Documents filed to the Federal Election Commission Tuesday show that embattled Republican Rep. George Santos is no longer claiming a $500,000 loan to his Congressional campaign came from personal funds.
The Daily Beast first reported on the amended FEC filing, which shows that Santos unchecked the box that said ‘personal funds of the candidate’ when detailing the source of the six-figure loan, which still listed the congressman as its primary source.
The Santos campaign refiled a number of financial documents to the FEC Tuesday afternoon, as the New York Republican tries to play clean-up in a string of controversies surrounding his backstory, including how he wound 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 those campaign funds.
Documents filed to the Federal Election Commission show that embattled Republican Rep. George Santos is no longer saying a $500,000 loan to his campaign came from personal funds
THE ORIGINAL: An FEC filing from mid-September shows the source of a $500,000 loan to Santos’ campaign to be Santos’ ‘personal funds from the candidate’
THE AMENDED: A new filing from Tuesday shows that the box indicating the loan came from ‘personal funds of the candidate’ has been unchecked
In another updated document, Santos’ campaign details that the candidate loaned his campaign $125,000 in October, but the ‘personal funds of the candidate’ box is unchecked.
Last month, The New York Times reported that the 34-year-old Santos lied about major parts of his resume including where he went to college and that he previously held positions with the prestigious financial institutions of Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.
Since then, even more of Santos’ biography has unraveled, including his claim to have gone to the $59,800-a-year prep school Horace Mann, before dropping out when his parents encountered financial difficulty.
All along, one of the biggest head-scratchers has been how Santos was able to loan his campaign at a minimum $700,000 and who his clients were for his company, the Devolder Organization, where he claimed to be making a $750,000 annual salary.
In a follow-up story earlier this month, The Times detailed how Santos was tied to a group called RedStone Strategies, which was soliciting donations for the Republican’s Congressional campaign, but is not registered with the FEC, possibly skirting campaign finance laws.
The paper found that one Santos donor gave the campaign a $25,000 donation on October 21 through RedStone, which was described as an ‘independent expenditure’ group.
Days later, on October 26, Santos loaned his campaign the $125,000.
‘The person who solicited the donor said he was asked by Mr. Santos 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 to help 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 PACs, are able to exist, but they have to register with the FEC within 10 days of formation.
While they can raise money for specific candidates, they can’t coordinate with the campaigns.
Santos had previously said he used funds from his company, the Devolver Organization, to finance his campaign, a move legal experts said could count as an unlawful corporate contribution.
Brendan Fischer, deputy executive director of government watchdog group Documented, told The Daily Beast that Santos’ latest move ‘isn’t a half-measure – it is hardly even a quarter-measure.’
‘I don’t know what they think they are doing,’ Fischer said. ‘Santos’ campaign might have unchecked the “personal funds of candidate” box, but it is still reporting that the $500,000 came from Santos himself.’
‘If the “loan from candidate” didn’t actually come from the candidate, then Santos should come clean 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.