzzles from the start has been how Santos was able to loan his campaign a minimum of $700,000 and who his clients were for his business, the Devolder organization, where he claimed to earn a annual salary of $750,000.
In a follow-up story earlier this month, The Detailed Times how Santos was linked to a group called RedStone Strategies, which solicited donations for the Congressional Republican campaign but is not registered with the FEC, possibly circumventing campaign finance laws.
The newspaper revealed that a Santos donor donated $25,000 to the campaign on Oct. 21 through RedStone, which was described as an “independent spending” group.
A few days later, on October 26, Santos loaned his campaign the $125,000.
“The person who approached the donor said that Mr. Santos had asked him in the weeks leading up to the campaign to approach donors, some of whom had already given the maximum allowed to Mr. Santos’ election campaign, and help to coordinate their donations to RedStone, according to a person familiar with the arrangement who wished to remain anonymous,’ the Times report said.
Groups like RedStone, otherwise known as Super PAC, may exist, but they must register with the FEC within 10 days of forming.
Although they can fundraise for specific candidates, they cannot coordinate with campaigns.
Santos previously said he used funds from his company, the Devolver organization, to fund his campaign, a move that legal experts say could be seen as an illegal corporate contribution.
Brendan Fischer, deputy executive director of government watchdog group Documented, told The Daily Beast that Santos’ latest move “isn’t half a measure – it’s barely a quarter measure”.
“I don’t know what they think they’re doing,” Fischer said. The “Santos” campaign may have unchecked the “candidate’s personal funds” box, but it still reports that the $500,000 came from Santos himself.
“If the ‘candidate loan’ didn’t actually come from the candidate, then Santos should be clear and disclose where the money really came from,” Fischer continued.
“Santos can’t uncheck a box and make his legal problems go away,” he added.