To tell or not to tell? Deceitful Rep. George Santos has until Thursday noon to decide whether he’ll go to jail to safeguard the names of the 3 people who helped him post his $500k bond or allow these names to be revealed.
Santos and his attorney have been battling to keep the identities of the persons who paid for his bond in his federal fraud case a secret, but on Tuesday a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York sided with multiple media outlets and mandated that the information be made public.
The aforementioned documents “shall be kept under seal until Thursday, June 22, at 12 p.m., during which time the defendant may move to modify the terms of his release, should the suretors seek to withdraw from acting as suretors,” according to the court’s judgment.
13 crimes, 500k bond
Santos was indicted on 13 federal criminal counts, including fraud, and released on May 10 after posting a $500k bond.
The two guarantors of the Long Island congressman’s bond are family members, and Santos’ attorney hinted in a June 9 filing that if their identities were made public, it was “very likely” that they would decide to renounce their support for the bond.
The identities of the three individuals who assisted him in putting up the bail for his release have been kept a secret by him. His defense attorney has claimed in court documents that if the defendants’ names were made known, they would receive threats.
According to Santos, this might subject him to onerous release terms or put him in pre-trial custody.
As the House Ethics Committee looks into any potential violations of the House Gift Rule, a media consortium also filed a motion to unseal the records. The committee is also trying to identify those who assisted Santos with his bond.
Santos, 34, entered a not-guilty plea to 13 counts last month, including embezzling $50,000 from his campaign for personal use, misrepresenting his identity to donors, lying to Congress about his income, and using deception to get COVID unemployment benefits.
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The photo above is from a YouTube screen grab