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Mon Sep 19, 2016, 09:35 AM

Christie Crime Digest-Volume IV

Last edited Tue Nov 7, 2017, 09:49 PM - Edit history (83)

At long last! Christie Crime Digest Volume IV-The Trial. You can catch up on how we got here by visiting the Christie Crime Digest Volume I, Volume II and Volume III that detail the road to this point and point to where we're going-wherever that may be. Two guilty pleas (Wildstein & Samson), three indictments (Baroni, Kelly & Fox) and a whole lot of sleazy details of a Christie Administration run amuck later we will finally see . Things should get pretty busy from here on in with, hopefully, some truths finally coming to light.

Just Another Day At The Office!


301. A bit of a pre-game show- Game day for Bridgegate trial: How did we get here? :http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/09/a_bridgegate_trial_road_map_how_did_we_get_here.html Just to get you up to speed.

302. It's about time to start to get to the bottom of all of this- It's time for some answers in Fort Lee:http://www.northjersey.com/news/kelly-it-s-time-for-some-answers-in-fort-lee-1.1662398 This ought to be interesting.

303.What we all want to know-Bridgegate Trial Primer: What Did Chris Christie Know — and When Did He Know It?:http://www.wnyc.org/story/bridgegate-trial-primer-what-did-chris-christie-know-and-when-did-he-know-it/ Some of the excellent reporting from Matt Katz and Andrea Bernstein on behalf of WNYC. Well worth the read.

304. Yes, was Chris Christie culpable or incompetent? As the ‘Bridgegate’ trial begins this week, New Jersey’s Chris Christie remains the focus :http://www.rawstory.com/2016/09/as-the-bridgegate-trial-begins-this-week-new-jerseys-chris-christie-remains-the-focus/ That's a heck of a choice, isn't it?

305. What's that saying? From your lips to God's ears? The Bridgegate scandal, Christie's white whale, will smash his career to pieces:http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/09/a_prediction_christies_political_life_ends_with_br.html Time will tell.

306. And while you were away-Christie's trusted mentor and right hand found himself disgraced and entering a guilty plea-David Samson, Ally of Christie, Admits to Bribery Over Airline Route :http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/15/nyregion/david-samson-chris-christie-george-washington-bridge-scandal.html Is he going to go down alone? I hope not.

307. This wasn't in my high school yearbook-Most Likely to Destroy a Governor: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/09/david-wildstein-chris-christie-bridgegate-trial.html This is a great article.Will David Wildstein, star witness in the Bridgegate trial, take down his old high-school classmate Chris Christie? Oh I hope so.

308. Ever just have one of "those years"? Chris Christie’s 2016 just keeps getting worse and worse. And worse.: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/09/19/chris-christies-2016-just-keeps-getting-worse-and-worse-and-worse/ I don't think he's hit bottom just yet.

309. Summing up day 1 of the trial-Christie Takes a Beating in Bridgegate Trial Opening: 10 Takeaways: http://www.wnyc.org/story/christie-takes-beating-bridgegate-trial-opening-10-takeaways/ It's going to be a long 6 weeks for our favorite governor!

*A more detailed look at the first day of trial-Christie in Crosshairs, Targeted by Bridgegate Opening Statements: http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/16/09/20/christie-in-the-crosshairs-governor-targeted-by-bridgegate-opening-statements/ This was only the first day!

310. Witness Number 1-The Fort Lee Police Chief testifies about a clandestine meeting with the Port Authority Director of Operations-Bridgegate: First witness describes 'cloak and dagger' meeting on lane closures:http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/09/bridgegate_what_time_for_some_traffic_problems_rea.html#incart_river_home Tell the mayor to call Baroni!

311. Witness Number 2-At Bridgegate trial, Fort Lee mayor tells of wooing by Christie campaign:http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/09/the_bridgegate_trial_a_failed_courtship_and_then_t_1.html#incart_river_home The story just gets better.

312. Witness Number 3-P.A. director: Bridgegate lane closures were 'abusive decision' :http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/09/gridlock_politics_and_lies_on_the_stand_at_the_bri.html#incart_river_home It was important to Trenton-Indeed!

Sorry I'm Late-Traffic was a bitch! You all know how THAT can be.



313. Witness Number 4-John Ma-Bridgegate trial: Port Authority staffer says he tipped off media to lane closures : http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-trial-port-authority-staffer-says-he-tipped-off-media-to-lane-closures-1.1664734 Wildstein was feared and hated by hundreds at the Port Authority, maybe thousands. That's Christie's right hand man alright.

314. Some wild testimony about Wildstein-Wildstein 'terrorized' P. A. employees, director testifies at Bridgegate trial: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/09/bridgegate_wildstein_foye_fire.html#incart_river_home_pop And they couldn't get rid of him because he was protected by Christie-you know, the guy that didn't even really know him.

315. Witness Number 5-Tina Lado-Bridgegate trial: N.Y. Port Authority chief says Christie protected his people : http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-trial-n-y-port-authority-chief-says-christie-protected-his-people-1.1664734 Baroni told her not to call back the mayor of Fort Lee because the phone bills were too high! Really, he said that.

316. Witness Number 6-Matt Mowers takes the stand-Former Christie aide testifies at Bridgegate trial about how office handed out favors:http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/09/former_christie_aide_testifies_in_bridgegate_trial.html#incart_most-commented_news_article They kept a spread sheet of favors they did for democratic mayors! Now that's transactional government at its finest!

317. Witness Number 7-the man, the myth, the legend, the vindictive asshole who was hated by hundreds, if not thousands (that was actual trial testimony!) David Wildstein-Bridgegate Trial: Wildstein says he was hired to play 'bad cop' to Baroni’s 'good cop' : http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-trial-wildstein-says-he-was-hired-to-play-bad-cop-to-baroni-s-good-cop-1.1665806 The trial is getting real now folks!

* A summary of Day 5 from WNYC-more excellent reporting-Christie Talked Endorsements with Wildstein and Other Takeaways From the Bridgegate Trial Day 5 :http://www.wnyc.org/story/christie-discussed-port-authority-resouces-endorsement-scheme-and-other-takeaways-bridgegate-trial-day-5/ Next week should prove to be very interesting.

**Another day of Wildstein's testimony and it just keeps getting better-Bridgegate trial: Wildstein testifies former Bergen County executive was told of plan before lane closures: http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-trial-wildstein-testifies-former-bergen-county-executive-was-told-of-plan-before-lane-closures-1.1666870 He told Stepien as well along with what the cover story was going to be. More to come!

***A great recap of Day 6 with still more to come from Mr. Wildstein-Wildstein Implicates Christie's Campaign Manager -- and More Bridgegate Trial Day 6 Takeaways : http://www.wnyc.org/story/wildstein-names-more-names-and-more-bridgegate-trial-day-6-takeaways/ Who in the Christie administration DIDN"T know about this scheme beforehand?

****Day 7-More Wildstein, more revelations-Wildstein testifies Christie’s spokesman knew of GWB plot: http://www.northjersey.com/news/wildstein-testifies-christie-s-spokesman-knew-of-gwb-plot-1.1667817 Everybody knew!

*****An insult to one of the great movie characters of all time-‘Mr. Wolf’ Sought to Fix Bridge Scandal, Ex-Christie Ally Testifies:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/29/nyregion/mr-wolf-sought-to-fix-bridge-scandal-ex-christie-ally-testifies.html?hpw&rref=nyregion&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region So pretty please with sugar on top....

******Another day on the witness stand for Mr. Wildstein, meanwhile-Here’s the Unofficial List of Bridgegate Co-conspirators: http://www.wnyc.org/story/heres-unofficial-list-bridgegate-co-conspirators/ The number is up to 10 and counting. Is there anybody in the Christie Administration who WASN'T in on this? Raise your hand if you had nothing to do with it.

*******After 8 days, Wildstein is finally finished with his testimony. It was an interesting week.Who is telling the truth? 3 shockers in Wildstein's latest Bridgegate testimony : http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/3_surprising_new_details_from_wildsteins_latest_br.html It's time to move on to other witnesses but the damage has been done.

318. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks Christie Has Blood On His Hands Christie the destroyer: How New Jersey's governor ran the Port Authority and NJTransit into the ground:http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/christie-destroyer-article-1.2813600 It took ONE DAY after the Hoboken crash to reach an agreement on the Transportation Trust Fund!

319.What has come out of the trial so far? On Bridgegate, the stink around Christie gets worse:http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/10/on_bridgegate_the_stink_around_christie_gets_worse.html#incart_2box_opinion That's a lot of stink.

320. Of all of the messed up things Christie has done, perhaps none of them are as bad as screwing up Sandy recovery-Federal Audit Finds New Jersey Failed to Control Sandy Funds :http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/16/10/05/federal-audit-finds-new-jersey-failed-to-control-sandy-funds/ # Remember what Criswell said way back in Volume 1.

So if anybody asks-It was a traffic study. Got me?


