N.H. judges recuse themselves from Browns supporters’ trials

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A federal judge from Maine will handle the trials of four men charged with providing guns or other supplies to convicted New Hampshire tax evaders Ed and Elaine Brown. Both federal judges who handle criminal cases in New Hampshire pulled themselves from the cases.

New Hampshire Chief Judge Stephen McAuliffe made the announcement in identical filings dated Tuesday, days after he and fellow Judge Paul Barbadoro recused themselves from the trials. McAuliffe and Barbadoro are good friends, and both said they worried their impartiality would be questioned because of repeated threats made to McAuliffe, who presided over the Browns’ tax evasion trial in January.

The cases of Robert Wolffe of Randolph, Vermont and three other men have been reassigned to judges at U-S District Court in Portland, Maine.

James Starr, the clerk for the New Hampshire District Court, says the trials still will take place at courthouse in Concord, though pretrial hearings may be held in Maine.

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