Rep. George Santos Says He Would Risk Jail To Keep Bond Cosigners Anonymous
A lawyer for Rep. George Santos (R-New York) said on Monday that Santos would rather go to jail than surrender the identities of those who cosigned the $500,000 bond that released him before his trial on June 30.
On May 10, Santos pleaded not guilty to 13 criminal counts. The congressman is charged with money laundering, lying to Congress about the extent of his wealth, stealing money from his own campaign and collecting unemployment benefits that he he wasn’t entitled to.
Despite calls for his removal, Santos has publicly stated that he will not resign from his seat or drop his bid for re-election next year.
Upon his temporary release, Santos was ordered to give up his passport and is only allowed to move between Washington, D.C., New York City and Long Island. He must be granted permission to travel outside of these locations.
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Major news outlets are currently putting pressure on the prosecutors of the case to release the names of the bond suretors on the grounds of remaining transparent and satisfying public interest.
Santos’ lawyer, Joseph Murray, has urged the judge to deny these requests in the name of protecting the suretors from “great distress,” which he said could include job loss and physical harm.
Santos and his team have been receiving threatening messages and even death threats. Murray worries that those who oppose Santos “are just waiting to pounce” on the cosigners who supported him.
Murray claimed Santos had chosen three cosigners to present to the court as suretors, but one backed out and the team is now blaming the media.
“As the media frenzy progressively got worse,” explained Murray at a press conference, “our suretors grew very fearful and concerned. As of the morning of May 10, 2023, we only had two confirmed suretors, while our third suretor had a change of heart and backed out.”
Prosecutors have not yet announced whether or not they will release the names of the cosigners of Santos’ bond.
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