George Santos linked to cousin of Russian oligarch: Report

New reports reveal Rep. George Santos is connected to the cousin of a Russian oligarch, who donated hefty sums to his campaign.

The Washington Post reported on Monday that one of Rep. George Santos’s donors was Andrew Intrater, a businessman with ties to a notorious Russian oligarch. 

The revelation comes as the biggest question surrounding Santos, still remains unanswered. Just a few years ago Santos claimed a salary of only $55,000 a year-- so how did he earn enough money to lend his campaign $700,000 in 2022 last year?

"This is finally a money sources that has that kind of wherewithal," said David Birdsell, Provost Kean University. "And might it be the source of those campaign dollars, maybe, we don’t know." 

The report says Intrater donated thousands of dollars to Santos’ campaign and committees he's linked to and also dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into an investment firm where Santos’ worked, Harbor City Capital, currently under investigation for running a Ponzi scheme. 

Intrater's resume shows up shady, he's cousins with Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian billionaire sanctioned by the U.S. Intrater was investigated for his connections to Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen during the Russian probe. Cohen plead guilty to campaign finance law violations in 2018. The Intrater-Santos connection is key.  

"Until we know what that looks like, then we’ll know the scope of the potential illegality here," said Birdsell. 

The house won’t kick Santos out for lying, but the Oversight Committee chair said they will if he broke campaign finance laws, a felony conviction the courts will have to make.  

"If they can get a conviction on a campaign finance violation," Birdsell said, "on a perjury violation, on any number of violations and there are many possibilities in the hopper right now, that would then create the felony rationale for a clear removal without having to have an argument among the caucus."