321. Witness Number 8-Christopher Stark from the IGA Office that Bridget Kelly ran for Christie-Witness says Christie, staff froze out local officials who crossed governor : http://www.northjersey.com/news/witness-says-christie-staff-froze-out-local-officials-who-crossed-governor-1.1671584

322. This is related to the previous entry but deserves its own space here-Bridgegate Witness: Christie Dropped F-Bomb on County Official to Threaten Him:http://www.wnyc.org/story/bridgegate-witness-christie-dropped-f-bomb-county-official-threaten-him/ Words cannot describe how proud I am to be from New Jersey today! Ugh.

323. So Christie didn't know about the lane closures but he did know about an office baking contest?-'Christie Creme' donuts turned up the heat in gov's office, Bridgegate testimony reveals: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/christie_creme_donuts_turned_up_the_heat_in_govs_o.html More importantly, Christine Renna exposes herself as a self-serving, conniving untrustworthy creep. In other words, the perfect Christie employee.

324. So the trial goes on, what did we find out last week? Bridgegate: What happened in Week 3: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/bridgegate_what_happened_in_week_3.html#incart_river_home This was an ugly week in the courtroom.

325. Still to come-Stile: Christie’s soldiers may become witnesses:http://www.northjersey.com/news/stile-christie-s-soldiers-may-become-witnesses-1.1673503 The whole idea of turning over the rocks in this administration is a bit-disgusting.

326. Maybe, just maybe....New Scrutiny for Whistleblower Case: http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/16/10/10/new-scrutiny-for-whistleblower-case-involving-christie-administration/ In the words of the assemblyman-this case might make Bridgegate look like "no big deal". Item #1 still lives-barely.

327.Quite a day in court today: Former Christie aide says Baroni alerted her about Bridgegate emails:http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/governors_authorities_chief_leads_off_week_4_of_br.html#incart_most-read_news_article Oh, and just as an aside, Kelly's attorney said that Kelly told Christie about the lane closures BEFORE they happened. Just sayin'.

*Or to sum up today's courtroom doings-Bridgegate Day 15: Another Bombshell, Another Lie to The Press, And Some More Cursing:http://www.wnyc.org/story/bridgegate-day-15-another-bombshell-another-lie-press-and-some-more-cursing/ What a day that was.

328. Oh, here's a shock-Billy Baloney Baroni's testimony was all made up-no kidding:P.A. cops: Baroni gave phony Bridgegate testimony to lawmakers:http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/pa_cops_baroni_gave_phony_bridgegate_testimony_to.html#incart_most-commented_news_article But Bill thinks he's going to take the stand and charm his way out of this one.

* Just to be clear-Bridgegate trial: Port Authority cops say Baroni told them to lie:http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-trial-port-authority-cops-say-baroni-told-them-to-lie-1.1675309 Keep smiling Bill.

** I sure being a lackey for Christie was not Mr. Baroni's career goal-Bridgegate: Courtroom performances frame Bill Baroni’s career: http://www.northjersey.com/news/nj-state-news/bridgegate-courtroom-performances-frame-bill-baroni-s-career-1.1677219 I guess that explains the constant dopey look on his face.

329. The Prosecution rests-after 4 weeks of testimony it's time for the defense, let's see what they've got-Bridgegate: Prosecution rests case on infamous email :http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-prosecution-rests-case-on-infamous-email-1.1676638 I don't think the bombshells have finished falling.

Somehow this just doesn't sound very appetizing does it? In fact its pretty disgusting


330. I see said the blind man-Governor's chief counsel testifies he saw 'nothing nefarious' in Bridgegate: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/defense_in_bridgegate_trial_begins_their_case.html#incart_river_home Somehow this testimony just doesn't ring true. An interesting intersection between save yourself and save the king.

331. It took a citizens complaint to get to this-something that has been obvious to all of us-Judge finds probable cause in complaint against Christie over GWB lane closures:http://www.northjersey.com/news/judge-finds-probable-cause-in-complaint-against-christie-over-gwb-lane-closures-1.1676692 It may go nowhere but the headline sounds so good.

*A bit more on where things stand: As Bridgegate Prosecution Rests, Christie Faces Separate Criminal Complaint: http://www.wnyc.org/story/chris-christie-faces-criminal-misconduct-complaint/ Ends up to be a pretty damning commentary on the MIA State Attorney General's Office.

332. Billy Baloney Baroni takes the stand in a desperate attempt to extricate himself-Baroni testimony: I thought Bridgegate traffic study was legit : http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/i_believed_david_wildstein.html Wildstein made me do it!

*Explain this away Mr. Baroni-Prosecutors end Bridgegate case with combative video of Baroni testimony:http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/prosecutors_in_bridgegate_trial_near_end_of_their.html Humina Humina.....

**What the hell is Baroni talking about? 6 surprises from Bill Baroni's Bridgegate testimony:http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/highlights_of_bill_baronis_bridgegate_testimony.html Honest, he was just an innocent dupe!

***That dog don't hunt-Big day in Bridgegate: Baroni testimony gets nailed :http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/10/bridgegate_scandal_bill_baroni_shocker_moran.html Nice try Baroni.

333. Christie's close confidante Mike DuHaime takes the stand today and doesn't really do Mr. Christie any favors-Bridgegate witnesses 'don't recall' details following lane closures : http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20161021_Bridgegate_defense__Christie__Cuomo_talked_after_lane_closures.html He knows nothing-nothing!

334. Bridget Kelly takes the stand-and oh what a fine mess-Bridgegate: Kelly says she told Christie of GWB plan the day before she sent 'traffic problems' email : http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-kelly-says-she-told-christie-of-gwb-plan-the-day-before-she-sent-traffic-problems-email-1.1681115 KABOOM! Plus the testimony about Christie as an abusive boss was just disturbing.

* Chris Christie-What a guy!-Bridgegate defendant Bridget Kelly paints ex-boss Chris Christie as menacing loudmouth who threw water bottle at her amid GWB lane closures: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/bridget-kelly-christie-threw-bottle-gwb-study-article-1.2839935 Yeah, a real tough guy!

** An interesting day indeed-Five things we learned from Kelly's Bridgegate testimony today:http://www.northjersey.com/news/five-things-we-learned-from-kelly-s-bridgegate-testimony-today-1.1681300 And number six-Christie is a...oh I guess we didn't just learn that today.

*** Let Wildstein Handle it-he's a sneaky little shit just like you-Christie does Dean Wormer- In Bridget Kelly's Own Words: http://www.wnyc.org/story/bridget-kellys-own-words/ A summary of what she had to say today.

****The anatomy of a scapegoat-Bridgegate trial: Kelly says she feared she was being set up:http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-trial-kelly-says-she-feared-she-was-being-set-up-1.1682107 Nothing is ever anybody's fault around here.

*****It was all just a poor choice of words, doncha know-Kelly says she used 'poor choice of words' in infamous Bridgegate emails: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/hard_questions_for_bridgegate_defendant_as_trial_n.html#incart_2box_nj-homepage-featured When I said "time for some traffic problems" I didn't mean like traffic problems. Sheesh.

******Oh what a tangled web we weave......Cross-examination questions Kelly's timeline of fallout from GWB scandal: http://www.northjersey.com/news/cross-examination-questions-kelly-s-timeline-of-fallout-from-gwb-scandal-1.1682438 One more day of this-and then what will I do?

*******All good things come to an end-Defense rests in Bridgegate as prosecutors question Kelly's version of events:http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/defense_rests_in_bridgegate_as_the_trial_winds_dow.html#incart_river_home_pop The defense may have rested but I don't get the impression that they're resting very well-if you know what I mean.

335. This is Christie's governing style-everything political, everything for his benefit-Bridgegate testimony offers a peek inside the IGA, Trenton’s ‘political shop’ :http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-testimony-offers-a-peek-inside-the-iga-trenton-s-political-shop-1.1681851 Your tax dollars at work!

336. Apparently calling Christie a bully just doesn't quite capture how bad he really is- At Bridgegate trial, Christie portrayed as something worse than a bully :http://www.northjersey.com/news/stile-bridgegate-trial-painting-christie-as-anything-but-not-a-bully-1.1682350 A political goon-That has a nice ring to it.

337. As the trial ends, an important ruling-Bridgegate trial: Prosecution doesn't need to prove motivation behind GWB lane closures:http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-trial-prosecution-doesn-t-need-to-prove-motivation-behind-gwb-lane-closures-1.1682836 It doesn't really matter why they did it, just that they did it.

When you told the governor about closing the lanes did he let out a happy laugh or an evil laugh?


338. Over? Did you say over? Chris Christie Is Over:http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/10/chris-christie-is-over/505241/ Nothing is over until we say it is!

