01 May 2015

Bridgegate, the Gift that Keeps on Giving

Pass the Popcorn
It appears that David Wildstein has cut a deal, because the announcement of his guilty plea was followed immediately by the indictment of two of what were Governor Christie's most senior aides:
After a 16-month federal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closings scandal, a judge in New Jersey unsealed indictments against two people close to Gov. Chris Christie, outlining a conspiracy made with a third confidant to exact political vengeance against a mayor for not endorsing the governor’s re-election.

The United States attorney for New Jersey, Paul J. Fishman, announced the indictments at a news conference on Friday, breaking his long silence about a scandal that started as an inquiry into the cause of a traffic jam and has since led to a host of other investigations into the Christie administration, threatening the political future of one of the nation’s leading Republicans.

Mr. Fishman said that the conspirators “callously victimized” the citizens of Fort Lee, N.J., purposely scheduling the lane-closing plan to coincide with the first day of school. Then, he said, they sought to cover up the scheme with a “sham” story of a traffic study on the bridge to Manhattan. He said that there was evidence to suggest that using a traffic jam to exact revenge was discussed as far back as 2011.

Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Bridget Anne Kelly, a former deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, were charged with nine counts, including conspiracy to commit fraud by “knowingly converting and intentionally misapplying property of an organization receiving federal benefits.”

David Wildstein, another former Port Authority official and a high school friend of Mr. Christie, pleaded guilty at the United States District Court in Newark to conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy against civil rights.

Mr. Fishman said that Mr. Wildstein corroborated the allegations in the indictment.

This is getting interesting.

I don't expect Christie to be indicted, I think that he is familiar enough with the prosecutorial process to avoid his fingerprints being on this, but I think (hope) that this will end his political career.


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