Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Bridgegate: Defense rests; summations tomorrow

Bridgegate defendant Bridget Anne Kelly - WNYC
After six weeks of testimony, dozens of witnesses and declarations of innocence from the two former Christie administration insiders now on trial, the defense in the Bridgegate scandal has rested.
Ted Sherman and Matt Arco report for
Summations are scheduled to begin on Thursday and the jury is expected to begin their deliberations on Monday.
Seven women and five men will decide the fate of Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff to Gov. Chris Christie, and Bill Baroni, the one-time deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The two are charged in a nine-count indictment with conspiracy and fraud in connection with a scheme of political retaliation targeting the mayor of Fort Lee over his refusal to endorse the governor for re-election.
Prosecutors say the two participated in a bizarre plan to close down several local access toll lanes at the George Washington Bridge, causing massive gridlock in Fort Lee over four days in September 2013 as a way to punish the Fort Lee mayor for not endorsing the governor for re-election.
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In a final day of testimony, federal prosecutors continued to methodically chip away at Kelly in her fourth day on the stand, focusing on the inconsistencies with what seven other witnesses told the jury.
"All of them testified falsely?" assistant U.S. attorney Vikas Khanna asked Kelly Wednesday morning.
"All of them have a different recollection," she responded "Their livelihoods all depend on Chris Christie."
Those witnesses included Deborah Gramiccioni, former head of the governor's Authorities Unit ; Matt Mowers, Chris Stark and Christine Renna, all former staffers under Kelly when she was in charge of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs; Jeanne Ashmore, director of the governor's Office of Constituent Relations; Michael Drewniak, the governor's former press spokesman, and David Wildstein, the government's key witness in the case and the admitted mastermind of the lane closure plot.
Related news coverage:

Bridgegate lawyers highlight conflicts in Christie aides The defense in the George Washington Bridge lane closure trial has rested and witness testimony concluded Wednesday, but not before the U.S. attorney's office raised further questions about the trustworthiness of former Christie aide Bridget A. Kelly Politico
>Prosecutor grills Kelly on deleted emails Trenton Bureau 
Christie not expected to testify in Bridgegate  
>Christie Says He Never Knew, Others Say He Did (ABC)
>Testimony ends in lies, tears, and no certainty of justice (Bob Braun)

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