Prosecutors Want Evidence In Bridge-Gate Trial Kept Private

NEWARK (AP) -

Federal prosecutors in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case want to keep evidence they’ve gathered over the last year and a half from being made public.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Newark filed a motion Tuesday seeking a protective order for the evidence, referred to as discovery materials, which it described as more than 1.5 million pages of “records, emails, computer data, recordings, telephone records, texts, financial records, materials obtained pursuant to search warrants, the affidavits in support of those search warrants, and other items.”

Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni, two former political allies of Gov. Chris Christie, face charges in the case, including wire fraud and deprivation of civil rights.

The government is obligated under rules of evidence to turn over discovery materials to the defense. Tuesday’s filing seeks to bar defense attorneys from releasing it publicly and to require them to notify prosecutors if they plan to use any of the evidence to file a pretrial motion, so the government would have the opportunity to file an objection.

“The proposed protective order is meant to prevent the unnecessary public disclosure of the Discovery Materials for purposes unrelated to the preparation of the defense and to avoid the risk that potentially private information reaches the public, especially when so much of it pertains to uncharged individuals,” prosecutors wrote.