George Santos has business ties with Russian oligarch’s cousin, Stormy Daniels hush-money deal fixer: report
Embattled Rep. George Santos, who has rebuffed calls to resign over uncovered lies on his resume, reportedly has business ties to the cousin of a sanctioned Russian oligarch as well as to former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who helped arrange hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
The Washington Post, citing court documents and video footage from Zoom meetings, reported that Santos’ connection to Andrew Intrater expanded beyond the maximum $5,800 Federal Election Commission filings show Intrater and his wife each contributed to the congressman’s main campaign committee and the tens of thousands more since 2020 to committees linked to him.
As Santos faces investigations over alleged campaign finance violations, the Post argues it’s uncovered evidence of the congressman and Intrater’s business relationship 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.
Though Intrater is a U.S. citizen, his investment firm, Columbus Nova, took on Vekselberg’s conglomerate, Renova Group, as its largest client in 2018 when the oligarch with an estimated net worth of $6 billion was first designated by the Treasury Department for his role in the Russian energy sector.
Columbus Nova has since become known as Sparrow Capital.
The Post pointed to a Security Exchange Commission complaint against Harbor City Capital, where Santos worked for more than a year. The Post says Intrater put hundreds of thousands of dollars into Harbor City, which has been accused by regulators of being a Ponzi scheme in Florida federal court.
Intrater’s dealings with Cohen, whom he hired as a fixer to identify potential business deals, were also investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller’s while looking into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Neither Intrater nor Vekselberg were accused of any wrongdoing in the Mueller probe.
Unrelated to Intrater, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, bank fraud and campaign finance violations before turning his back on former President Donald Trump in testimony to the House Oversight Committee in 2019.
In a 2020 Zoom meeting, Santos claimed Intrater’s firm, Columbus Nova, was a ‘client’ of his during a discussion about the difficulty experienced by investors in a luxury residential real estate tower located at 432 Park Avenue in Manhattan. It’s not clear if Intrater’s firm was involved in the project, but Santos remarked how it was ‘unjustified’ that Columbus Nova made news over the Russian probe.
Harbor City obtained a $625,000 deposit from FEA Innovations, a company registered in Mississippi that lists Intrater as its lone officer, The Post reported, citing an exhibit included in the SEC complaint. In 2021, Santos founded his own consulting business called Devolder, LLC.
A recent complaint filed against Santos by two Democratic congressmen with the House Ethics Committee says he contributed $705,000 to his own campaign. The complaint accused Santos of a ‘straw donor’ scheme, suggesting he could have disguised contributions from unknown individuals or corporations as his own income from Devolder. He did not report income from Harbor City, despite the congressman having been paid by that firm as recently as April 2021, according to the Post.
Fox News Digital reached out to Santos’ communications director and personal attorney Tuesday. His congressional office says it does not comment on campaign or personal matters. A response was not immediately received from Santos’ attorney.