Despite being a crusader for transparency on the campaign trail, Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff is refusing to disclose information about his personal finances and investments, according to a new report.
The 33-year-old is challenging GOP Sen. David Perdue in one of two crucial Peach State races that will decide whether Joe Biden has control of the upper chamber of Congress or will be forced to negotiate with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
On the campaign trail, Ossoff touts himself as a crusader against corruption who has produced hard-hitting documentaries on fraud in countries like Ghana through his production company, Insight: The World Investigates.
But the Atlanta-born former congressional aide has refused to be transparent about his own personal finances.
Ossoff has been silent on the $250,000 loan he made to the company when he became CEO at age 26 in 2013, or the undisclosed donation he made when he became majority owner, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Questions have also arisen over how much money the Democratic darling has accepted from China and Qatar after he brokered deals with a Hong Kong news agency and Qatar-backed Al Jazeera to air two of his films on the Islamic State.
Ossoff maintained that his films were sold to Al Jazeera English, not the Arabic branch, and that he only received $1,000 in broadcast rights from the Hong Kong company, which Perdue alleged was “a Communist Chinese news agency.”
The Senate hopeful has refused to provide further financial documents pertaining to the company to the Washington Post, calling them “confidential.”
He has also declined to say how much he inherited from his grandfather, who owned a Massachusetts leather factory, but the figure is expected to run into the millions, according to the Washington Post report.
The Peach State political hopeful has also refused to release his tax returns, but the personal disclosure form he filed as a Senate candidate puts his personal fortune between $2.3 million and $8.8 million.
Wealth has become a central issue in the two Georgia Senate runoff races as Democratic challengers look to topple Perdue, 71, and Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Republican lawmaker involved in this year’s stock trading controversy.
An investigation ultimately cleared Loeffler of any wrongdoing after she dumped millions of dollars worth of stock following a private briefing for senators on COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic.
Perdue is also one of Congress’ most prolific traders and with a net worth of $15.8 million, is one of the wealthiest members of the Senate.
According to the Washington Post report, Ossoff — whom Republicans have described as “a trust fund socialist” with “zero real-life accomplishments” — was tapped to lead Insight: TWI by founder Ron McCullagh, who met Ossoff when he was 16 and on vacation with his family in France.
“I knew he could” do it, McCullagh told the publication, despite Ossoff not having experience in journalism or running a business.
“I’d been running it for 22 years and I wanted to find new blood to take over.”
Ossoff stepped back from the company in 2017 when he made his first unsuccessful foray into politics, running for Congress in Georgia’s ruby red 6th Congressional District — then the most expensive House race in history.