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George Santos set for first court appearance after pleading not guilty to 13 counts

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(NEW YORK) — Embattled Rep. George Santos is set to appear in court Friday morning in his first court appearance since pleading not guilty last month to a 13-count indictment accusing him of fraud, money laundering and theft of public funds.

The Republican New York congressman, who has denied wrongdoing, is scheduled to appear at noon Friday for a status conference hearing in front of U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert on Long Island.

Friday’s appearance comes a week after it was revealed that Santos’ father and aunt guaranteed his $500,000 bond, according to court documents that were unsealed over the congressman’s objection.

ABC News’ Rachel Scott was first to report that Santos’ bond was guaranteed by Gercino dos Santos Jr. and Elma Santos Preven.

Under the terms of the bond, neither of them were required to provide any funds for Santos’ release — only to be financially responsible “if the defendant does not comply with the conditions” of his release.

Santos maintained that he objected to the names being unsealed out of fear of harassment.

“I can handle that; I ran for public office,” he told reporters. “They did not; they’re private citizens.”

Santos, who has been accused of misrepresenting large swaths of his employment record, his education, and his family history, has admitted that he lied about portions of his background while running for Congress.

He’s also facing an investigation by the House Ethics Committee, which issued a rare letter last week stating that the committee had issued more than 30 subpoenas and more than 40 voluntary requests for information in their probe.

The panel also said it had expanded its probe to look into allegations of unemployment insurance fraud.

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