Documents filed with the Federal Elections Commission on Tuesday show that embattled Republican Rep. George Santos is no longer claiming 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 that Santos unchecked the “candidate’s personal funds” box when citing the source of the six-figure loan, which still listed the congressman as the primary source.
The Santos campaign refiled a series of financial documents with the FEC on Tuesday afternoon as the New York Republican seeks to clear up a number of controversies surrounding his backstory, including how he ended up earning six figures and was able to self-finance his campaign.
However, the amended documents do not shed any light on the origin of these campaign funds.
Documents filed with the Federal Elections Commission show embattled Republican Rep. George Santos no longer says a $500,000 loan for his campaign came from personal funds
THE ORIGINAL: A mid-September FEC filing shows the source of a $500,000 campaign loan from Santos is “candidate personal funds” from Santos.
THE CHANGED: A new filing Tuesday shows the box indicating the loan came from “candidate’s personal funds” was unchecked
In another updated document, Santos’ campaign describes that the candidate loaned his campaign $125,000 in October but left the “candidate’s personal funds” box unchecked.
Last month, the New York Times reported that 34-year-old Santos lied about large parts 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, more of Santo’s bio has unraveled, including his claim that he went to the $59,800 Horace Mann School before dropping out when his parents ran into financial difficulties.
One of the biggest headaches was how Santos was able to loan his campaign for at least $700,000 and who his clients were for his company, the Devolder Organization, where he claimed to make an annual salary of $750,000.
In a follow-up story earlier this month, The Times detailed how Santos was tied to a group called RedStone Strategies, which solicited donations to the Republican’s congressional campaign but is not registered with the FEC, possibly to circumvent campaign finance laws.
The newspaper noted that a Santos donor made a $25,000 donation to the campaign Oct. 21 through RedStone, which has been described as an “independent spending group.”
Days later, on October 26, Santos loaned the $125,000 to his campaign.
“The person who recruited the donor said he was asked in the weeks leading up to Mr Santos’ campaign to reach out to donors, some of whom had already given the maximum allowable for Mr Santos’ campaign, and at the 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, also known as Super PACs, can exist but must register with the FEC within 10 days of formation.
While they can raise money for specific candidates, they cannot coordinate with the campaigns.
Santos had previously said he used funds from his company, the Devolver Organization, to fund his campaign, a move legal experts said could qualify as an unlawful corporate contribution.
Brendan Fischer, deputy chief executive of state watchdog group Documented, told The Daily Beast that Santos’ latest move “isn’t a half measure – it’s hardly a quarter measure”.
“I don’t know what they think, what they do,” Fischer said. The ‘Santos’ campaign may have unchecked the ‘candidate’s personal funds’ box, but it is still reported that the $500,000 came from Santos himself.
“If the ‘loan from the candidate’ didn’t really 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 woes go away,” he added.