Confronted with the claims that he had lied about graduating from Baruch College, playing volleyball there, working on Wall Street, owning multiple rental properties, earning a high six-figure income, having Jewish ancestors who survived the Holocaust, running an animal welfare charity and having employees who died in the Pulse nightclub shooting, Santos has admitted to “résumé embellishment” while refusing to accept any formal repercussions.
The Accountable.US complaint alleges that the Santos campaign improperly accepted $113,390 in contributions from 36 individuals that exceeded the $2,900 per election limit. It also alleges that Santos used campaign funds for personal use, including rent and travel expenses to Florida unrelated to the election.
In addition to the FEC complaints, Santos’ legion of lies has already led other watchdogs to lodge complaints with the Office of Congressional Ethics, Democrats to ask the House Ethics Committee to investigate and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York to reportedly launch an investigation.
Santos remained defiant on Thursday as the demands for his defenestration grew, describing it as the product of the media’s biased scrutiny of Republicans. “I just pray for all of you, when they come for you, that you have the same strength I have,” Santos said on Steve Bannon’s podcast Thursday, which was being guest hosted by Rep. Matt Gaetz while Bannon was in a New York courtroom facing fraud and money laundering charges related to a scheme to privately finance a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Santos has been dogged by questions surrounding $700,000 in loans to his campaign that he disclosed in FEC filings. Public evidence suggests that Santos, who a few years ago faced eviction proceedings for failing to pay his rent, never had that kind of personal wealth. Asked by Gaetz where the funds came from, Santos deflected.