Saturday, January 28, 2023

Mystery of George Santos’s $700,000 in Campaign Loans Deepens - The New York Times

An updated campaign finance report filed on Tuesday raised new questions about the source of six-figure loans that Representative George Santos gave his congressional campaign.

In previous filings with the Federal Election Commission, the Santos campaign has reported that Mr. Santos, a Republican from New York who is already facing inquiries from federal and local investigators over his lies and financial dealings, lent his own campaign more than $700,000.

But in an update to a report originally filed in April 2022, the Santos campaign unmarked a box that had originally indicated that $500,000 of those loans came from Mr. Santos’s own personal funds.

The significance of the change, which was earlier reported by The Daily Beast, was not immediately clear to campaign finance experts. Mr. Santos’s lawyer, Joe Murray, said it “would be inappropriate” to comment given pending investigations.

The experts said they were struggling to interpret the change, especially because in filings from later in 2022, the box marking “personal funds of the candidate” remains checked.

“I have never been this confused looking at an F.E.C. filing,” said Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit watchdog group.

In a separate amended report, another $125,000 loan that Mr. Santos gave to his campaign on Oct. 26 similarly had an unchecked box, suggesting that it did not come from his personal funds either.

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