OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images
- GOP Rep. George Santos has closer ties to Russian oligarchs than previously known, per The Washington Post.
- Santos reportedly received campaign donations from Andrew Intrater, a cousin of Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg.
- Intrater also put money into Harbor City Capitol, a company that the SEC called a Ponzi scheme.
GOP Rep. George Santos appears to have closer ties to Russian oligarchs than previously reported, according to an exclusive report from The Washington Post published Monday.
Russian businessman Andrew Intrater and his wife donated $5,800 to a campaign committee for Santos and gave thousands more in campaign contributions since 2020, the paper reported, citing federal election data —signaling a closer financial relationship to Russian money than he previously described when he ran for office.
Intrater is the cousin of businessman Viktor Vekselberg — one of the Russian oligarchs sanctioned by the US after the country’s invasion of Ukraine last February — and Intrater’s investment firm, Columbus Nova, also has ties to the billionaire.
The embattled New York congressman, who has come under scrutiny for reportedly lying about his multiple parts of biography, has said he “embellished” some of his background and signaled he will not step down. Still, there are growing calls from Democrats for him to resign and the lawmaker is facing a House ethics process.
The Post also reported that Intrater also gave “hundreds of thousands” of dollars to Harbor City Capitol, an investment firm Santos worked for before running for Congress that was accused of running a Ponzi scheme, according to a filing from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Santos also claimed that Columbus Nova was his “client” while working for Harbor City Capitol to find new investors in 2020, the paper reported. However, in video footage obtained by The Post, Santos stated to potential investors who asked about other investors in a construction project, “You might know who they are,” suggesting Columbus Nova.
Intrater is also a known associate of former-Trump attorney Michael Cohen as well, Insider previously reported. Intrater, who was cited in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, donated $250,000 to Trump’s inaugural committee and Columbus Nova paid Cohen approximately $500,000 in consulting fees between January and August 2017.
Representatives for Santos, Intrater and Columbus Nova did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.