339. Chris Christie didn't just go down in flames himself-Chris Christie's epic collapse:http://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/2016/10/bridgegate-christies-parting-gift-to-new-jersey-republicans-106757 “I think Chris Christie has destroyed the Republican Party in New Jersey for a generation,” said Seton Hall political science professor Matt Hale

340. You think Kelly & Baroni are singing Me and My Shadow?- Gov. Christie’s Shadow Over Bridgegate:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/27/opinion/gov-christies-shadow-over-bridgegate.html That's a mighty big shadow.

341. A brief delay before the closing arguments. I wonder what they were talking about-After delay, prosecutors expected to begin closing arguments in Bridgegate trial :http://www.northjersey.com/news/after-delay-prosecutors-expected-to-begin-closing-arguments-in-bridgegate-trial-1.1683639 Well, now it's time to wait.

* Oh the tension-Evidence Is In, Jury Will Soon Be Out:http://www.wnyc.org/story/five-takeaways-bridgegate-testimony-wraps/ There's got to be more than 5 takeaways.

342. The summations begin. The prosecutor makes the most simple and straight-forward argument possible: Prosecutor: Bridgegate defendants were 'loyal lieutenants' of Christie : http://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/2016/10/prosecutors-in-closing-say-bridgegate-defendants-were-loyal-lieutenants-of-christie-106849 “They never attempted to separate politics from their jobs in public service.”

* Of course the defense sees it differently-Bridgegate trial: Dueling portraits of Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly: http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-trial-dueling-portraits-of-bill-baroni-and-bridget-anne-kelly-1.1683923 Please, please please believe my client no matter how bad his testimony sounds.

**I'm not sure this is a great argument for the defense-Baroni attorney takes aim at key Bridgegate witness in closing argument :http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/baroni_attorney_takes_aim_at_key_bridgegate_witnes.html#incart_river_home But then again it might be all he's got.

***Mr. Critchley's turn on behalf of Bridget Kelly-Doh!- Bridgegate defense mocks Christie in courthouse where he built his reputation : http://www.northjersey.com/news/stile-bridgegate-defense-mocks-christie-in-courthouse-where-he-built-his-reputation-1.1685721 Coward! Bully! Liar! That's a trifecta for Mr. Christie.

****What will the jury be considering? Bridgegate jury begins deliberations: What are the charges?:http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/11/bridgegate_jury_deliberations_what_are_the_charges.html#incart_river_home The right person isn't on trial just yet.

*****And now it's in the hands of the jury-Bridgegate trial: Case lies in hands of the jurors :http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-trial-case-lies-in-hands-of-the-jurors-1.1685373 Just have to wait. Hopefully it will be worth it.

343. Dissed in his old stomping grounds! Christie cast in new role on his old turf: http://www.northjersey.com/news/stile-christie-cast-in-new-role-on-his-old-turf-1.1685721 Not quite humiliated enough yet.

344. Whatever the cost, it isn't enough-What the Bridgegate Scandal Cost Gov. Christie:http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/16/11/03/opinion-what-the-bridgegate-scandal-cost-gov-christie/ and whatever the cost it pales in comparison with what he cost the State of New Jersey.

345. And speaking of costs...hmmmm-Christie's Taxpayer-Funded Lawyers Increase Work on Bridgegate Case:http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/16/11/03/christie-s-taxpayer-funded-lawyers-increase-work-on-bridgegate-case $14 million for a bogus report that paid off his dear friend to investigate him while also getting a substantial amount kicked back as campaign donations. Thank you suckers...I mean NJ taxpayers.

346. In all honesty, I didn't think I would ever make this entry-Bridgegate verdict: Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly guilty on all counts: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/11/bridgegate_verdict_bill_baroni_and_bridget_kelly_g.html Hopefully this will not be the end of the story (or the Christie Crime Digest!)

347. Let's take a trip back in time-This is a far more interesting read today than it was 3 years ago-Road Warrior: Closed tollbooths a commuting disaster : http://www.northjersey.com/news/new-york-tri-state-area/road-warrior-closed-tollbooths-a-commuting-disaster-1.639923 How different this all looks today. Wish I knew then what I know now.

348. The obituaries keep pouring in-The Bridgegate trial is over. So is Chris Christie’s political career, probably.:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/04/the-bridgegate-trial-is-over-so-is-chris-christies-political-career-probably/ Not enough!

*The hits keep coming-Is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's political career over?:http://www.nj.com/trending/2016/11/is_new_jersey_gov_chris_christ.html#incart_river_home I like the opportunity to post with the hashtag #Christieistoast !

**Hopefully the answer to this question is many sleepless nights and an ulcer-What the Bridgegate guilty verdict means for Chris Christie :http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/11/what_the_bridgegate_guilty_verdict_means_for_chris.html Oh, and a lifetime of disgrace for good measure.

349. This is a really compelling read-Tears, doubts, heated debate in Bridgegate jury room: http://www.northjersey.com/news/tears-doubts-heated-debate-in-bridgegate-jury-room-1.1688069?page=all Restores some faith in the concept that ordinary people can make a difference.

Are you smiling now Bridget? I didn't think so.


350.Hopefully its not over until the "fat lady" sings-In Bridgegate trial, Christie is the culprit who got away: http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/11/in_bridgegate_trial_christie_is_revealed_as_the_ba.html And the fat man squeals.

* This juror came to the conclusion that most of us have-Bridgegate juror: Christie should have been on trial:http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/11/bridgegate_juror_christie_should_have_been_on_tria.html I'm not holding my breath but it would be nice-and it would be the right thing to do.

** The jury was definitely on to him-2nd Bridgegate juror said she believes Christie was involved, report says: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/11/2nd_bridgegate_juror_suspects_christie_involvement_1.html Lock Him Up!

351. At least he remains popular with the people of New Jersey-Christie's approval rating hits record low in N.J., poll finds : http://www.northjersey.com/news/christie-s-approval-rating-hits-record-low-in-n-j-poll-finds-1.1688848 19% and falling -Wow!

352.Christie on the beach-Christie tans while Island Beach homeowners burn:http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2017/07/christie_tans_while_island_beach_homeowners_burn_d.html What a complete horse's ass-but we already knew that.

353. Christie fights with a Cubs fan-oh brother-Let's settle this in the ring, Cubs fan tells Chris Christie:http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chicagoinc/ct-christ-christie-fight-cubs-0802-chicago-inc-20170801-story.html I'd pay to see that fight.

354. Christie's approval rating hits 15%-Chris Christie’s Low Approval Rating Just Broke an All-Time Low: https://poll.qu.edu/new-jersey/release-detail?ReleaseID=2494 Does this mean that he knows every single person who approves of him?

355.He just can't help himself-just an ass- Testy Gov. Chris Christie argues with voter outside NJ polling place: http://abcnews.go.com/amp/Politics/testy-nj-gov-chris-christie-argues-voter-polling/story?id=50987973 One last parting shot.

I don't get no respect-no respect at all....



I'm on the beach and you're not!


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Reply Christie Crime Digest-Volume IV (Original post)
Laxman Sep 2016 OP
malaise Sep 2016 #1
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malaise Sep 2016 #10
Initech Sep 2016 #4
Beach Rat Sep 2016 #5
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malaise Sep 2016 #11
Laxman Sep 2016 #7
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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon Sep 19, 2016, 09:49 AM

1. Fabulous thread

Thanks Laxman

Off to the greatest page for you

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon Sep 19, 2016, 02:39 PM

2. They're Coming Out Swinging....

This is going to get very interesting very fast.....

Bridgegate prosecutors: Wildstein to testify he told Christie of lane closings

In opening arguments in the criminal trial of the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal, federal prosecutors said Monday morning that David Wildstein would testify that he told Gov. Chris Christie about the scheme to close lanes at the bridge at the very moment traffic was at a standstill in Fort Lee.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna said Wildstein will testify that he and defendant Bill Baroni made Christie aware of the plan while they were attending Sept. 11 commemorations in Manhattan.

"The evidence will show that ... they bragged about the fact that there were traffic problems in Fort Lee and that Mayor Sokolich was not getting his calls returned," Khanna said.

Wildstein's attorney once suggested "evidence exists" Christie knew about the traffic jams. The former Port Authority executive, who was second in command at the bi-state agency, pleaded guilty last year.

Since then, photographs emerged showing Christie talking to Wildstein and Baroni during a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony.

Khanna also told jurors Wildstein, who pleaded guilty to federal crimes and turned cooperating witness for prosecutors, would take the stand in the trial and "admit that he was the one who came up with that idea."

"He will also tell you that (Bridget Anne) Kelly instructed him to take that action and Baroni blessed it," he said.


Read the rest here: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/09/bridgegate_trial_starts.html#incart_most-commented_news_article

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Response to Laxman (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 19, 2016, 03:26 PM

8. Any live coverage?

Let me get some popcorn and chocolates

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Response to malaise (Reply #8)

Mon Sep 19, 2016, 03:35 PM

9. No Live Coverage...

but you can follow Andrea Bernstein and Matt Katz on Twitter. They are at the trial. https://twitter.com/AndreaWNYC and https://twitter.com/mattkatz00

Mike Critchley is giving his opening statement now on behalf of Bridget Kelly: “What she knew could be fatal to an embryonic presidential campaign.” Oh my.....

