A federal judge in New York has granted the request to unseal the identities of the three individuals who co-signed Rep. George Santos’s $500,000 bond. Santos, a freshman lawmaker, was indicted on criminal charges last month. U.S. Magistrate Judge Anne Shields made the decision on Tuesday, providing Santos with until Friday at noon to appeal. The names of the guarantors will remain sealed until then, as per the ruling.
The decision follows requests from several media organizations urging the judge to disclose the identities of the co-signers who helped secure Santos’s bail after he faced 13 criminal counts in May. Santos’s defense attorneys had filed a motion on Monday, requesting that the court keep the records sealed, arguing that the guarantors would likely face distress, job loss, and potential physical harm if their identities were made public.
The defense lawyers stated that Santos would prefer to be arrested and surrender to pretrial detainment rather than reveal the names of the guarantors. Santos himself has not publicly responded to the judge’s decision, and his spokesperson has not provided any comment.
The House Ethics Committee has also sought the names of the individuals as part of an inquiry into the payment. However, Santos’s legal team has not provided that information, as stated in court filings. The Ethics Committee initiated an investigation after the House voted to refer the matter to the panel, temporarily preventing Santos from facing high-profile expulsion.
Read Also: These Celebrities All Support Trump
Santos was released on a $500,000 bond after being indicted by the Justice Department on charges including wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and making false statements to the House of Representatives. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, alleging that they are politically motivated.
Read Next: Budlight Prices Dropping to Zero