Report: George Santos has financial ties to cousin of Russian Jewish oligarch
Embattled U.S. Rep. George Santos has financial ties to the cousin of a Russian Jewish oligarch, according to a Washington Post investigation.
The Post reported Monday that Santos’ main campaign committee and several other committees connected to him received tens of thousands of dollars from Andrew Intrater and his wife since 2020.
Santos first ran an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 2020, but was victorious this past November. A stream of evidence has surfaced since the election revealing that he lied about everything from his grandparents fleeing Nazi persecution to his work history.
Intrater, a U.S. citizen and the son of a Holocaust survivor, is cousins with Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian oligarch who was reportedly born to a Jewish father. Intrater is a board member of the USC Shoah Foundation, which also lists him among donors who’ve given more than $1 million.
The Post said Vekselberg’s conglomerate in 2018 was the largest client of Intrater’s company, the investment firm Columbus Nova.
Santos also claimed to have a relationship with Intrater’s company. In a 2020 Zoom meeting for Santos’ former employer, Harbor City, the now-sitting Long Island congressman claimed Columbus Nova was a client of his, the Post said.
Harbor City did end up landing a deposit worth more than $600,000 from a company run by Intrater.
In 2021, the SEC accused Harbor City of running a “Ponzi scheme” in a complaint, though Santos was not named.
Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election looked into both Intrater and Vekselberg but neither was accused of wrongdoing, the Post said.
Santos has refused to step down from his seat despite demands from critics for his resignation, including online petitions and calls from at least seven of his Republican House colleagues and from Long Island Jewish Republicans.
The New York Times reported last week that a routine background check on Santos by his own campaign team prior to his run revealed “a pattern of deception” so alarming that he was urged to drop out of the race. The Times said it was “the most explicit evidence to date that a small circle of well-connected Republican campaign professionals had indications far earlier than the public that Mr. Santos was spinning an elaborate web of deceits, and that the candidate himself had been warned” about his vulnerability.