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon Sep 19, 2016, 02:45 PM

3. The Rats Are Eating Each Other Already.....

and they are pointing directly at Christie!

Here are just a couple of tidbits.....

"When David Wildstein spoke (at the Port Authority), Gov. Christie's voice came out and everybody knew it," Baldassare said.

He declared Wildstein was "like a ventriloquist doll sitting on Christopher J. Christie's lap."


but wait, there's more....

David Wildstein, who pleaded guilty to crimes related to the Bridgegate scandal and turned cooperating witness for federal prosecutors, is "a horrible person" who, for his "entire adult life, has had a double life," said defendant Bill Baroni's attorney, Michael Baldassare.

Throughout opening arguments, Baldassare used profanities to describe Baroni's second in command, telling jurors Wildstein is "a miserable prick" and "an asshole."

"The government made a deal with the devil and they're stuck with him," Baldassare said.

He also described Wildstein as being close to the governor, despite public assertions from Christie arguing otherwise, suggesting throughout his opening argument that orders to the Port Authority were coming from "Trenton," meaning "the governor."


Oh boy, is this is great!

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Response to Laxman (Reply #3)

Mon Sep 19, 2016, 03:50 PM

10. Where is my boy Samson?

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon Sep 19, 2016, 02:45 PM

4. Man maybe I should redact on taking a week off for the Top 10!

Between this and Mike Pence channeling Cheney, there's some gold stuff here!

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Response to Initech (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 19, 2016, 03:08 PM

5. I've got to believe this trial is enough for its own edition!

Wait until Critchley lets loose! Man, is this going to be a street fight. A Top 10 Bridgegate Trial Edition sounds good to me.

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Response to Beach Rat (Reply #5)

Mon Sep 19, 2016, 03:21 PM

6. Well I did an all Donald Trump edition already!

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Response to Initech (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 19, 2016, 03:50 PM

11. Hehehehehehhe

Yeeeeeeeeeees!

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon Sep 19, 2016, 03:23 PM

7. This Is Unlike Anything I Have Seen....

in over 30 years of practicing law....

David Wildstein is vicious guy. He's a bully. He's an asshole. He's a horrible person. He's the most complicated person I have ever met. He is a vindictive individual who will destroy your life. He was known for intimidating and lying to people. He has a twisted mind. He's maniacal. David Wildstein is a miserable prick. The governor referred to David Wildstein as his fixer. And the governor used to joke that David Wildstein was his Mr. Wolf from the movie Pulp Fiction....the guy who comes and cleans up the bodies.


Wow, just wow, plus props for the Pulp Fiction reference, but Mr. Wolf didn't seem like a miserable prick to me.

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Response to Laxman (Reply #7)

Fri Sep 23, 2016, 02:08 PM

38. No wonder he and Christie got along so well. n/t


rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Reply #7)

Thu Oct 13, 2016, 02:28 PM

88. Didn't Christie say that he barely knew Wildstein?

Apparently they went to high school together.

I remember Christie downplaying their high school years because he, Christie, was a jock, & … I forget what he said about Wildstein, but Christie's words we're meant to belittle the guy & to exclaim he barely knew him. Though, Christie did appoint this near "stranger" an important & high level job in the Port Authority.

Sounded fishy then, and sounds fishy now.

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon Sep 19, 2016, 05:50 PM

12. So Here's Bridget Kelly's Story....

according to her attorney. It was all just a big misunderstanding. "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" was taken out of context. Except that doesn't make any sense when you see "is it wrong that I'm smiling" a few days later. Just a depraved overly ambitious political animal would do this.

Bridgegate lawyer says former Christie aide was thrown 'under the presidential bus'

The attorney for a former top Gov. Chris Christie aide claimed Monday his client was thrown "under the presidential bus" when she took the fall and was charged by federal prosecutors in the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal.

Bridget Anne Kelly, the governor's former deputy chief of staff, was not pulling the strings, defense attorney Michael Critchley told jurors in opening arguments.

Instead, he called "the idea that Bridget Kelly is directing the affairs of the state of New Jersey" as "almost laughable," suggesting larger powers were at play when access lanes to the busiest bridge were closed on the eve of Christie's 2013 re-election.

"It's about a presidential campaign," Critchley said.

He asked jurors to remember back in 2013 when Christie, who just sailed to re-election, was widely acknowledged as the Republican Party's frontrunner in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Kelly shouldn't be elevated to "some grandiose position," Critchley said, noting she only held the deputy chief of staff title for three months.

Rather, David Wildstein wanted to "shine in Chris Christie's eyes" as the governor readied for a nationwide campaign, Critchley argued.

"He wants to be on the national Chris Christie presidential team," he said.

Khanna also told jurors Wildstein, who pleaded guilty to federal crimes and turned cooperating witness for prosecutors, would take the stand in the trial and "admit that he was the one who came up with that idea."

"He will also tell you that (Bridget Anne) Kelly instructed him to take that action and Baroni blessed it," he said.


Read the rest here: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/09/bridgegate_lawyer_says_former_christie_aide_was_th.html#incart_river_home

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Response to Laxman (Reply #12)

Mon Sep 19, 2016, 05:53 PM

13. She was thrown under the bridge

of their own troubled water.

This is fun!!

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon Sep 19, 2016, 05:55 PM

14. this is the guy who is demanding that legal marijuana users in 3 states be thrown in prison.

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon Sep 19, 2016, 08:17 PM

15. kick for the evening crowd

Chris Hayes to discuss shortly

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Response to malaise (Reply #15)

Tue Sep 27, 2016, 05:43 PM

55. I got an aha moment looking at Christie's wretched face when Trump ignored him

after the nomination and again at the 9-11 ceremony.

Is it possible that Christie was holding out for Trump's election and then pardon of Christie?

'Cause Christie looked SO horribly defeatist, impossible not to notice.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #55)

Tue Sep 27, 2016, 06:19 PM

56. He's not on trial

YET

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Response to malaise (Reply #56)

Tue Sep 27, 2016, 07:36 PM

58. That may not happen till after the election.....

I bet he is so tense over the results.

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon Sep 19, 2016, 09:31 PM

16. It Was A Very Interesting First Day....

of the trial. For not actually being on trial, Mr. Christie took a beating from both the defense and the prosecution.

Christie Takes a Beating in Bridgegate Trial Opening: 10 Takeaways

1. Christie knew. Since the Bridgegate scandal broke, the key organizer of the lane closures, David Wildstein, who has pleaded guilty, has hinted that “evidence exists” that Christie knew of the closures while they were happening. Now, prosecutors came out and said it. On the third day of the closures, at a Sept. 11 memorial service at the World Trade Center, Wildstein and defendant Bill Baroni had a “precious few minutes with Gov. Christie," assistant U.S. attorney Vikas Khanna told the jury. The pair "bragged about the traffic problems they were having in Fort Lee and that Mayor Sokolich was not getting his calls returned.” Christie hasn’t explicitly denied that Wildstein raised the issue of the traffic jams at that event, but has said he wouldn’t remember it if Wildstein had, because traffic problems are so common in New Jersey. Today’s arguments indicate that Christie was told about the closures, and not just in passing.

2. “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email was just a joke. Michael Critchley, attorney for Bridget Anne Kelly, told jurors that the smoking gun email was banter, just a joke, exchanged as part of a casual conversation with Wildstein. The mother of four going through a divorce at the time of the email was juggling lower-level duties -- ordering food for events and scheduling meetings at the governor’s mansion. “The idea that Bridget Kelly is directing the affairs of the state of New Jersey, ordering the shutdown of the George Washington Bridge...it’s almost absurd,” Critchley said. He argued that Kelly was a “scapegoat,” blamed by the governor’s lawyers for the lane closures to protect Christie’s nascent presidential campaign. “They wanted to throw her under the presidential bus.”

3. Bridgegate felon David Wildstein was Christie's master of political dark arts. According to Baroni’s defense attorney, Christie referred to Wildstein as his “fixer.” The governor used to joke that Wildstein was his Mr. Wolf from the movie Pulp Fiction, the Harvey Keitel character who cleans up the bodies. Christie has said he barely met with Wildstein while he was governor, but in court, defense attorneys said the evidence will show Christie kept close tabs on Wildstein.


Read the rest of the 10 takeaways here: http://www.wnyc.org/story/christie-takes-beating-bridgegate-trial-opening-10-takeaways/ although I reiterate with regard to #2 here, if "time for some traffic" was just a joke then please explain "is it wrong that I'm smiling". Is Mr. Critchley hoping the jury won't notice?

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Response to Laxman (Reply #16)

Mon Sep 19, 2016, 09:37 PM

17. Rachel will be on this in a minute

Which local NJ paper is laying off workers?

