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Alleged target of New Jersey bridge case could take stand


Andrew Burton  Getty Images News  Getty Images

A new Rutgers-Eagleton poll finds New Jersey voters are unhappy with Gov. Chris Christie and the direction New Jersey is headed in in general.

Finally the lanes were ordered reopened by Patrick Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority and an appointee of New York Democratic Gov.

The closures were Wildstein’s idea, while Kelly “instructed him to take that action, and Baroni blessed it”, Khanna told jurors.

Bill Baroni, a Port Authority of NY and New Jersey official, and Bridget Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, are charged with civil rights violations, conspiracy and wire fraud. Christie has also said he didn’t recall being told about the closings as they were occurring.

The Times reported that, at the time, Trump said he believed Christie knew about his aides calling for the lanes to be closed, saying, “He totally knew about it”.

“When David Wildstein spoke, Gov. Christie’s voice came out, and everybody knew it”, one of Baroni’s lawyers, Michael Baldassare, told jurors.

“It seems incredible that, in a public setting leading up to a 9/11 Memorial event, surrounded by other government officials and scores of constituents seeking photographs and handshakes, anything substantive or inculpatory would have been discussed”. The closure began September 9, which was the first day of school.

Prosecutors implicated Christie-who has repeatedly denied that he had any knowledge or involvement in the scheme-almost immediately on Monday.

Since flaming out of the race for the White House, Christie has put his eggs into the Donald Trump basket. It was more likely that Baroni and Kelly would receive up to three years behind bars if convicted, Fishman added.

BILL BARONI: An attorney and former New Jersey state senator, he was Christie’s top appointee as deputy executive director at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the powerful bistate agency that oversees New York City-area airports, ports, bridges and tunnels. Baroni and Kelly have both pleaded not guilty. At the end of this case, the only issue for you to decide is whether Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni are guilty.

Investigations into the incident have found that several high-level staffers from Christie’s office had a hand in the scheme, and Christie responded by firing Kelly and simultaneously reiterating his innocence.

Baroni and Kelly face counts of wire fraud, conspiracy, deprivation of civil rights and misusing an organization receiving federal funds. The most serious carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence. The two defendants are accused of orchestrating the closure of access lanes at the George Washington Bridge in September 2013 to punish a local mayor. Their own defense could also prove uncomfortable for Christie as they have indicated they will call on witnesses who are well versed in the inner workings of the governor’s administration. If he is implicated, should he resign as governor even if not charged?

The closures, which tied up thousands of New Jersey and NY commuters heading to the nation’s busiest bridge for hours over several days, were meant to punish a local mayor for refusing to support Christie in his re-election bid, said prosecutors. The two are charged with causing traffic jams at the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee to punish Sokolich when he didn’t endorse Christie.