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Demands Grow for Names of George Santos’ Three Mystery Sponsors Who Paid His $500k Bail: ‘Obvious Opportunity for Political Influence’

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May 30 2023, Published 11:30 a.m. ET

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The three individuals who helped George Santos be released from jail after posting his $500k bond have remained anonymous but calls are growing for the court to release their names, RadarOnline.com has learned.

According to court documents obtained by RadarOnline.com, a lawyer for The New York Times has written a letter to the judge presiding over Santos’ criminal case.

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The lawyer demanded the court release “unredacted versions of judicial records identifying the bail suretors.”

He argued, “Under both the federal common law and the First Amendment, the surety records and sealed bond proceedings are judicial records that are properly open to the public.”

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As RadarOnline.com previously reported, in May, Santos was arrested after being hit with a bombshell indictment charging him with fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and making false statements to officials. Prosecutors accused him of embezzling money from his campaign. Santos denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

At the hearing, the judge noted Santos was to be released based on a “$500,000 unsecured bond cosigned by three suretors.” The names of the individuals have been kept sealed since the hearing.

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The New York Times’ lawyer revealed the court had at least one subsequent hearing with the suretors.

“However, it appears these bond proceedings were not open to the public and no record of the hearing appears in the docket,” the letter said. “While that right is not absolute, parties seeking sealing face a particularly heavy burden where, as here, disclosure would not prejudice the investigation or prosecution, the information serves public oversight, and there is a substantial public interest in the prosecution. For the reasons set out below, The Times respectfully requests that the Court unseal the surety records, docket any sealed bond proceedings, and make public a transcript of any sealed bond proceedings.”

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The lawyer said the matter was of public interest. “The surety records relate to three individuals who have committed large sums of money to ensure that Rep. Santos can remain at liberty, pending further proceedings. This presents an obvious opportunity for political influence, given Rep. Santos’s elected position and his dependence on these suretor.”

The letter continued, “That risk is further heightened by the fact that the very crimes Rep. Santos has been charged with involve abusing the political process for personal gain.”

“The public also has an interest in ensuring that Rep. Santos duly appears in court and, thus, an interest in exercising democratic oversight of the effectiveness of the bond,” the lawyer added.

The judge has yet to rule.

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