New York GOP Rep. George Santos is an ugly, suppurating sore on the Republican House caucus. There is little in his background story that he hasn’t lied about — and now, he’s facing charges that are a little more problematic than fabricating his resumé or his ethnic background. (Remember, he’s “Jew-ish,” not Jewish.)
Santos, who’s facing federal charges that include 13 counts of money laundering, fraud, theft of public funds and other alleged financial faux pas — along with a House Ethics Committee investigation — needs a campaign treasurer that can inspire confidence if he has any hope to continue in office. Sure, he has less than zero chance of being re-elected, but at least having a check on his ability to bilk the system might forestall any efforts to have him removed from office.
Instead, George Santos managed to raise eyebrows on Friday by appointing the most scurrilous, dishonest, plunderous Republican imaginable to serve as his treasurer. Namely, himself.
In filings to the Federal Election Commission on Friday, according to The Washington Post, the 34-year-old Santos effectively removed any kind of ethical check on how his campaign funds are spent by cutting out the middleman — and he’s had several middlemen, as the Post noted, including some that didn’t even want to be involved in the 50-car trainwreck that is George Santos.
“The embattled congressman has cycled through numerous treasurers since early this year as his campaign’s finances came under scrutiny, at one point listing someone who later denied having agreed to take the role. The treasurer who was identified on his filings before the amendments made on Friday, Andrew Olson, did not respond to a request for comment,” the Post reported.
“The changes were a reminder of Santos’s growing isolation. They came as the law firm assisting the New York congressman with matters before the FEC and the House Ethics Committee dropped him as a client, according to people familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity. During the last election cycle, his main campaign committee paid that firm, Dickinson Wright, about $40,000 for consulting and compliance services, according to filings.”
A spokesperson for Dickinson Wright, you may not be surprised to learn, did not immediately respond to a request for comment by the Post. Santos’ new treasurer, himself, also declined to respond to a text message.
The move came less than two weeks after federal prosecutors dropped a 13-count indictment on Santos, who came to office by flipping a seat in one of the few states where the predicted “red wave” materialized last November, New York. Before the year was out, there was a veritable binder full of allegations against him, the most problematic of which — fabricating his education and his experience on Wall Street, as well as lying about his grandparents being Holocaust survivors — had a paper trail attached to them.
Federal prosecutors aren’t concerned about that, however. Among the allegations he’s facing in court include creating a company that he convinced people to donate to under the pretense it would be used to support his congressional campaign and then using the funds for personal expenses, collecting unemployment benefits while raking in $120,000 working at an investment firm, lying on his congressional disclosure forms and other fun stuff like that.
As the New York Post noted, his longtime treasurer, Nancy Marks, resigned in January after it was revealed that a series of suspicious charges valued at $199.99 — one cent below the $200 threshold for keeping receipts — were discovered on Santos’ campaign finance disclosure forms. In addition, there were questions surrounding Santos’ $705,000 personal loan to his own campaign.
After this, a Wisconsin-based consultant named Thomas Datwyler was listed on FEC forms as Santos’ treasurer. Slight problem: That was news to Datwyler, who said through his lawyer that he’d never taken the job.
In short, George Santos is a rara avis: Ever since his election last November (and his swift fall from grace thanks to a belated investigation into his past), he’s been a story that’s transcended Republican or Democrat. He’s managed to united conservatives and liberals in loathing. But why?
Part of it is because he’s a man who’s managed to create a snapshot of all the dysfunction of Washington in a single, neat package. He combines the preposterous self-mythologizing of Joe Biden, the CYA tactics of Hillary Clinton and the generalized whiff of financial malfeasance that seems to surround every major modern political campaign in the 21st century — only in 72-point font and with a Marx Brothers air of comic ineptitude about it.
Not only that, there’s Santos’ ability to peddle lies about his background (his prior jobs, his college education, his wealth, his ancestry — literally, almost everything about him, including his sexuality, seemed to have some air of being toyed with, if not outright fabricated) that went seemingly undetected until after he was elected, which revealed so much that is broken about the American press and its failure to properly check politicians.
For instance, Maggie Haberman of The New York Times called the ability of Santos to fly under the radar a story about the “death of local media” in a January interview with CNN. Just so we’re clear, Haberman is a top writer for the New York Times, a paper that is the definition of “local media” to the people who elected Santos in the NYC-adjacent 3rd Congressional District on Long Island. Write your own punchline, folks:
And, as if she needed to provide more of an object lesson in the failures of our establishment media, Haberman came under fire earlier this month when she tried to take credit on behalf of the Times for breaking the Santos story belatedly — when, in fact, it was a local Long Island paper called the North Shore Leader that first called foul.
Funny, I thought it was the North Shore Leader. https://t.co/Y5Jo5TMQnL
— Slush Puppy (@RushRuppy) May 10, 2023
And let’s not let us conservatives off the hook here: There was something about Santos’ too-perfect backstory that appealed to a secret love of the left’s identity politics. A Hispanic/Jewish gay man checked off all the boxes for the kind of righty who secretly believes that, if we deliberately cultivate false diversity within the GOP at the expense of merit, that Democrats will have to stop calling us all bigots.
Instead, not only does that attitude create opportunities for self-evident charlatans like Rep. Santos, but giving in to the false premises of liberal diversity allows the left an opportunity to unfairly smear highly qualified minority Republicans like Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina as a “token” and “Uncle Tim,” among other racially loaded epithets that have been lobbed at him. It’s literally the worst of both worlds — and while the left is belying the racism that undergirds its concepts of “diversity” and “equity” by its treatment of Scott and other minority Republicans, we completely own Santos.
For how much longer we have to own him remains to be seen. The Washington Post wasn’t lying when it mentioned “Santos’s growing isolation.” Indeed, that’s a bit of an understatement; just two days before Santos filed the documents to become his own campaign treasurer, his communications director resigned after undercover video of her saying she hoped he got kicked out of Congress was published on social media.
— O’Keefe Media Group (@OKeefeMedia) May 17, 2023
“Thirteen counts of money laundering, fraud … He’s not a good person, sorry,” Naysa Woomer said in video released by the O’Keefe Media Group.
While this is a plausible reason why Santos needed to appoint himself as his campaign finance manager — namely, because George Santos is the only person who will work with George Santos at this point — it’s still not an excuse. Santos has been stripped of his committee assignments, has lost the support of anyone within his own orbit and should now be focused on staying out of jail, not remaining in the House of Representatives.
But don’t tell that to Rep. Santos: “I’ll be the chairman of a committee in a couple of years if you just look at the standards of Congress,” he said after his arrest. For once, he may be speaking the truth.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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