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Judge denies stay in Maryland election robocalls civil suit

A federal judge has refused to halt a civil suit filed by Maryland’s attorney general over last-minute Election Day robocalls in the governor’s race.

A lawyer for political operative Julius Henson sought the stay saying witnesses called before a grand jury in the civil case could risk incriminating themselves in an ongoing criminal prosecution of the calls.

U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake denied the motion on Thursday ruling that if those issues arise in the case they can be dealt with at that time.

The complaint alleges that more than 112,000 prerecorded calls were intended to suppress voter turnout and violated federal law. Henson has acknowledged responsibility for the calls, but he has said they weren’t meant to suppress the vote and he did not believe they were illegal.