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Photo: J Scott Applewhite/AP

The two people who guaranteed George Santos’ $500,000 bail after the Republican congressman was loaded with 13 counts of fraud, money laundering and theft of public funds it has been revealed that they are his father and an aunt.

The revelation that Gercino dos Santos Jr. and Elma Preven were behind Santos’ bail solves a mystery that has fascinated Washington observers and also the American public obsessed with the trials of a politician famous for playing fast with the truth.

Santos tried to prevent his guarantors from being named, arguing that disclosure could threaten his safety amid a “media frenzy” and “hate attacks.”

Santos’ lawyer said his client would rather go to jail himself than expose his guarantors. But Santos appeared to have backed down on that desire, not asking to change the conditions of his bail after a federal judge in New York dismissed his appeal to keep the names secret.

Media organizations and the House ethics committee asked that the names be released.

Santos, 34, won the election in New York last year, in a district that spans parts of Long Island and Queens. His resume has been shown to be largely made up and past behavior, at times supposedly criminalother times strangely picaresque – widely reported.

Santos has admitted to embellishing his resume, but denies any wrongdoing. In court in May, he pleaded not guilty to all charges. If he is found guilty, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

He has been dogged by controversy and calls to resign. House Republicans, however, deflected a motion to censure Santos, while party leaders have chosen not to act against him.

In January, Santos endorsed Kevin McCarthy of California with 15 votes for president, in the face of a right-wing rebellion. McCarthy must govern with an extremely slim majority. Santos has said that he intends to run for re-election next year. He is next due to appear in court on June 30.

Neither Santos nor his lawyers immediately commented on the identification of his guarantors.

In Washington on Wednesday, Santos was among the Republicans who voted to censure Adam Schiff, a California Democrat who led impeachment efforts against Donald Trump.

The motion passed. On the House floor, Dan Goldman, Democrat of New York, told the republicans: “One of my colleagues says: ‘We will hold members accountable.’ You are the party of George Santos. Who are you holding responsible?

“The guy is an alleged and recognized liar and defendant, and you protect him every day. Do not lecture us with your projection and your defense of Donald Trump. He is pathetic, he is below you and he is below this body”.

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