The Latest: Bridge case attorney questions conspirator list

AP News
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Posted: Jun 06, 2016 7:19 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Latest on media access arguments in the George Washington Bridge case (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

A defense attorney in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case says it's "stunning" that a prosecutor implied in Monday's appeals court arguments that its list of unindicted co-conspirators could change before a scheduled September trial.

Monday's arguments concerned a motion by media organizations including The Associated Press to gain access to the list. Defense attorneys already have it.

Michael Baldassare represents indicted former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive Bill Baroni. Baldassare said Monday U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman's remarks to the judges reflect that the government is leaving open the possibility the list could change.

Baldassare said if prosecutors think they can provide a new list closer to the trial date, "they have another thing coming."

Fishman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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5 p.m.

A federal appeals court has heard arguments as it decides whether to release a list of unindicted co-conspirators in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case.

The three-judge panel in Philadelphia on Monday grilled attorneys on both sides in the case brought by a group of media organizations including The Associated Press.

The case hinges on whether the list is considered part of supporting materials to an indictment against two former allies of Gov. Chris Christie or whether it's protected correspondence between the government and defense attorneys.

One of the judges told an attorney representing the media that if they don't prevail on that issue "it's game over."

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman made the rare move to argue the government's side himself. The government opposes release of the list.

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12 a.m.

A federal appeals court is going to decide whether to release a list of unindicted co-conspirators in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments Monday in Philadelphia.

Media organizations including The Associated Press are seeking access to the list.

Two former allies of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were indicted last year for allegedly orchestrating traffic jams near the bridge as political payback against a mayor who didn't support the Republican governor's re-election.

A judge in Newark ordered the list released last month. But an unidentified person filed to block its release, saying he will be branded a criminal even though he hasn't been charged.

At issue is whether the list is considered supporting evidence to the indictment and therefore a publicly accessible document.