New York GOP Rep. Calls for DOJ, FEC to Freeze George Santos Campaign Funds Amid Probe Into Finances

Rep. Nicholas LaLota (R-N.Y.) has urged the Department of Justice and the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) to freeze fellow New York Republican Rep. George Santos’s campaign accounts amid an investigation into claims he made about his past, including his work and education history and finances.

In a statement on Twitter, LaLota said on Sunday that the DOJ and FEC need to “act quickly” to freeze any funds in the campaign account belonging to Santos, adding that he was happy to help if the agencies required more authority to do so.

“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,” LaLota said.

“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,” the statement continued. “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. The DOJ or FEC must act now to ensure there is something to actually return to the victims of Santos’ financial scam.”

Epoch Times Photo
This undated photo shows Nicholas J. LaLota, Republican candidate for New York’s First Congressional District. (Lalota for Congress 2022 via AP)

Republicans Call for Santos to Resign

Earlier this month, a number of other GOP lawmakers—including New York GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy and Joseph Cairo, the chairman of the Nassau County GOP—called for Santos to step down, stating that doing so would be in the best interest of taxpayers.

Cairo pointed to Santos’s campaign last year which he said was one of “deceit, lies, and fabrication.”

Santos defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman in November 2022 with 54 percent of the vote after former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) opted instead to run for governor rather than reelection. He was sworn into office on Jan. 7.

However, reports soon emerged that Santos had fabricated large parts of his resume and biography, which was posted on the National Republican Congressional Committee website.

The biography states that Santos obtained “degrees in finance and economics” at Baruch College and New York University, and had worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.

But in December, The New York Times reported that Santos’s claims were in fact false, as were many regarding his work and personal history, including that he falsely claimed he was Jewish.

Previously, Santos referred to himself as “a proud American Jew,” and recounted how his Jewish grandparents had fled Europe during World War II.

Election 2022 New York House
Republican candidate for New York’s 3rd Congressional District George Santos campaigns outside a Stop and Shop store, in Glen Cove, N.Y., on Nov. 5, 2022. (Mary Altaffer/AP Photo)

‘Never Claimed to Be Jewish’

In an interview with the New York Post in December, Santos said that he had “never claimed to be Jewish” and admitted to lying about his education and previous employment, but remained adamant that he was “not a criminal.”

“This [controversy] will not deter me from having good legislative success. I will be effective. I will be good,” Santos said, adding that he was “sorry” for what he called “embellishing my resume.”

Along with his work history, Santos’s finances have also come under the spotlight. The Republican loaned $705,000 from his company to his successful 2022 campaign but had reported no assets (pdf) and a $55,000 salary during his earlier unsuccessful run for Congress in 2020.

On Jan. 9, the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan ethics watchdog, filed a complaint with the FEC urging the agency to investigate Santos for allegedly violating federal campaign finance laws.

Elsewhere, former GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger has launched an online petition to get Santos to step down. Santos previously said that he will resign if more than 142,000 people—which is the same number of people who voted to elect him during the 2022 midterms—call for him to do so.

The petition has so far received 52,618 signatures.

Katabella Roberts

Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.

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