Donald Trump's Sister Could Help Decide Whether List of Unindicted Bridgegate Co-Conspirators Is Released
The release of a list of unindicted co-conspirators in the 2013 Bridgegate scandal has been delayed again, this time after a ruling from a federal appeals court that happens to include Donald Trump’s sister.
Earlier this month, a federal judge in Newark had ruled that the list should be made public. It was scheduled to be released on Friday, before a lawyer for one of the people on the list made an 11th-hour appeal that her client would be permanently branded a “felon without due process of law, causing him immediate and irreparable reputational harm.”
Prosecutors have said that all of those named on the list are either public employees or elected officials. Two of Governor Chris Christie’s former allies have been indicted and are going to trial in the case, and a third pleaded guilty last May.
Judge Thomas L. Ambro of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals granted the stay Tuesday, Politico reports, scheduling a June 6 hearing to “allow a full panel of this Court the opportunity to consider the merits of this case.” (Normally appeals cases are heard by a panel of three judges.)
It has not yet been determined whether that hearing—which will take place one day before the New Jersey primary—will be open or closed. All briefings in the case are now to be filed under seal; before, they were publicly available.
As WNYC’s Matt Katz points out, it is possible that presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, who sits on the 3rd Circuit, could be included in the panel. In fact, it was Barry who first introduced the two men, in 2002. From NorthJersey.com:
Christie was U.S. Attorney for New Jersey at the time. He told a New Hampshire crowd last April that he had talked to Judge Barry over the phone (but in an interview last month, he described it as a face-to-face meeting).
“At the end of the meeting, she said, ‘I’d like you to do me a favor.’ And I said, ‘Sure, judge, what’s that?’ And she said, ‘I’d like you to go out to dinner with my little brother.’ And I said, ‘You mean Donald?’ And she said, ‘Yes, he really wants to meet you,’” Christie told the Washington Examiner last month.
Earlier this month, Trump named Governor Christie the chairman of his White House transition committee. It’s not clear whether Barry will disqualify herself from the case, and the clerk of the court directed inquiries from Gawker to deputy circuit executive Joel McHugh.
“If a judge has a reason to recuse, they’ll recuse,” McHugh said. He could not say, however, whether the governor’s involvement in her brother’s campaign constituted such a reason