I doubt any of them can top your details

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Sep 20, 2016, 07:58 AM

18. The Testimony Starts Today....

after the very interesting opening statements the Fort Lee Police Chief and the Mayor of Fort Lee will take the stand. Now this is the kind of thing you need some popcorn to watch.

Bridgegate trial: First witnesses due to take the stand

The first witnesses for the prosecution are due to testify in federal court in Newark today at the trial of two former allies of Governor Christie accused of closing access lanes to the George Washington Bridge to punish Fort Lee’s mayor.
The Fort Lee chief of police, Keith M. Bendul, is scheduled to be the lead off witness.

He will be followed to the stand by Mayor Mark Sokolich.

They are expected to testify about the traffic chaos that paralyzed Fort Lee’s streets for a week in September 2013 when two of the three local approach lanes to the bridge were closed in an alleged scheme to retaliate against the mayor for refusing to endorse Christie’s 2013 reelection campaign.


Read it here: http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-trial-first-witnesses-due-to-take-the-stand-1.1663187

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Sep 20, 2016, 12:11 PM

19. Day 2 Is Off To A Rousing Start.....

that shows just how creepy these people are.

Bridgegate trial: Fort Lee police chief describes clandestine meeting with GWB manager

As testimony got under way at the Bridgegate trial in federal court on Tuesday, Fort Lee’s chief of police described a clandestine meeting he had in a municipal parking lot with the general manager of the George Washington Bridge on the first day of the lane closures that snarled traffic at the world’s busiest bridge for five mornings in September 2013 and ultimately derailed the presidential hopes of Governor Chris Christie.

Durando “told me to meet him in the municipal lot, don’t come in the building or on to Port Authority property,” Bendul said.

Bendul told the court that Durando “seemed afraid” and that he told Bendul if he was asked about the meeting he would deny it ever took place.

Bendul added that Durando told him to tell the mayor of Fort Lee, Mark Sokolich, to “call Baroni.”


Read it here: http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-trial-fort-lee-police-chief-describes-clandestine-meeting-with-gwb-manager-1.1663187

And let me add that the witness list includes Christie, Governor Cuomo and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner! Now that's entertainment!

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Response to Laxman (Reply #19)

Tue Sep 20, 2016, 07:01 PM

22. I can't wait



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Response to Laxman (Reply #19)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 02:09 PM

27. Well, the fact that this meeting took place, uh, off site HELPS christie, doesn't it?

I mean, doesn't it prove that they were acting WITHOUT his knowledge or blessing?


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #27)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 04:03 PM

28. I Think Its Pretty Damning.....

it shows that the career folks at the Port Authority were frightened to do their jobs. This came from the top and they weren't about to jeopardize their careers.

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Sep 20, 2016, 05:35 PM

20. Sorry to get to the party a day late

But I've been public computer dependent lately!

However, rest assured that I will be downloading these articles in their entirety for perusal and comment!


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #20)

Tue Sep 20, 2016, 06:58 PM

21. Fashionably Late.....

this will be going on for some time!

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Sep 20, 2016, 07:15 PM

23. The Cover Stories....

are starting to fall apart already.

At Bridgegate trial, Fort Lee mayor tells of wooing by Christie campaign

For nearly a year, they courted Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich.

There were tickets to New York Giants games at the Governor's Box at MetLife Stadium. Private tours at Ground Zero for visiting relatives. An invite to a taping of MSNBC's Morning Joe at Fort Lee High School. A personal gift from the governor of an American flag that had flown over the World Trade Center site.

And despite assertions by Gov. Chris Christie in the aftermath of the Bridgegate scandal that the mayor "was not on my radar screen," and that he had never heard Sokolich's name "until all this stuff happened," there had been a private lunch with the governor at Drumthwacket, the governor's mansion in Princeton.

"Absolutely I went," Sokolich testified on Tuesday. "That's a bucket list item for a small town mayor—to have lunch with the governor."

Then, the governor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs began talking about an endorsement. The mayor said they pointed to other Democrats willing to back the Republican governor. They asked him if he would be comfortable expressing his support. And when he finally said no, he woke up one morning to find Fort Lee in absolute and total gridlock.

"It was completely stopped," the mayor said of the traffic just outside his driveway. "It was concrete gridlock."

Sokolich said he long had a good relationship with Baroni, meeting him soon after the former state senator was named by Christie as the Port Authority's top New Jersey official.

"Bill was always responsive," he testified.

Baroni had told him he would always be there to help him, and to never hesitate calling if he had concerns. The Port Authority donated $5,000 to the Fort Lee Fire Department. It helped underwrite the cost of shuttle busses to take commuters to the Hudson River ferry at Edgewater.

And there were personal favors. When cousins visiting from Croatia sought to visit Ground Zero, Sokolich called Baroni and the Port Authority executive made it happen

"We met David Wildstein," said Sokolich, remembering the tour. Wildstein even pointed out the memorial panels at Ground Zero where those from Fort Lee were listed. But he also recalled an off-key moment.

"So you're the guy we have to be nice to. I have to be nice to you I'm told," Wildstein told him. "He said that multiple times in the first minutes I met him. It struck me as odd."

The mayor, as he was questioned by assistant U.S. attorney Vikas Khanna, said there were other favors as well, as members of the governor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, or IGA, reached out with invitations to football games, to the governor's budget address at the State House, and to Christmas parties at Drumthwacket.

In the summer of 2012, he said Matt Mowers, then an IGA staffer, began broaching the subject of endorsing the governor.

"Ultimately that was all they were talking about," he said, making references to public endorsements by Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, a Democratic power broker, as well as others.


Read the rest here: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/09/the_bridgegate_trial_a_failed_courtship_and_then_t_1.html#incart_river_home

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Response to Laxman (Reply #23)

Tue Sep 20, 2016, 07:20 PM

24. This was such cynical criminality

I mean what would they not do for political gains?

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 06:06 AM

25. BBC: The fall and fall of Chris Christie

http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-37423537

The fall and fall of Chris Christie

Anthony Zurcher
North America reporter

20 September 2016

From the section US Election 2016


Back in December Donald Trump said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie "totally knew" about his staff engaging in a politically motivated closing in 2013 of several lanes on a key bridge from his state into New York City. It turns out Mr Trump may have been right. On Monday, federal prosecutors in the trial of two New Jersey government officials over their involvement in what has become known as the "Bridgegate" scandal said one of the defendants and a star witness boasted about their actions to the New Jersey governor at the time. It's a rare point of agreement between the prosecutors and the defence attorneys whose case largely rests on Mr Christie's knowledge - and approval - of the lane closures.
(snip)

Monday's revelation runs counter to the governor's repeated insistence that he knew nothing about the actions of his subordinates, which he said were "completely inappropriate and unsanctioned". More than that, it caps what can only be described as an epic reversal of fortune for the man who five years ago was considered a rising star in the Republican Party and had once been talked about as presidential front-runner in both 2012 and 2016.
(snip)

Federal prosecutors conducted an investigation and indicted Mr Christie's aides, not the governor, in the matter in 2015. He ended up making a run for the Republican presidential nomination despite the lingering doubts about the controversy, but his bid was cut short due to meagre fundraising and an underwhelming performance in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.
(snip)

What may be the New Jersey governor's final star turn came at the Republican National Convention in July, when he gave a blistering denunciation of Hillary Clinton during a prime-time speech. In it, the former federal prosecutor pretended to preside over the trial of the Democratic nominee, leading the convention crowd in cries of "guilty!"

Now, in a real courtroom with real prosecutors, Mr Christie's political career is effectively on trial. And whether the defendants are found guilty or not, the punishment for the New Jersey governor has already been severe.

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Response to nitpicker (Reply #25)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 06:23 AM

26. Good

Projection = ReTHUGs
I wish we had live coverage

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Wed Sep 21, 2016, 09:16 PM

29. Former Port Authority Director Patrick Foye.....

took the witness stand today. Despite the defense scoring some shots about prior statements, the story in general was damning. Baroni wanted the lanes closed again because "it was important to Trenton". Really. I don't know why they didn't cop a plea. This is looking bad (or good-depending on your perspective).

P.A. director: Bridgegate lane closures were 'abusive decision'

Patrick Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority, wanted a witness when he confronted his New Jersey counterpart about a series of inexplicable toll lane shutdowns at the George Washington Bridge.

"I thought what had happened was—in my experience at the Port Authority—unprecedented," Foye testified Wednesday in federal court.

So when he finally met Bill Baroni, the agency's deputy executive director who was one of those involved in the September 2013 incident involving the unannounced closure of several local toll lanes at the bridge, he made sure to bring in his chief of staff to sit in on the conversation.

"I thought something weird and problematic had happened," he said. He wanted someone in the room to hear what he heard.

The hidden drama that played out in the days and weeks after the lane closings came to light Wednesday as federal prosecutors and defense attorneys focused on the inconsistent stories and outright lies that were told in the wake of the bizarre goings-on at the bridge — a scheme allegedly orchestrated by campaign operatives tied Gov. Chris Christie's 2013 re-election effort in a game of political retribution.

