A federal judge in Washington has granted immunity to two Louisiana lawyers ahead of their expected testimony before the U.S. Senate Impeachment Trial Committee.
Members of the Senate committee requested the grants of immunity as they gather evidence about impeached U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr. A trial on whether to remove Porteous, who sits in the Eastern District of Louisiana, is set to begin as soon as September.
The two lawyers, Jacob Amato Jr. and Robert Creely, practiced before Porteous in both state and federal court, according to congressional testimony and documents from a judicial ethics inquiry into the judge. Amato and Creely told investigators that they gave Porteous cash payments at the judge’s request and that Creely took Porteous on fishing trips for free, according to the testimony and documents.
U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman of the District of Columbia granted the immunity in two one-page orders Tuesday.
The U.S. Justice Department did not oppose immunizing Amato and Creely, according to court papers. Federal prosecutors had investigated Porteous for years before deciding not to bring charges and referring the matter to the federal judiciary. The United States Judicial Conference then referred it to the U.S. House of Representatives, which impeached Porteous in March.