A judge is set to release the names of the two people who paid the $500,000 bail for Long Island liar George Santos last month.
US Magistrate Judge Anne Y. Shields has ruled that the names of those who helped secure his release will be released at noon on Friday.
His order and all related documents were kept under seal, to give Santos until noon Friday to appeal his decision.
Santos pleaded not guilty last month to a 13-count indictment, saying he duped donors, stole from his campaign, lied to Congress about being a millionaire and cheated to collect allowances unemployment.
On Monday, Santos attorney Joseph Murray urged the judge to reject the request to unseal the names of Santos’ guarantors or guarantors.
“My client would rather surrender to remand than subject these sureties to what will inevitably happen,” Murray wrote in a letter to U.S. Magistrate Judge Anne Shields.
George Santos is seen speaking outside the Capitol on May 17, amid efforts to expel him from the House
Magistrate Judge Anne Y. Shields has ruled that the names of the bond guarantors who helped secure Santos’ release will be unsealed at noon on Friday
Magistrate Judge Shields’ order and all related documents were kept under seal, to give Santos until noon Friday to appeal his decision.
Murray suggested they could “suffer great distress”, including possible job loss and physical injury, if publicly identified.
Murray asked that she give them time to opt out as co-signers if she decides to unseal their names, which Shields kept out of court at the attorney’s request.
The attorney said he, Santos, and Santos staff received threatening and harassing calls and messages, including death threats.
Murray said he received a call on Friday from someone yelling, “Who posted Santos’ bail?” and said he feared Santos’ critics were “just waiting to pounce” on people who support his release.
“We truly fear for their health, safety and well-being,” Murray wrote.
In a letter last week, a media lawyer urged the judge to release the names of Santos bond guarantors, citing a “compelling public interest in maintaining as much transparency as possible in these proceedings.”
The New York Times first wrote to Shields on May 23 asking him to unseal the names.
According New York Daily NewsNew York Times senior counsel Dana Green wrote, “The public interest in transparency is particularly strong in this case.
“The bail files relate to three people who have pledged large sums of money to ensure that Representative Santos can remain free, pending further proceedings.
“This presents a clear opportunity for political influence, given Rep. Santos’ elected position and his reliance on these guarantors.”;
Other outlets, including the Associated Press, joined the fight days later.
Joseph Murray, attorney for George Santos, is trying to keep the names of those who contributed to the $500,000 bond from being made public
Former Democratic congressional candidate Robert Zimmerman, center, speaks at a rally in Mineola, New York, on December 29, where local leaders and dozens of residents of the Third Congressional District gathered to condemn Santos for lying
Separately, the House Ethics Committee wrote to Santos on May 16 asking him to identify the people who co-signed his bond.
Murray said Santos originally lined up three financially responsible co-signers as sureties, but one pulled out and the other two did not show up for his arraignment.
This forced them to make “other confidential arrangements” to secure Santos’ release, Murray said.
Santos’ bail is not guaranteed. This means that his co-signers have not paid any money up front, but could be forced to pay the full amount if he fails to meet his release conditions or fails to appear in court.
The 34-year-old, who represents parts of Queens and Long Island, defied calls to resign and said he would not give up his bid for a second term.