Prosecutors allege the scheme was orchestrated by campaign operatives tied Gov. Chris Christie's 2013 re-election effort in a game of political retribution.

Foye, an appointee of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said he was mystified by the lane closures, and, more significantly, distrustful of the orchestrator, David Wildstein, a political appointee to the Port Authority who he recalled as a man feared by many at the agency.

Yet after ordering the toll lanes reopened, Foye acknowledged that he agreed to put out a press release prepared by Baroni asserting it was all part of a legitimate traffic study—despite knowing full well that the claim was untrue.

"I saw it as Bill Baroni's mess. David Wildstein's mess," the executive director explained. "I was okay with it going out."


Read the rest here: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/09/gridlock_politics_and_lies_on_the_stand_at_the_bri.html#incart_river_home

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Thu Sep 22, 2016, 04:10 PM

30. It's A Shame They Have To Break....

for the weekend. This is just some wild stuff. I guess if you're going to have a corruption trial, make it a good one. Wildstein, a man hated by hundreds, maybe thousands. Not there's testimony you don't hear every day.

Bridgegate trial: Port Authority staffer says he tipped off media to lane closures

John Ma said that he contacted the Record’s Road Warrior columnist, John Cichowski, on the fourth day of the crippling lane closures in Fort Lee that September after learning that the agency’s media office was attributing them to a traffic study.
John Ma, chief of staff to the Port Authority’s executive director, outside federal court on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016.
Amy newman/staff photographer
Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly outside federal court on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016.

“I told him, off the record, that to my knowledge there was no traffic study and that the lane closures had been ordered by David Wildstein,” Ma said.

Ma, the chief of staff to the Port Authority’s executive director, Patrick Foye, said: “What I hoped to accomplish was to have the reporter dig further, ask follow up questions.”

Under cross-examination, Ma said that Foye was aware of the call to Cichowski before he made it.


Read the rest here:http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-trial-port-authority-staffer-says-he-tipped-off-media-to-lane-closures-1.1664734

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Response to Laxman (Reply #30)

Thu Sep 22, 2016, 04:42 PM

32. It's delish

Thanks

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Thu Sep 22, 2016, 04:17 PM

31. How The Defense Believes....

that this testimony helps them is beyond me. I guess they can say at least our clients aren't Wildstein.

Wildstein 'terrorized' P. A. employees, director testifies at Bridgegate trial

Patrick Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority, distrusted and disliked David Wildstein, who he said Thursday was hated by "hundreds," or perhaps "thousands," of their fellow employees.

On the stand in federal court for the second day, Foye testified that he thought Wildstein was the "culprit" behind the George Washington Bridge lane closures and believed he was tapping phone lines at the Port Authority.

But when it came to firing the former Port Authority executive who pleaded guilty to his role in the Bridgegate scandal, Foye claimed he came up against a major obstacle: Gov. Chris Christie.

"He was protected by Chris Christie, correct?" Michael Critchley, the defense attorney for former Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly, asked.

Foye paused momentarily. "Yes," he finally responded.

"He was abusive to employees, he terrorized people," Foye said of Wildstein later during testimony.

read the rest here: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/09/bridgegate_wildstein_foye_fire.html#incart_river_home_pop

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Response to Laxman (Reply #31)

Thu Sep 22, 2016, 04:45 PM

33. Must have crushed Wildstein to have Christie say such awful things about him

and diss their 'friendship' from way back when.

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Thu Sep 22, 2016, 07:02 PM

34. K&R

Hang him high.

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Response to yortsed snacilbuper (Reply #34)

Thu Sep 22, 2016, 07:08 PM

35. The comments page is too good

Richard Philbrick
Sources close to governor Christie, speaking anonomously to reporters, have confirmed that the governor plans to mount an insanity defense in the "Bridgegate" trial and will submit his endorsement of Donald Trump as evidence of his diminshed mental capacity...

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Thu Sep 22, 2016, 07:49 PM

36. Wildstein And Baroni....

couldn't be fired and Baroni ordered his assistants to ignore calls from Fort Lee mayor Sokolich because "the phone bills were too high". Really.

Bridgegate trial: N.Y. Port Authority chief says Christie protected his people

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s top executive at the Port Authority acknowledged Thursday that he couldn’t fire the New Jersey staffer who orchestrated the politically motivated lane closings at the George Washington Bridge because he was protected by Governor Christie.

Under cross-examination for the second day, Patrick Foye, the agency’s executive director, sparred with defense attorneys for Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni, two Christie allies on trial in federal court in Newark for allegedly conspiring with David Wildstein to create gridlock at the bridge to punish Fort Lee’s mayor for not endorsing Christie’s 2013 reelection.
Patrick Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority, outside federal court on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016.
Amy newman/staff photographer
Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly outside federal court on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016.
Patrick Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority, outside federal court on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016.
AMY NEWMAN/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
John Ma, chief of staff to the Port Authority’s executive director, outside federal court on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016.

Asked whether he could fire Wildstein, Foye said: “It’s complicated.”


Here's where it gets good....

Ma and the next witness, Tina Lado, a Port Authority official who works to mitigate the impact of agency projects in host communities, both testified that before the Fort Lee lane closures Baroni had always been responsive to local officials.

Baroni was always very interested, supportive and involved, Lado said, describing his relationship with local officials in Fort Lee, Weehawken and Perth Amboy.

During the week of gridlock caused by the local lane reductions in Fort Lee, Sokolich testified that Baroni ignored his repeated efforts to reach him and get him to reopen the lanes.

Contrary to the agency’s practice, Lado said there was no advance notification to Fort Lee about the lane closures and that she only got word the Friday before they were implemented the following Monday.

When Fort Lee’s administrator called to say that the traffic standstill had hampered efforts to find a missing child and respond to a cardiac arrest, Lado said her queries to Baroni and Wildstein went unanswered.

She finally did hear from Baroni two days later after inquiring whether she should return the mayor’s calls. In coded language, he told her that had looked at her unit’s phone bills and they were rather high "so we had to be careful and not make unnecessary calls outside, particularly to New Jersey.

She said she understood that to mean "he did not want me to call back."

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Response to Laxman (Reply #36)

Thu Sep 22, 2016, 07:56 PM

37. You know if the plan is to clean up the mess that is politics

On top of severe sentences, Christie and his operatives should all be banned from holding public office at any level of government. I cannot believe the cynicism and indifference about citizens that was present in this vindictive nasty act that was all about one man's power grab. That he could run for the Presidency is in the league of Don the Con.
There really are no words.

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Fri Sep 23, 2016, 03:12 PM

39. The Prosecution's Star Witness.....

David Wildstein takes the stand! I'm sure he will be there for several days and this will not be the last post in this thread about his testimony that has just begun. But here's a taste:

Wildstein testifies at Bridgegate trial: I was the 'bad cop' at P.A.

David Wildstein, the admitted architect of the Bridgegate scandal cast by defense attorneys as an "evil mastermind," spoke publicly for the first time Friday, talking about his role in the 2013 scheme to close toll lanes at the George Washington Bridge.

Taking the stand at the Bridgegate trial in the federal courthouse in Newark, Wildstein described his focus on supporting the agenda of Gov. Chris Christie while he worked as a top political appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

"My job was to advance Gov. Christie's agenda. My expectation is that I would be tough," Wildstein said.

He said he had a "one-constituent" rule: "The only person that mattered was Gov. Christie," he explained. "We used that as the barometer by which a decision would be made at the Port Authority."

Making his long-awaited appearance in the trial of Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Bridget Anne Kelly, once a top aide to Christie, Wildstein testified about the political maneuvering that went on in the offices of the Port Authority.

Speaking firmly and confidently, often turning directly to the jury, Wildstein talked of his plea deal and cooperation agreement with the government.

"My hope is that I will not be sent to federal prison," he said.

He described himself as a "bad cop" at the Port Authority.

Wildstein, 55, who has already pleaded guilty in his involvement in the scheme, is the government's key witness in the high-profile corruption case that weighed down Christie's ill-fated presidential run and may ultimately have doomed it.

The U.S. Attorney's office has charged that Baroni and Kelly—in a plot authorities say was orchestrated by Wildstein— conspired to shut down several local access toll lanes at the bridge to wreak traffic havoc in Fort Lee, in retribution for Mayor Mark Sokolich's refusal to back the Republican governor in his re-election campaign.

Federal prosecutors have acknowledged that Wildstein was no angel and told the jury earlier this week that he was the one who came up with the idea to use the toll lanes to hurt the mayor— whose frantic calls abut the gridlock that had gripped his town over four days in September 2013 were allegedly ignored by Baroni.

But they said Kelly instructed Wildstein to take that action in an email a month earlier, telling him it was "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," and that Baroni blessed the plan.


