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Rep. George Santos’ attorney claims he would go to prison to conceal the identities of bond cosigners

By 06/06/2023 9:06 AMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

Rep. George Santos’ attorney declared on Monday that his client, a Republican from New York who has been charged, would risk going to jail to shield the names of those who signed the $500,000 bail authorizing his pretrial release.

The bond surety’s attorney, Joseph Murray, argued that if their identities were made public, they may “suffer great distress,” including potential job losses and bodily harm. He urged the judge to reject the news outlets’ request.

In a letter to the U.S., Murray stated, “My client would rather surrender to pretrial detention than subject these suretors to what will inevitably come.” Anne Shields, judge magistrate.

If she decides to reveal the identities of the suretors, which Shields withheld from the court’s public record, Murray requested that she allow them the opportunity to resign as consignors.

Murray claimed that calls and texts containing threats and harassment, including death threats, have been directed at him,

Santos, and Santos’ staff. The attorney argued that on Friday, someone yelled into his phone, “Who paid Santos’ bond?” and expressed concern that those opposed to Santos’ release “are simply waiting to pounce” on them.

Murray wrote, “We genuinely fear for their health, safety, and well-being.

On May 10, Santos entered a not-guilty plea to a 13-count indictment that accused him of defrauding donors, stealing from his campaign, lying to Congress about having a million dollars and cheating to get unemployment benefits he wasn’t entitled to. On June 30, he is expected back in court.

The 34-year-old, who covers portions of Queens and Long Island, has refused calls for him to step down and has declared that he will continue to seek reelection.

Regarding the request for unsealing, the prosecution has not taken a stance.

A lawyer for media outlets urged the judge in a letter last week to divulge the identities of Santos’ bond sureties, citing a “compelling public interest in maintaining the greatest transparency possible in these proceedings.”

On May 23, The New York Times sent Shields a letter requesting that the identities be made public. A few days later, The Associated Press and other news organizations joined the conflict.

On May 16, Santos received a letter from the House Ethics Committee asking him to list the witnesses who cosigned his bond.

Murray claimed that Santos had three financially reliable consignors lined up as suretors, but one withdrew, and the other two failed to appear for his arraignment.

Murray said this compelled them to undertake “other confidential arrangements” to secure Santos’ release.


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