Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling continued to push back Monday on criticisms that his recent indictment of a Newton judge was politically motivated, while raising the charge that he had to step in where other state agencies had not.

“I’m not aware of anyone, any state authority — the Mass. AG’s office, the Mass. Trial Court — ever referring Judge Joseph to the Commission on Judicial Conduct in that period,” Lelling said when asked by "Greater Boston"’s Jim Braude about criticisms that he had overreached and should have pursued other options for disciplining the judge.

Lelling charged Judge Shelley Joseph in April with obstruction of justice, alleging that she helped a defendant who was an undocumented immigrant to evade Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in the courthouse. Joseph has pleaded not guilty, with her lawyer — as well as Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey — calling the indictment a political move.

Read more: Mass. Judge Charged With Obstruction For Allegedly Helping Man Evade Immigration Officials

A recording of a sidebar conversation between the judge, the defense and the prosecution show that the assistant district attorney expressed doubt as to whether the defendant was the same individual wanted by immigration authorities waiting outside the courtroom.

On "Greater Boston," Lelling repeated his contention that he did not see the case as being about immigration, but rather “the rule of law,” calling it a “unfortunate coincidence” that it was an immigration case.

Lelling also responded to questions about the lawsuit that Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins and Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan recently filed against ICE over its practice of apprehending people when they arrived in court. That lawsuit predated the Judge Shelley indictment and had been in the works for more than a year, according to the district attorneys.

“I don’t see the basis for the suit,” Lelling said. “Because the issue is so politicized, I think the issue of ICE agents in courthouses has become somewhat exaggerated.”

“If the ICE agents are following their own procedures that they’re supposed to follow, there should not a chilling effect,” he added, responding to the claim that the presence of ICE agents in courts can scare witnesses and victims of crimes from immigrant communities from wanting to come to court. “Sometimes it doesn’t go that way, and that’s on the government. … I doubt how big a problem that really is. I’m not saying it never happens. I think it does happen, it’s a matter of how much it happens.”

On an April 29 appearance on "Greater Boston," Rollins and Ryan both contended that the presence of ICE agents in courthouses made it more difficult to properly enact justice.

Lelling also spoke with Braude about his other high-profile case: the conviction of five pharmaceutical executives for allegedly bribing doctors to overprescribe an opioid spray.

“Many of the U.S. Attorney’s office are focused on this end of the opioid epidemic,” he said, adding that there is a push in prosecutors’ offices around the country to pursue similar kinds of cases. The goal? To scare other would-be pharmaceutical criminals straight.