Read the rest here (and there's sure to be much more where this came from):http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/09/wildstein_takes_the_stand_in_bridgegate_case.html#incart_2box_nj-homepage-featured

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Fri Sep 23, 2016, 04:54 PM

40. BREAKING: New Jersey Moves To Impeach Chris Christie Over “Bridgegate”

OccupyDemocrats.com: New Jersey’s despised Republican Governor Chris Christie is in scalding hot water as the top state legislators are now looking into filing articles of impeachment against him if he is found guilty of having orchestrated the closing of the George Washington Bridge in order to punish a political rival. Christie has been ordered to produce personal emails related to the “Bridgegate” scandal by a judge...

The decision on impeachment will be up to Democratic Speaker Vincent Prieto and if he gives the go-ahead, the Assembly Judiciary Committee would begin the process. It takes a majority of the 80-member Assembly to vote articles of impeachment. If it passes the Democrat-controlled body, the trial would be in the Senate, where two-thirds of senators would be needed to convict. Although Democrats hold a majority in the Senate, they would need three Republican senators to join them if all Democrats vote to convict...

I doubt this could happen within the last 16 months of Christie's term, even with the GOP votes -- but it's the thought that counts!


rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Fri Sep 23, 2016, 05:28 PM

41. Here Is An Interesting Tidbit.....

from Mr. Wildstein's testimony today:

Wildstein used personal email to avoid records laws. "I had received those instructions form numerous people at the governor's office."


Really. Now this is getting very interesting.

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Fri Sep 23, 2016, 09:51 PM

42. Witness Number 7....

has proven to be very unlucky for Mr. Christie. Here is a summary of what Mr. Wildstein had to say today. A friend of mine who worked for him at the Port Authority once described him as "demented". Sounds like being demented was the standard qualification for working in the Christie Administration.

Christie Talked Endorsements with Wildstein and Other Takeaways From the Bridgegate Trial Day 5

David Wildstein, the convicted felon who pleaded guilty for his role in the Bridgegate scandal, took the stand on Friday— and even after just two hours, his testimony was mind-blowing.

Wildstein was clear about his role at the Port Authority: he was "aggressive" and a "bad cop" who saw his mission from Day One as cadging Port Authority resources — from multi-million dollar projects to bits of burnt steel from the remains of the World Trade Center — to pursue Democratic endorsements for Gov. Chris Christie.

Where to begin?

1. Wildstein personally discussed with Christie using Port Authority resources to court Democrats.

Christie, you'll remember, has asserted he barely knew Wildstein. But Wildstein by his own admission was BFFs with Christie's inner circle, including Christie's former campaign manager, Bill Stepien (now national field director for Donald Trump's presidential campaign); Mike DuHaime, Christie's outside strategist; and Mike Drewniak, Christie's ex-spokesman.

From the day he took his job, Wildstein said, he understood that there was an active plan to court Democratic elected officials, as "Mr. Stepien had told me and discussed it with me, many times."

"Was the Port Authority going to be part of that strategy to court Democrats?" Wildstein was asked by prosecutor Lee Cortes.

"Yes," replied Wildstein, "the Port Authority was asked to play a role in securing those endorsements. I was asked by Stepien, and others."

"What others?" Cortes asked.

"Gov. Christie, and Ms. Kelly," Wildstein responded, referring to Bridgegate defendant Bridget Anne Kelly, who worked for Stepien.

2. By "Port Authority resources," Wildstein meant everything from big projects to bits of burnt steel from the World Trade towers.

Wildstein called his package of goodies, just that, "his Port Authority goodie bag." He aggressively pursued the strategy of delivering the pieces of steel to Democratic mayors. He pointed out to Kelly that only two elected officials had been given a private tour of the (then-closed) World Trade Center site, and that this might be "exciting" and "interesting" for Democratic mayors. He came up with an idea to fly 100 flags at the World Trade Center on the 10th anniversary of the attacks, and then attach to those flags a certificate that said, "One hundred flags flew over the World Trade Center on 9-11-11 at the request of Governor Chris Christie," signed by Port Authority Chair and Christie BFF David Samson.

"Who provided you direction on what towns would receive the flags?" Cortes asked.

Wildstein responded: "I sent all of the flags to the office of the governor and the office of the governor distributed them."

Did he have discussions about where to send them?

"Yes, he said, "with Mr. Stepien and Ms. Kelly."

3. The governor's office in Trenton kept meticulous record of this distribution of Port Authority assets.

Before Wildstein testified, we heard from Matt Mowers, a former Christie administration staffer who has rocketed through the New Hampshire GOP to the top of the Trump campaign. Mowers described creating a Google doc spreadsheet in October 2011, two years before Christie's reelection, titled "Democratic Targets."

Each official was ranked on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest, on the likelihood of getting their endorsement. (The Mayor of Fort Lee was a 4.) One of the columns was a list of favors: "PA events/money/steel/personal WTC tours." Then there were "game tickets" for the governor's box at MetLife Stadium or Prudential Center and meeting with the governor himself at Drumthwacket, the governor's mansion.

4. Trenton made sure Wildstein kept his secrets. Wildstein acknowledged he almost never used government email addresses. "I had been instructed early on the preferable way of communicating was through personal email," he said. "What had been explained to me was that personal emails weren't discoverable in a Freedom of Information request."

"Who instructed him?" Wildstein was asked.

"I recall Mr. Stepien telling me that, Mr. Drewniak telling me that." (The Christie administration has been so secretive that numerous organizations, including WNYC, have had to sue to get records. In several cases, including Mowers' list of Democratic targets, the courts have ruled against us.)

5. Wildstein and Bill Baroni were so close they had their own special language.

"Prior to 2014," Wildstein said, "Bill Baroni was one of the closest friends I ever had." The two met in the late '90s and became campaign friends. They would speak via AOL instant messenger, later texting.

Wildstein went around ringing doorbells for Baroni's campaign and gave Baroni campaign advice. Baroni was one of the very few people who knew that Wildstein was the anonymous blogger "Wally Edge," who ran a New Jersey-insider political blog. Shortly after Baroni got his job at the Port Authority, he invited Wildstein in to be, as Wildstein put it, "the bad cop," because "Mr. Baroni didn't enjoy playing the bad cop, he enjoyed playing the good cop."

Their code included Baroni telling Wildstein to "Wally" something, which Wildstein described as "researching," though it more likely meant to dig up dirt. They referred to people as "winner of the day," from Wildstein's political blog, PolitickerNJ. Once Wildstein sent Baroni an email entitled "Schmuck of the day," about a GOP lawmaker who publicly criticized the Port Authority's Newark Airport. And then there was the "one constituent rule." They had one constituent, one person they did everything for: Chris Christie.

6. Wildstein knew he was "unpleasant," "aggressive" and "crazy."

At one point, Wildstein interviewed Kelly's father about a job. Kelly emailed him: "Don't hold me against him and my crazyness "

Wildstein emailed back, "Do you presume to lecture me on crazyness? Frankly, I think the two qualities essential to this business are the "dead to me" gene and the "insanity gene."

Wildstein explained: "The insanity gene, specifically in New Jersey politics, we were all a little crazy, we were all a little dysfunctional."

"Including yourself?" Cortes asked.

"Yes. Including myself."


http://www.wnyc.org/story/christie-discussed-port-authority-resouces-endorsement-scheme-and-other-takeaways-bridgegate-trial-day-5/

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Sat Sep 24, 2016, 02:06 PM

43. K&R

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Sun Sep 25, 2016, 03:28 PM

44. Wildstein, who faces up to 15 years in prison, was asked by a prosecutor

Last edited Mon Sep 26, 2016, 12:39 PM - Edit history (1)

what he expects will happen if he fulfills his side of the bargain to testify truthfully.

“I have no expectation, I have only a hope. My hope is that I would not be sentenced to prison,” he said.


And I think that's as completely honest a statement that we're going to get out of him. If Wildstein has any saving grace, it's that he's brave enough to read the writing on the wall: He would accomplish nothing by protecting Christie because it's becoming crystal clear that there's no way Bridge(t)-Gate could have happened without Christie's blessing. The defendant who implicates Christie directly is the one who has any hope of not being sent to prison.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/09/wildstein_takes_the_stand_in_bridgegate_case.html


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #44)

Sun Sep 25, 2016, 03:31 PM

46. I'm so glad he is singing

I'm not sure he would have done it if Christie hadn't dissed him so badly. I'm so lovin' it.

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Sun Sep 25, 2016, 03:31 PM

45. Thank you for the thread and thank you for making DU a good place to hang out

.

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon Sep 26, 2016, 03:52 PM

47. Another Day Of Testimony From Wildstein....

and the hits just keep coming.

Bridgegate trial: Wildstein testifies former Bergen County executive was told of plan before lane closures

David Wildstein said he told commissioner William “Pat” Schuber — a former Bergen County Executive and a Republican — about the plot to punish Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich at a breakfast meeting in late August 2013. The lanes were closed in mid September.

