Nathan Reilly, former Eastern District federal prosecutor, now of counsel at Morrison Foerster, spoke toLaw360about the unsealing of bond documents related to Representative George Santos’ arrest in New York last month.
Nathan said that initially keeping the names of suretors secret, even for a famous defendant, is rare.
However, he said it’s not surprising that the judges probably wanted to take any concerns about safety or harassment seriously, though it’s still a pretty high bar to keep the suretors’ identities secret, given the strong presumption of the public’s right of access in U.S. courts.
“These are not witnesses, where you’re worried about somebody being tampered with or somebody’s being obstructed," Nathan said. “These are just folks who put their name on a bond, so it’s not a big surprise that they ultimately weren’t sealed.”