Release of List of Suspected Bridgegate Accomplices Delayed Again to June
The identities of unindicted co-conspirators in the George Washington Bridge lane-closure scandal won't be made public for at least another three weeks.
Judge Thomas Ambro of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals this morning temporarily granted a request filed by one of the people on the federal prosecutors' list who is seeking to block the release, citing the potential damage to his reputation.
Oral arguments on the appeal will be held June 6 in Philadelphia, which is 20 days away.
U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton last week approved a request by media organizations that the names of the believed co-conspirators be released. Defense attorneys have had that information for months.
One of the people on the list, filing an anonymously as John Doe, went to the 3rd Circuit to appeal Wigenton's ruling.
Ambro wrote in a brief order that Doe's request "is granted temporarily to allow a full panel of this court the opportunity to consider the merits of the case."
It is possible that the list of co-conspirators includes individuals in Gov. Chris Christie's office, his 2013 re-election campaign or the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Christie has said he had no knowledge of the lane-closure scheme and doesn't believe he'd be on the list.
Former Port Authority executive David Wildstein pleaded guilty a year ago to a conspiracy to close local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in 2013 to punish a mayor who wouldn't endorse Christie's re-election by creating massive traffic james. Another former Port Authority executive, Bill Baroni, and a former deputy chief of staff to Christie, Bridget Anne Kelly, have been charged and are scheduled to go on trial in September.
The identities of the unindicted co-conspirators could be made public at trial, if not sooner, depending on how the 3rd Circuit rules.