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Left with no choice, George Santos shares names of bond cosigners

We now know the names of George Santos' bond cosigners, leaving us with a new question: Why did he fight so hard to shield mundane and anodyne news?


Given everything we’ve learned about Rep. George Santos in recent months, it’s generally best to expect strange developments surrounding the New York Republican. But even by his standards, the story surrounding his post-arrest bail was odd.

This morning, as NBC News reported, the answer to a lingering question appears to have finally come into focus.

The father and aunt of Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., guaranteed his $500,000 bond after he was charged last month with more than a dozen federal counts, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to NBC News on Thursday. The congressman’s father, Gercino Dos Santos, and his aunt, Elma Santos Preven, were the suretors for the bond.

The report added that these new details, which were first reported by ABC News, were confirmed by a federal court in New York this morning.

For those just joining us, let’s revisit our earlier coverage and review how we arrived at this point.

After the scandal-plagued GOP congressman was indicted and arraigned last month, Santos was released on $500,000 bond. A variety of questions soon followed, including lines of inquiry surrounding the congressman’s financial backers who helped cosign the bond.

Two weeks after his arrest, The New York Times asked the judge in his case for the names of Santos’ bond suretors to be unsealed, citing a “compelling public interest in maintaining the greatest transparency possible in these proceedings.” Soon after, other news organizations sought the same information.

Santos didn’t just push back against the possibility of transparency, he also said he was so determined to hide the names of the bond cosigners that he was prepared to go to jail in order to protect their identities.

When CNN’s Manu Raju caught up with Santos on Capitol Hill, and asked why it was so important to shield their identities of his financial backers, the congressman would only say, “Because it is.”

A judge found all of this unpersuasive and agreed to unseal the names. Santos appealed that ruling, but he lost that fight, too.

All of which set the stage for this morning’s disclosures — which were quite underwhelming.

There was all kinds of speculation about the possible monied interests who might’ve helped the New Yorker. The issue was also of interest to the House Ethics Committee, which is investigating Santos’ scandals.

But in the end, the Republican fought tooth and nail, even raising the prospect of going to jail, to prevent us from learning that his father and aunt were bond cosigners — which at face value, doesn’t seem especially interesting at all.

Indeed, if he’d said from the beginning that members of his family were the suretors for the bond, it’s very likely that effectively no one would’ve cared. So why put up such a fight to shield mundane, anodyne news?

My MSNBC colleague Lisa Rubin asked this morning whether there’s “more than meets the eye here,” and I have a hunch she won’t be the only one wondering about this.