NY Republican calls for DOJ, FEC to freeze Santos campaign funds

Rep. Nick LaLota is calling on the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) to freeze fellow New York Republican Rep. George Santos’s campaign accounts amid escalating scrutiny of the new lawmaker’s false claims before and during his successful House bid last year.

“To the extent there is actually any real money in the campaign account of Congressman George Santos, the funds should be immediately frozen by the United States Department of Justice or Federal Election Commission,” reads LaLota’s statement, which he posted on Twitter on Sunday. “If those federal agencies need more authority to do so, I’ll take the lead.”

LaLota, along with six other House Republicans, has called on Santos to resign over his falsehoods. LaLota also called for the House Ethics Committee to launch an investigation into Santos last month.

“Congressman Santos fraudulently solicited these funds and Santos shouldn’t be allowed to drain his campaign account while multiple authorities investigate the very fraud that induced these contributions,” LaLota said in the statement.

“After Congressman Santos receives the proper Due Process — such as a House Ethics investigation or criminal proceedings or both — the funds should be returned to the contributors he duped,” he added. “The DOJ or FEC must act now to ensure there is something to actually return to the victims of Santos’ financial scam.”

Santos has faced scrutiny over the past month since revelations that he fabricated large parts of his resume and biography were made public by news reporting. He admitted to lying about his experiences, including his education and previous employment, in an interview with The New York Post last month.

Since then, Santos has faced public scrutiny into his finances. In 2022, he donated $700,000 to his own campaign that apparently came from his $750,000 that came from his company, the Devolder Organization, according to his most recent disclosure report. But just two years earlier in his first unsuccessful run for Congress, he reported no assets and a $55,000 salary.

Reports from CNN and CBS News last month found that the U.S. attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York was investigating Santos’s finances and financial disclosure filings. Last week, the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan ethics-watchdog, filed a complaint with the FEC to urge the agency to investigate Santos for allegedly violating campaign finance laws.

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