Chai Shai Chaishai with me

George Santos’ father and aunt were identified as bond purchasers.

On Thursday, a federal judge disclosed the names of the co-signers on controversial Rep. George Santos’ $500,000 bail, which allowed the New York Republican to remain free while he faced a 13-count indictment.

Unsealed court documents revealed that Elma Santos Preven and Gercino Dos Santos were named as guarantors. An officer with the law enforcement agency verified that Santos’ aunt and father were the guarantors.

A court ruling that was released Thursday confirmed that neither family had put up any cash or property to post the bond. Nonetheless, the court emphasized that Santos’ parents “accepted personal responsibility” for the congressman’s adherence to the conditions of his release.

After entering a not guilty plea to 13 federal charges, including seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of stealing from the government, and two counts of giving materially false information to the House of Representatives, Santos was released on bond and required to hand over his passport in May.

After Santos and his attorney lost an appeal Thursday to keep the names of the bond co-signers under seal, the names of the family members who had signed the bond were made public. Santos claimed that, if his bond co-signers’ identities were made public, he would lose their support, so he had to keep them hidden.

Santos explained his reasoning for protecting the identities of the suretors by saying, “I kept the suretors’ identities secret for their safety,” to reporters on Thursday in Washington, DC. Because they keep trying to kill me. I’m used to it; I even tried my hand at politics. And they didn’t. They’re just regular people, though.

According to Federal Election Commission filings, Santos’s father, who lives in New York, has contributed to his son’s political campaigns in the past while working as a painter or in construction. He is also officially retired at this time.

An FEC document from October 2021 indicates that Santos Preven, who has also donated to her nephew’s congressional campaign, works as a mail handler for the United States Postal Service. She also had a New York City address on file.

Gifts from aunts, uncles, first cousins, and in-laws are permitted by House rules, as are all other types of gifts from extended family members.

New York’s Third Congressional District encompasses parts of Long Island, and Santos is serving his first term in that position. His unbelievable string of lies and fabrications shocked even seasoned politicians, and this year has already seen prominent Democrats and some New York Republicans calling for his resignation. But Santos has ignored those pleas and instead declared his intention to run for reelection next year.

In the meantime, the House Ethics Committee announced on Thursday that it has issued almost three dozen subpoenas and more than 40 voluntary requests for information on the Republican lawmaker Santos as part of a “expeditious timeframe” to investigate the claims against him.

In March, the panel said that it had established an investigation subcommittee with the jurisdiction to investigate into a variety of concerns, including the possibility that Santos engaged in illegal activities in connection with his 2022 congressional candidacy. In May, the House voted down a Democratic-led effort to oust Santos from the house, sending the matter to the Ethics Committee instead.

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