FEC Requiring George Santos to Formally Declare 2024 Candidacy or ‘Disavow’ Fundraising

FEC Requiring George Santos to Formally Declare 2024 Candidacy or ‘Disavow’ Fundraising
Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) leaves the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 12, 2023 in Washington. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Savannah Hulsey Pointer

The Federal Elections Commission (FEC) has sent an official inquiry to Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), asking him to declare whether he is running for reelection in 2024.

The Long Island, New York, lawmaker just won his first election and currently represents the state's third congressional district.

The letter asserts that Santos has "accepted contributions and/or made expenditures in support of your 2024 candidacy in excess of $5,000, thus meeting the definition of 'candidate' per Federal Election Campaign Laws."

The election commission went on to inform the potential candidate, "You must either disavow these activities by notifying the Commission in writing that you are not a candidate, or redesignate your principal campaign committee by filing a Statement of Candidacy … within thirty-five (35) days from the date of this letter."

This inquiry comes on the heels of a January letter sent to Santos’s office by the FEC in which they asked for clarity about his campaign submitting paperwork and listing a treasurer who says he never took the position.

The letter said the first-year Republican's campaign "may have failed to include the true, correct, or complete treasurer information" on paperwork listing Thomas Datwyler as its new treasurer and custodian of records.

Datwyler stated through his lawyer, Derek Ross, that he declined the role and was unaware that he would be identified as treasurer on the campaign's papers, which included his electronic signature, email, and mailing addresses.

According to federal regulations, a campaign committee cannot raise or spend money unless it has a treasurer. The treasurer collects all contributions, and only the treasurer or someone designated by the treasurer can approve campaign expenses.

The FEC's more recent letter was sent to Santos's office just days after he was accused of sexual harassment and ethics violations by a former volunteer.
A letter was posted to Twitter on Feb. 3. by former journalist Derek Myers, who accused Santos of both sexual misconduct and ethics violations, which allegedly took place during the days Myers worked as a volunteer for the congressman.
In a statement released by the former journalist the day before, Myers outlined his short time working in Santos's office and accused the New York Republican of becoming "paranoid" about a "fabricated criminal charge of wiretapping from my previous employment as a journalist."

Myers claims Santos was concerned about negative media attention and referenced the claims that Santos may have misled constituents about his background while running for office. The congressman has denied that he had any involvement in sexual misconduct.

Santos's office did not respond to a request for comment before the time of publication.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Savannah Pointer is a politics reporter for The Epoch Times. She can be reached at savannah.pointer@epochtimes.us