Christie Aides Guilty in Bridgegate; Christie Himself Still At Large

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Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni, former aides of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, were convicted today on all charges of being the masterminds behind a plan to tie up traffic on the George Washington Bridge as a way of getting back at a Democratic mayor who refused to endorse Christie:

It was Kelly who was the author of a now-infamous email in which she wrote to [David] Wildstein “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.’’

During the traffic chaos, the Fort Lee mayor sent a series of increasingly frantic messages to Baroni at the Port Authority in which he wrote of “total gridlock” and a “town ready to revolt.” Baroni forwarded them to Wildstein, who in turn sent them to Kelly. “Is it wrong that I am smiling?” she wrote back.

And what about Christie himself?

Though Ms. Kelly and Mr. Baroni were the only ones charged in the scandal, the trial suggested that Mr. Christie, who has maintained that he knew nothing about the scheme until after it had ended, was deeply involved. A top ally and key prosecution witness testified that Mr. Christie was told of the lane closings as they were occurring and Ms. Kelly said she discussed the shutdown with the governor before it happened.

Donald Trump agrees that Christie was involved. Here’s what he said last year:

“The GW Bridge, he knew about it,” Trump said during a speech in Mount Pleasant, S.C., of Christie’s involvement in the scandal, which has been dubbed “Bridgegate.”

“How do you have breakfast with people everyday of your lives. … They’re closing up the largest bridge in the world … they’re with them all the time,” Trump continued. “They never said ‘Hey boss, we’re closing up the George Washington Bridge.’ No, they’re talking about the weather right? So he knew about it. … He totally knew about it.

Needless to say, this is the kind of thing Trump admires. That’s why he chose Christie to run his transition team and has defended him ever since. As long as Christie is screwing people on Trump’s behalf, he’s a standup guy.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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