Presidential campaign-watchers’ ears perked up this week when the former lawyer of the so-called D.C. Madam revealed he’d filed a request that would allow him to release his client’s phone records that he said “could be relevant” to the presidential election.

But on Thursday, a judge turned down that request by Montgomery Blair Sibley, who represented Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the operator of a high-class escort service who committed suicide in 2008 soon after she was found guilty of racketeering and money laundering. Judge Richard Roberts of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia suggested that Blair shouldn’t have those records anyway, since he was not the attorney of record in the case — Palfrey had a testy relationship with her attorneys, firing two criminal-defense lawyers. Blair, who represented her in civil proceedings, was also terminated, the judge noted.

“Why Sibley would have possession of subpoenaed records in a case from which he has been terminated and why he would not instead have turned all copies of them over to the defendant’s continuing counsel of record is not set forth in the motion,” Roberts wrote.

Sibley, who had no comment on the ruling, has said he has for years sat on the records, which include 815 names of Palfrey’s former clients, as well as the phone records of 40 other escort services operating in the Washington area. Restraining orders stemming from the case forbid him from airing them.

But this week, he indicated that at least one of the names could be related to the presidential campaigns underway.

“I’ll sleep better at night knowing that I tried to do what I thought was appropriate in the situation,” he said.