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Republican Rep. George Santos Must Reveal Who Helped Pay His Bond

Republican Rep. George Santos Must Reveal Who Helped Pay His Bond

George Santos
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The embattled gay congressman's lawyer has tried to keep the names secret, contending they'll be harassed and back out.

The identities of the three people who helped Republican U.S. Rep. George Santos post bond in a criminal case against him will be revealed Thursday.

In May, a federal grand jury charged Santos, a gay man who’s been caught in multiple lies about his life, with seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, two counts of making materially false statements to the U.S. House, and one count of theft of public funds. He was taken into police custody, pleaded not guilty, and was released after posting a $500,000 bond backed by three people acting as guarantors.

Santos’s attorney has sought to keep the names of those guarantors secret, contending that if their identities became public knowledge, they would be subject to harassment, CNBC and other major media sources report. But Judge Joanna Seybert issued an order Tuesday saying a document containing the names will be unsealed at noon Eastern time Thursday.

Several news outlets had asked for the document to be unsealed, and a magistrate judge agreed to do so this month but gave Santos’s legal team a window in which to appeal. Attorney Joseph Murray did appeal, but Seybert’s order means the names of the guarantors will come out.

Murray had said the publicity surrounding Santos’s case had already resulted in one of the backers pulling out and that he expected the other two to do so if their names were released. Seybert noted that this is a possibility and that “Defendant may move to modify the conditions of his release, should the Suretors seek to withdraw from serving as suretors.”

Santos has been charged with, among other things, “defrauding his campaign supporters, lying to obtain unemployment money and making false statements on his congressional disclosure forms,” CNBC notes. He has admitted to or been caught in several lies but has said he committed no crime.

He has lied about his education, work experience, and religious background as well as falsely claiming that some of his employees died in the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016, that his mother died as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and that his grandparents were refugees from the Holocaust.

He was elected last year to represent New York’s Third Congressional District, located on Long Island. He was the first LGBTQ+ Republican to win a seat in Congress while being out when first elected; former Republican U.S. House members Steve Gunderson and Jim Kolbe were already in office when they came out as gay, and both were reelected. Santos beat another gay man, Democrat Robert Zimmerman, in the Third Congressional District race in 2022, which marked the first time two out candidates ran against each other in a House general election.

House Democrats have tried to expel Santos but have not succeeded. There also have been calls for him to resign, but he has refused. He has announced he’ll seek reelection in 2024.

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