Washington — Rep. George Santos, Republican of New York, filed an eight-page appeal Friday seeking to keep sealed the names of those who helped him make the $500,000 bond in his .
Submitting the filing just before the noon deadline, Santos' lawyers argue that the people who helped him post the bond would likely have to withdraw from serving as his bond supporters if their names are released. This, Santos says, could force him into pre-trial detention or impose upon him onerous release conditions.
The court filing includes a passage stating that Santos "has essentially publicly revealed that the suretors are family members and not lobbyists, donors or others seeking to exert influence over the Defendant."
Santos's next court appearance is scheduled for June 30, but the judge could rule on whether to release the unsealed records at any time.
The federal judge in New York granted a request from media organizationswho signed the bond for Santos' release after his indictment, but said their names should remain hidden for now to allow him to appeal. The consortium of media organizations sought the unsealing of the records, citing First Amendment and common law rights of access to the information.
Court filings show that the House Ethics Committee, which is investigating Santos, has also requested the identities of the individuals who helped him make bond. Santos' legal team has not provided the records of who helped assure his bond to the Ethics Committee.
Santos was released on May 10 on a $500,000 bond, afteron 13 federal criminal counts, including fraud.
He has pleaded not guilty to the indictment, which includes seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives and one count of theft of public funds.
If convicted, Santos faces up to 20 years in prison for the most serious charges.
for more features.