Federal prosecutors said to be investigating George Santos as some donors impossible to find

Mother Jones tried unsuccessfully to contact many who had donated to Republican George Santos’ campaigns

Sheila Flynn
Saturday 28 January 2023 22:49 GMT
George Santos dodges questions on Capitol Hill

Federal prosecutors are likely looking into Republican Congressman George Santos’ campaign finances after the Justice Department asked the Federal Election Commission to postpone any enforcement action, sources told the Washington Post.

The development coincided with a Mother Jones investigation, which looked into donors to Mr Santos’s 2020 campaign, and discovered contact details for many people were incorrect, with addresses and names not only seeming not to match but often not to exist at all.

The Post reported that the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section asked the FEC to hold off on action as well as provide any relevant documents, according to knowledgeable sources speaking on condition of anonymity.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment to the Post while an FEC spokeswoman said the regulator “cannot comment on enforcement;” neither Santos nor his attorney responded to requests for comment, the newspaper reported.

“The FEC ordinarily complies with DOJ requests to hold off on enforcement,” the Post reported. “Those requests arise from a 1977 memorandum of understanding between the agencies that addresses their overlapping law enforcement responsibilities.”

Mother Jones, meanwhile, had been attempting to contact donors to Mr Santos, whose various claims about everything from his education to his mother’s death have been proven as lies.

The outlet found “more than a dozen major donations to the 2020 Santos campaign for which the name or the address of the donor cannot be confirmed ... These questionable donations, which account for more than $30,000 of the $338,000 the Santos campaign raised from individual donors in 2020, have not been previously cited in media reports. Mother Jones identified them by contacting (or trying to contact) dozens of the most generous donors to Santos’ 2020 campaign, which he ended up losing by 12 points.”

Campaign funds have been a key issue among the swirling and ever-growing mysteries surrounding Mr Santos’ career. The DOJ-to-FEC request “indicates there’s an active criminal investigation” at the DOJ that could overlap with complaints before the FEC, Brett Kappel, a campaign finance lawyer at D.C.-based Harmon, Curran, Spielberg & Eisenberg, told the Post.

Mr Santos, 34, has admitted to “embellishment” of his past and achievements but has resisted all calls for his resignation.

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