Chief U.S. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon, who remained silent to pleas for judicial intervention in FOIA lawsuit, sits on panel that quietly allowed President Donald Trump’s sister to resign.
By Progress New York Staff
Colleen McMahon, the Chief U.S. District Court Judge for the U.S. District Court for New York’s southern district, sits on the Judicial Council that kept mum as Maryanne Trump Barry filed her retirement papers, stepping down from her post on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The retirement, reported about in the New York Times, ended an investigation into whether Judge Trump Barry “violated judicial conduct rules by participating in fraudulent tax schemes with her siblings.”
Chief U.S. District Court Judge McMahon sits on the Judicial Council before which a complaint of judicial conduct rule violations against Judge Trump Barry had been made. U.S. District Court Judge John Koeltl, who is overseeing a civil lawsuit filed by a reporter for Progress New York, alleging violations by the U.S. Department of Justice of the Freedom of Information Act, was the subject of at least one complaint of judicial misconduct or disability filed with the same Judicial Council. Before the complaint of judicial misconduct or disability was filed in respect of U.S. District Court Koeltl, Chief U.S. District Court Judge McMahon ignored please for her intervention in the FOIA Lawsuit filed by the reporter for Progress New York, according to the filings in the FOIA Lawsuit.
The FOIA Lawsuit before U.S. District Court Judge Koeltl was filed in 2017, seeking the release of four categories of speech records of former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. After the Government made a partial release of records, many redacted, the reporter for Progress New York accused the Government of engaging in misconduct. In 2018, the Parties completed dispositive motion practice commenced by the Government. However, U.S. District Court Judge Koeltl has yet to rule on the motion for partial summary judgement filed by the reporter for Progress New York. The Federal court in New York’s southern district hears many politically-charges cases. Chief U.S. District Judge McMahon ruled in 2013 against the release of the U.S. Government’s justification to use a drone strike to kill a U.S. citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, a decision later overturned on appeal. Besides overseeing the FOIA Lawsuit seeking speech records of former U.S. Attorney Bharara, U.S. District Court Judge Koeltl, a Clinton appointee, will hear the Democratic National Committee‘s civil lawsuit against WikiLeaks. Michael Mukasey, a former U.S. Attorney General under President George W. Bush (R), was dismissive of complaints, accusing U.S. District Court judges in New York’s southern district, when he served as Chief U.S. District Court Judge, of dragging cases out for “months or even years, often because” Judges had “failed to make a key ruling,” according to a 2004 report published by the New York Times.
On 11 May 2019, the reporter for Progress New York filed a request for a status report from U.S. District Court Judge Koeltl about the FOIA Lawsuit.
- Retiring as a Judge, Trump’s Sister Ends Court Inquiry Into Her Role in Tax Dodges [The New York Times]
- Secrecy of Memo on Drone Killing Is Upheld [The New York Times]
- Judicial Council Members [U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit via Archive.org]
- Judge’s Decisions Are Conspicuously Late [The New York Times]