Saturday, October 15, 2016

The defense asks judge to drop all Bridgegate charges

The federal judge in the Bridgegate trial was asked during an abbreviated session on Friday to drop all the charges against Port Authority employees Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly. The judge will take the weekend to decide. NJTV NEWS reporter David Cruz has the details above.

Also covering the trial, Paul Berger of The Record reports:

For the second time at the Bridgegate federal trial in Newark, a defense lawyer has insinuated that Governor Christie was told about the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge before and during the scheme — to cause traffic as a form of political retribution — played out on the streets of Fort Lee in 2013.

Christie, who is not on trial in the case, maintains that he did not find out that his deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, was involved in the September 13 lane closures until months later.

Her lawyer, Michael Critchley, suggests otherwise.

Questioning the governor’s former chief counsel, Charlie McKenna, on Friday morning, Critchley asked: “Were you aware she had conversations with the governor before the lane closures and during the lane closures?”

McKenna replied: “No.”

“Were you aware if Bridget Kelly’s knowledge of what Governor Christie knew — if it ever came out — it would be damaging to his presidential campaign and it would affect the Christie Administration Bridgegate coverup?” Critchley asked.

“I didn’t know,” McKenna responded.

The exchange came on the seventeenth day of the trial of Kelly and Bill Baroni, the governor’s former top executive appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that owns and operates the bridge.

Critchley raised the same assertions about the governor earlier this week while questioning Deborah Gramiccioni, a former Christie ally who replaced Baroni as deputy executive director of the Port Authority. Gramiccioni said that she had no knowledge of such conversations between Kelly and Christie.

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