Verdict in Bridgegate Trial Is Bad News for Chris Christie

Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni face decades in prison
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2016 12:19 PM CDT

(Newser) – The six-week Bridgegate trial ended Friday with two Chris Christie allies being found guilty of conspiracy, fraud, and civil rights deprivation, CNN reports. According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, it took the jury most of the week to reach the verdict. Bill Baroni, former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie's former deputy chief of staff, now face decades in prison, though they'll likely get much less when they're sentenced in February. Both plan to appeal. Baroni and Kelly were implicated in a 2013 scheme to punish the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie for re-election by closing lanes of the George Washington Bridge and causing a days-long traffic jam in the New Jersey city.

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Christie himself was implicated in the scheme—both Baroni and Kelly testified that the Christie administration used the Port Authority to make life easy or hard for New Jersey officials, depending on their support for him—but he hasn't been charged and appears unlikely to be, Reuters reports. Regardless, CNN calls Friday's guilty verdict another "major setback" for Christie's political career. Christie maintains he didn't know anything about the plot before or during the lane closures. (Read more Bridgegate stories.)

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