Derek Ross, a lawyer for a man named Thomas Datwyler, has filed a request with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to refer a matter involving his client for a criminal investigation after the campaign for George Santos filed claims Datwyler was its new treasurer — a role to which he didn’t agree.
Ross outlined his request for an investigation by the appropriate law enforcement authority in a letter replying to concerns expressed by that federal agency about confusion surrounding the Santos campaign’s ostensible selection of a new treasurer. “We request that the filing be withdrawn, that Mr. Datwyler’s name be removed from the public record, and that you refer this matter to the appropriate law enforcement agency to determine whether a crime has occurred,” Ross wrote, discussing the filing from the Santos campaign that claimed a new treasurer. A source told The Daily Beast that Nancy Marks, the most recent treasurer for the Santos campaign, was responsible for the filings falsely listing Datwyler, but whether she was incorrectly informed of the situation or personally developed the lie is unclear.
Santos had sought Datwyler’s assistance in dealing with campaign finance matters. If Datwyler had chosen to take the job, he would no doubt have a long agenda.
Santos, the first-term GOP Congressman from New York who was caught lying about much of his background, including his work experience, educational history, and family backstory, has also faced scrutiny over his finances, including the source of hundreds of thousands of dollars he previously claimed to have personally loaned his campaign. The Santos team has since filed a notice with federal authorities that funds previously identified as personal loans from the candidate actually weren’t in such a category. The Daily Beast reported that clarification covered all of what Santos loaned his campaign in the 2022 election cycle, which reached nearly three-quarters of a million dollars. (Other reports have cited slightly different amounts as the situation has progressed.) The actual origin of the funds, it seems, remains unclear.
There’s also the matter of spending by the campaign, like the dozens of expenses reported at $199.99, which is conveniently just below — by a cent — where the FEC starts requiring documentation like a receipt. Elsewhere, it appears federal prosecutors have indicated they are conducting an investigation into Santos’s campaign finances. The Washington Post reported prosecutors at the Justice Department have asked that the Federal Election Commission delay any of its own enforcement action targeting the New York Republican “as prosecutors conduct a parallel criminal probe.” According to the same Post report, the department also asked the FEC for “any relevant documents,” further pointing to what it seems clear is an ongoing investigation that specifically deals with matters under the commission’s purview, meaning Santos’s campaign finances.