World

George Santos Says He Has a New Treasurer. The Treasurer Does Not Agree.

Representative George Santos’s campaign and six affiliated political committees filed statements on Wednesday indicating they were removing his longtime treasurer, Nancy Marks, who has been connected to nearly every Santos-related fund and one of Mr. Santos’s private business ventures.

But the move — as with so many things regarding Mr. Santos, who has admitted to falsehoods on the campaign trail and misleading statements about his background — was clouded by mystery and immediately provoked questions.

Shortly after the first new filings surfaced, Ms. Marks’s apparent replacement as treasurer, Thomas Datwyler, said through a representative that he had not agreed to the swap and suggested that the changes were made without his consent.

“On Monday, we informed the Santos campaign that Mr. Datwyler would not be taking over as treasurer,” Mr. Datwyler’s lawyer, Derek Ross, said. “And there appears to be some disconnect between that conversation and this filing.”

Mr. Santos, a Republican from New York, and his team provided no explanation. His lawyer, Joe Murray, said, “I have no response to any of that.” Ms. Marks did not immediately respond to an email or phone calls seeking comment.

More on George Santos

  • An Investor’s Experience: Andrew Intrater, a wealthy businessman, has been in touch with the  Securities and Exchange Commission about Representative George Santos’s dealings with a company accused in a Ponzi scheme.
  • Tilting to the Hard Right: Mr. Santos’s actions in and out of the House chamber so far this year suggest that his stance in Congress will be further to the right than the one he adopted on the campaign trail.
  • Clothes Make the Con Man: To look the part he conceived for himself, Mr. Santos went deep into the costume department of the popular culture hive mind and built his cover story garment by garment.
  • Holes in the Gate-Keeping System: Interviews and documents obtained by The Times show that some Republicans had indications far earlier than the public did that Mr. Santos was spinning an elaborate web of deceits.

But the change, whether sanctioned by Mr. Santos or not, added to the confusion surrounding his campaign filings, which may be under scrutiny by federal and local prosecutors.

On Tuesday, Mr. Santos’s campaign filed updated reports that raised new questions about the source of $705,000 that Mr. Santos lent his congressional campaign. The crux of the issue revolved around two unchecked boxes denoting whether two of the larger loans came from his personal funds.

Mr. Santos was already facing inquiries from federal and local investigators over his lies and financial dealings, after The New York Times reported that he had omitted key information from required financial disclosures, that his campaign had featured a pattern of unusual expenses and that a fund claiming to be raising money to support his candidacy had not been registered with the Federal Election Commission.

Earlier this month, the Campaign Legal Center, a watchdog group, filed a complaint with the F.E.C. asking it to investigate whether Mr. Santos improperly spent campaign money on personal expenses or obscured the true sources of his campaign funding.

The complaint has put Ms. Marks, who has been a key member of Mr. Santos’s political circle since he first ran for office, under greater scrutiny. In addition to her work with Mr. Santos, she was the treasurer for former Representative Lee Zeldin’s campaign for governor and has been tied to other companies that offered services to Republican candidates in New York.

Ms. Marks has not commented on the swirl of questions surrounding Mr. Santos’s campaign accounting, including an unusual number of expenses costing $199.99 — one cent below the threshold at which federal law requires receipts.

It was not clear why Mr. Santos’s campaign tried to obtain the services of Mr. Datwyler, a veteran campaign finance consultant who has worked with a number of Republican members of Congress. Mr. Datwyler and Mr. Santos’s chief of staff, Charles Lovett, worked for the failed Senate campaign of Josh Mandel, a Republican from Ohio.

Mr. Datwyler was eventually replaced as treasurer on that campaign. In a letter filed with the F.E.C. last month, Mr. Mandel’s campaign committee accused Mr. Datwyler of a “stunning number of inexplicable reporting errors.”

Mr. Santos is also facing the prospect of an investigation by the House Ethics Committee, an action called for by two Democratic lawmakers but supported by a number of House Republicans.

On Tuesday, Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, said that he would not move to address the mounting concerns around Mr. Santos until the House Ethics Committee investigated him.

Mr. McCarthy said that if the committee finds that Mr. Santos broke the law, “then we will remove him, but it’s not my role.”

“I believe in the rule of law,” Mr. McCarthy said. “A person’s innocent until proven guilty.”

On Wednesday, Mr. Santos gave his first remarks on the House floor since his repeated votes for Mr. McCarthy to be speaker in the first week of the year. In a short speech, he voiced support for a resolution commending protesters in Iran.

“Let America serve as a democratic beacon of light for the Iranian men and women who are fighting abroad,” he said.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button