The Justice Department has requested that the Federal Election Commission not pursue enforcement action against lying Rep. George Santos as it continues its criminal investigation into the disgraced lawmaker, according to a report on Friday.
The guidance sent by the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section signals that federal prosecutors may be centering their probe into Santos (R-NY) on his campaign finances, according to the Washington Post.
The report adds that the DOJ also asked that the FEC provide any relevant documents to the Justice Department.
The revelation comes just one day after the FEC sent a letter to the newly listed treasurer of the Santos campaign asking him to confirm that he is in fact now in charge of the campaign’s accounts.
“It has come to the attention of the Federal Election Commission that you may have failed to include the true, correct, or complete treasurer information,” the FEC wrote in a Thursday letter to Thomas Datwyler, who, through a lawyer, denied that he had ever agreed to take the job.
“On Monday we informed the Santos campaign that Mr. Datwyler would not be serving as treasurer,” Datwyler’s lawyer, Derek Ross, said in a statement. “It appears there’s a disconnect between that conversation and the filings [Wednesday] which we did not authorize.”
The FEC’s missive reminds the Santos campaign that “knowingly and willfully making any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation to a federal government agency, including the Federal Election Commission, is punishable” under federal law and that the agency “may report apparent violations to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.”
The FEC usually complies with DOJ requests to hold off on enforcement, according to the Washington Post.
The 34-year-old congressman’s team has been actively amending several documents on file with the FEC this week.
On Wednesday, Santos’ team changed paperwork to show that a $500,000 loan he made to his 2022 congressional campaign did not, in fact, come from “personal funds of the candidate.” It is unknown where the funds he lent to his campaign came from.
Santos, who admitted to The Post that he made up most of his resume during his run for office, lying about his education, work history, and religion, among other things, is facing federal, state, and county probes as a result of his lies.
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