The House Ethics Committee has announced that it is officially investigating embattled Rep. George Santos of Long Island and Queens, New York. This announcement follows the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) recent letter to Santos detailing his campaign’s finance violations.
On Thursday, the House Ethics Committee announced that it voted to establish an investigative subcommittee authorized to investigate whether Santos committed unlawful activities related to his 2022 congressional campaign.
“[Santos] may have engaged in unlawful activity with respect to his 2022 congressional campaign; failed to properly disclose required information on statements filed with the House; violated federal conflict of interest laws in connection with his role in a firm providing fiduciary services; and/or engaged in sexual misconduct towards an individual seeking employment in his congressional office,” the committee’s announcement said.
Santos’s office said, in a tweet, that he would fully cooperate with the investigation, and then offered no additional comment.
The freshman Republican lawmaker and animal rescue grifter also received a letter from the FEC on Wednesday detailing campaign donation violations over two reporting periods in 2022. Santos, an admitted “f*ck up” and “terrible liar,” has until April 5 to correct what the FEC charitably calls “possible discrepancies.”
“Failure to adequately respond by the response date noted above could result in an audit or enforcement action,” the letter states.
According to The Washington Post, Santos has been under parallel investigations by both the FEC and the Department of Justice.
Two separate donations by the same individual, Raymond Tantillo, in the amount of $5,800 and $11,600, exceed “combined applicable limits.” The excessive amount may be “reattributed to another person” by written permission of both parties with notification by the campaign’s treasurer, or refunded to the donor.
“Any request from a donor for a refund must be honored,” the FEC wrote. Who would honor that request, though, if it’s made, is unclear.
The letter from the FEC is addressed to “Andrew Olson, Treasurer, Devolder Santos Victory Committee, ” but the identity of Andrew Olsen is a mystery. Santos named Olsen his campaign treasurer late last month, after being informed by the FEC earlier that he couldn’t raise or spend funds without one.
Olsen’s appointment followed Santos listing a man named Thomas Datwyler as his purported treasurer in an FEC filing in late January. However, Datwyler said he had turned the job down and wasn’t sure why he was listed on the filing.
“We informed the Santos campaign that Mr. Datwyler would not be serving as treasurer,” Datwyler’s attorney Derek Ross told ABC News at the time, but “it appears that there’s been a disconnect.”
According to Adav Noti, a former FEC official with the watchdog group Campaign Legal Center, “It’s completely illegal to sign somebody else’s name on a federal filing without their consent. That is a big, big no-no.”
Now Olsen’s appointment is raising more questions, like, who is he? No one in the GOP seems to know.
“Do not know him. Have not heard of him,” Nassau County Republican Party spokesman Mike Deery told CNN. Deery says Nassau County’s GOP chair Joseph Cairo was “not acquainted” with Olden either.
The filing records no phone number for Olsen, and he has no presence on social media.
One fact revealed by the FEC document: Olsen’s listed address is the same as an apartment building occupied by Tiffany Lee Devolder Santos, George Santos’s sister. She vacated the building in January after threats of eviction for $39,050.00 in unpaid rent.