Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) has submitted a court filing requesting that the identities of individuals guaranteeing his $500,000 bail bond be kept under seal. According to ABC News, the request submitted on Monday, entered on behalf of Santos by his attorneys, is a response to a petition from multiple media outlets for the identities of the congressman’s bail backers to be unsealed. The filing also revealed that the congressman has declined to disclose the identity of his suretors to the House Ethics Committee.
“My client would rather surrender to pretrial detainment than subject these suretors to what will inevitably come,” read the filing, which further requested that should Judge Anne Y. Shields rule that the names be unsealed, they be given the opportunity to “withdraw as cosignors on the bond.”
Santos was arrested last month and has pleaded not guilty to 13 criminal charges including wire fraud, money laundering, and lying to Congress. Separately, the House Ethics Committee is probing allegations the congressman “engaged in unlawful activity with respect to his 2022 congressional campaign; failed to properly disclose required information on statements filed with the House; violated federal conflict of interest laws in connection with his role in a firm providing fiduciary services; and/or engaged in sexual misconduct towards an individual seeking employment in his congressional office.”
Upon Santos’ surrender to authorities, he was placed under a $500,000 bond that required three co-signatories as financial guarantors. Per to the filing, the morning of his arraignment the congressman had only managed to secure two suretors, as the third had backed out last minute due to a “change of heart.”
According to Santos’ attorneys, “the suretors are likely to suffer great distress, may lose their jobs, and God forbid, may suffer physical injury,” should their identity be revealed, and argued that Santos’ is a “heater case” subject to much public attention that could adversely affect those involved.
While Santos’s criminal case moves through the court, House Republicans have punted on a decision regarding Santos’ future in Congress. In May, GOP leadership referred a resolution brought by Democrats calling for a vote on Santos’ expulsion to House Ethics. McCarthy has indicated that he will wait for the committee to release its final report on its investigation into Santos before determining whether or not he will remain in government.