OLD 2Judge says trio who put up $500k bail for George Santos must be revealed

Embattled congressman George Santos has been told by a judge that the identities of the trio who paid his $500,000 bail must be publicly revealed.

Mr Santos, a Republican from New York, pleaded not guilty last month to federal charges of defrauding his campaign supporters, lying to obtain unemployment money and making false statements on congressional disclosure forms.

Magistrate Judge Anne Shields ruled on Tuesday that Mr Santos has until 12pm on Friday to appeal her decision at which point the names would be unsealed. She also sealed her decision, keeping the names a secret until the deadline.

Lawyers for Mr Santos had argued on Monday that the names should not be made public, stating that they “truly fear for their health, safety and well being.”

The lawmaker’s attorney, Joseph Murray previously said that Mr Santos would rather go to jail ahead of his criminal trial than let the names become public.

“My client would rather surrender to pretrial detainment than subject these suretors to what will inevitably come,” Mr Murray had said.

The charges against Mr Santos include seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.

Prosecutors allege he lied on financial forms submitted as part of his House candidacy, failed to disclose forms of income, overstated earnings, and used donations from his political campaign for personal purposes, including “thousands of dollars of the solicited funds on personal expenses, including luxury designer clothing and credit card payments.”

Mr Santos, who beat an incumbent Democrat to win his Long Island seat in 2022, has refused to resign despite the controversies he has become embroiled in.

Following his indictment, House Democrats introduced a resolution to have him expelled from the chamber. The House voted along party lines on Thursday to refer the resolution to the House Ethics Committee, with Mr Santos himself voting against his explosion.