Embattled Rep. George Santos has resisted calls to resign over uncovered lies on his résumé that he reportedly has business ties to a sanctioned Russian oligarch’s cousin and former Trump lawyer, Michael Cohen. Help arrange hush money payments to adults movie star Stormy Daniels.
The Washington Post reported, citing court documents and video clips of the Zoom meeting, that Santos’ relationship with Andrew Interrat exceeded the maximum $5,800. The MP’s main campaign committee and tens of thousands of people have donated to committees linked to him since 2020.
As Santos faces an investigation into alleged campaign finance violations, the Post argues that it found evidence of the congressman’s business ties to Intrater as Santos first entered politics in 2020.
Intrater is the cousin of Russian tycoon and Kremlin insider Viktor Vekselberg, who was sanctioned by the U.S. government for supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
House Democrats accuse McCarthy, Stefanik and GOP leaders of knowing about George Santos’ ‘web of lies’ before election
Although Intrater is a U.S. citizen, his investment firm Columbus Nova counted Vekselberg’s conglomerate Renova Group as its biggest client in 2018, when the oligarch with an estimated net worth of $6 billion was known for his involvement in the Russian energy sector.
Columbus Nova has since been known as Sparrow Capital.
The Post points to the SEC complaint against Harbor City Capital, where Santos has worked for more than a year. Intrater poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Harbor City, which has been accused by regulators of being a Ponzi scheme in Florida federal court, the Post said.
In his investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, special counsel Robert Mueller also looked into Intrater’s dealings with Cohen, whom he hired as an intermediary to identify potential business deals. Neither Intrater nor Vekselberg have been accused of any wrongdoing in the Mueller investigation.
Unrelated to Intrater, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, bank fraud and campaign finance irregularities before turning his back on former President Donald Trump when he testified before the House Oversight Committee in 2019.
In a Zoom meeting in 2020, Santos claimed that Intrater’s company, Columbus Nova, was his “client” when discussing the difficulties investors had with the luxury residential real estate complex at 432 Park Avenue in Manhattan. It was unclear whether Intrater’s company was involved in the project, but Santos said it was “unreasonable” for Columbus Nova to make news about the Russia investigation.
Harbor City received a $625,000 deposit from FEA Innovations, a Mississippi-registered company that lists Intrater as its sole executive, the Post reported, citing evidence in the SEC complaint. In 2021, Santos launched his own consulting firm, Devolder, LLC.
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Two Democratic members of Congress recently filed complaints against Santos with the House Ethics Committee, saying he contributed $705,000 to his campaign. The complaint alleges that Santos ran a “straw donation” scheme, suggesting he may have disguised donations from unknown individuals or companies as his own income from Devolder. Although the MP was recently paid from Harbor City in April 2021, he did not report his income from Harbor City, the Post reported.
Fox News Digital reached out to Santos’ director of communications for comment on Tuesday, but did not immediately hear back.