Prosecutors: We'll Prove Christie Knew About Bridgegate
Trial into New Jersey political scandal starts
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2016 1:30 PM CDT
Gov. Chris Christie listens to a question from the media in Trenton, N.J., in August.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Remember Bridgegate? The New Jersey political scandal in which Chris Christie's administration is accused of snarling traffic on the George Washington Bridge to punish a rival mayor is making headlines again as the trial of two Christie allies begins. And if prosecutors are correct in their opening statements, the trial will be bad news for the governor: They say they can prove that Christie himself knew about the lane closings despite his repeated denials, reports They promise that David Wildstein, a former Port Authority official and Christie ally who has pleaded guilty in the scheme, will testify that he and defendant Bill Baroni boasted to Christie about "traffic problems in Fort Lee and that Mayor (Mark) Sokolich was not getting his calls returned."

In this trial, Baroni (another former Port Authority exec) and Christie's former chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, are on trial for multiple counts of conspiracy and fraud over the lane closings. Both have pleaded not guilty, though prosecutors say Wildstein will testify that after he came up with the idea, "Kelly instructed him to take that action and Baroni blessed it." Kelly is the aide who sent the infamous "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email in August 2013. If you need a reminder about the key players and the scandal itself, see this primer at NBC News. It notes that the trial is expected to last six weeks.