Schuber is one of six Port Authority commissioners appointed by Governor Christie. Christie himself has become a centerpiece of the trial, as testimony continues to place the governor's office and aides at the center of the scheme to close access lanes to the world's busiest bridge.

“I viewed Mr. Schuber as a loyal member of Governor Christie’s team,” Wildstein said.

He added that he told Schuber that the order for the lane closures “came from the governor’s office.”

GWB scandal archive: Click here to read all of The Record's past coverage

“Mr. Schuber said he understood,” Wildstein said.

Wildstein is a prosecution witness in the political conspiracy trial of two former allies of the governor in federal court in Newark.

Wildstein said that he informed Schuber of the plot because Schuber was from Bergen County and he would most likely receive complaints once the closures took effect.

Monday was the sixth day of the trial and the second day of Wildstein’s testimony.

Earlier, Wildstein had recounted how in 2011 he identified local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge as a “potential leverage point” against the Fort Lee mayor.

Wildstein said that in 2011, he shared his idea about the lanes with two top aides to the governor, Bill Stepien and Bridget Anne Kelly, and with Bill Baroni, the governor’s top executive appointee at the Port Authority, which owns and operates the bridge.

In the summer of 2013, in the run-up to Governor Christie’s re—election, Wildstein said he told the governor’s deputy chief of staff, Kelly, “that if she wants the Port Authority to close down those Fort Lee lanes and put some pressure on [Fort Lee] Mayor Sokolich that that could be done.”

At the time, Wildstein was Christie’s second highest-ranking executive appointee at the Port Authority.

His former boss, Baroni, as well as Kelly, are accused of closing two of three access lanes to the bridge in September 2013 to punish Sokolich, a Democrat, for not endorsing Christie’s re-election that year.


Read the rest here: http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-trial-wildstein-testifies-former-bergen-county-executive-was-told-of-plan-before-lane-closures-1.1666870

There's still more to come! He'll be back on the stand tomorrow.

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Response to Laxman (Reply #47)

Mon Sep 26, 2016, 03:58 PM

48. Thanks

Kick

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Sep 27, 2016, 09:11 AM

49. 'Bridgegate' witness says Christie campaign manager knew of plot

Source: Reuters

U.S. | Mon Sep 26, 2016 | 4:34pm EDT

'Bridgegate' witness says Christie campaign manager knew of plot

By Joseph Ax | NEWARK, N.J.

The one-line email to David Wildstein, an executive at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, arrived at 7:35 a.m. on Aug. 13, 2013.

"Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," wrote Bridget Anne Kelly, a top aide to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Weeks later, thousands of cars were stuck in a mammoth traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge, after Wildstein had executed the plan, he testified on Monday in federal court in Newark, New Jersey. He had closed access lanes in Fort Lee, New Jersey, to punish the town's mayor for refusing to back Christie's re-election bid.

Wildstein also testified that Bill Stepien, the campaign manager for both Christie's successful gubernatorial runs, knew about the plot. Stepien is now an adviser to the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The testimony came as prosecutors continued to present evidence against Kelly and Bill Baroni, another Port Authority executive. Both Baroni and Wildstein were Christie appointees.

[font size=1]-snip-[/font]


Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-new-jersey-bridgegate-idUSKCN11W2EO

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Sep 27, 2016, 10:00 AM

50. A Nice Recap Of Day 6....

of the trial. Still much more to come from Mr. Wildstein.

Wildstein Implicates Christie's Campaign Manager -- and More Bridgegate Trial Day 6 Takeaways

1. The Donald Trump campaign's national field director "knew." Before Bill Stepien was Trump’s national field director, he was Christie’s political Svengali. He ran Christie’s underdog campaign for governor, then ran the unit in the governor’s office that was used to win endorsements from mayors by giving them stuff, like tickets to sports games or wreckage from Ground Zero. The mayor of Fort Lee got all of this, but when he decided not to endorse, Wildstein helped to punish him by closing the lanes. Wildstein said today in court that he told Stepien about the plan beforehand, while Stepien was running Christie's reelection campaign. Wildstein also said he told Stepien how he’d cover it all up by claiming the traffic was just because of some traffic study.

Stepien, through his attorney Kevin Marino, denied having anything to do with this: "The government investigated the entire Bridgegate affair for 16 months, interviewed Mr. Wildstein and scores of other witnesses on multiple occasions, reviewed thousands of documents including hundreds of emails, and in the end did not charge Mr. Stepien with wrongdoing of any kind. That is because Mr. Stepien did not engage in wrongdoing of any kind. Despite what Mr. Wildstein apparently feels compelled to say now, Mr. Stepien had no role in planning, approving or concealing his ill-advised scheme to close access lanes to the GWB."

But Wildstein was unambigous, and specific. "After you received Miss Kelly's 'time for some traffic problems' email," prosecutor Lee Cortes asked, "did there come a time when you discussed it with Mr. Stepien?"

"Yes, I did," Wildstein replied. "I told Mr. Stepien that I had heard from Miss Kelly to close the Fort Lee lanes, and that I was moving forward to do so."

And how did Stepien respond?

"Mr. Stepien asked about what story we were going to use. And I explained to Mr. Stepien that I was going to create the cover of a traffic study." After that, Wildstein said Stepien asked him "to not come to him with the Port Authority issues" and instead go through official channels at the governor's office.

The whole exchange shines a new light the recently-released text by Kelly's deputy, Christina Renna, in which Renna wrote that Christie "flat-out lied" when he said spoke at a press conference about "Stepien and senior staff not being involved."

2. It wasn’t just Ground Zero spoils: Previous testimony in the Bridgegate trial revealed the various ways officials in the Christie Administration and at the Port Authority wooed mayors whose endorsements were coveted. They gave tours of the Ground Zero site before it was open to the public, and flew flags over the site for a few minutes on the 10th anniversary of the attacks and then distributed those flags to the mayors. Burnt steel from the wreckage of the towers was hoarded and then distributed. But Christie appointees also sent toll money, Wildstein testified Monday, to Essex County parks in order to benefit the county executive there, Joseph "Joe D." DiVincenzo. Later, DiVincenzo endorsed Christie.

3. Maximizing the pain to inconvenience school children. The initial plan, Wildstein testified, was to close the lanes at the end of August. But since the objective was "to maximize the message" to the mayor, defendant Bill Baroni asked Wildstein when the first day of school was, Wildstein alleged.

Wildstein went online and found out.

"Fantastic," Baroni said, according to Wildstein.

As Wildstein alleged this, Baroni sat at the defense table, shaking his head no.

4. The idea to close the lanes was hatched in 2011. During a trip to Fort Lee in 2011, Wildstein noticed three local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge. Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich was a friend of the Christie Administration at the time, but Wildstein "identified a potential leverage point" for the future. Ultimately, Wildstein closed two of those lanes to cause traffic in Fort Lee.

5. Wildstein had a shady political past -- but Christie's Port Authority created a job for him anyway. Assistant US Attorney Cortes painstakingly led Wildstein through his history as a dark arts political operative. He admitted stealing U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg's suit jacket before a senatorial debate in the early 1980s. Wildstein identified himself as Alan Alda's representative to pretend that the actor was going to run for Senate in New Jersey. And he acknowledged stealing copies of a local newspaper that was endorsing his opponent in a township council race in Livingston. After each tale, Cortes asked Wildstein if he had told this to Baroni, Christie's top appointee at the Port Authority, before Baroni decided to put Wildstein in a position helping to oversee billions of dollars of public assets. Yes, Wildstein said, he had. This indicated that Wildstein's job was to do dark political acts at the Port Authority.

6. When the lanes were closed and traffic was snarled, Bridget Kelly "was pleased." Asked how defendant Kelly, the former Christie deputy chief of staff, reacted when Wildstein told her "the traffic was an absolute mess," Wildstein said she was "pleased." He added: "I knew that the plan I had set into motion was working. There was a lot of traffic."

7. Diners are the place to do dirty business in New Jersey. Hardly a political crime in New Jersey is committed without there being a diner involved. And so it goes: Before closing the lanes, Wildstein tipped off a Christie appointee on the Port Authority board of commissioners, Pat Schuber, over breakfast at a diner. Wildstein testified he wanted Schuber to ignore pleas for help from local officials. And on the morning the lane closures happened, Wildstein observed the traffic build-up and ignored public safety concerns while at a diner with a Port Authority police officer. Schuber, who is still on the Port Authority board, testified under oath before the New Jersey Legislature that he had no prior knowledge of the closures. In a statement released Monday, he held to that position.

But prosecutors entered into evidence an email Wildstein sent to Schuber on August 29, ten days before the closures, saying: "I need to brief you on a local Fort Lee/GWB issue."

8. Everything had to be approved with Christie's office. Even a menorah lighting ceremony that Baroni wanted to attend with Sokolich, the mayor of Fort Lee. The prosecution highlighted this to call into question whether the governor's office really wouldn't be fully aware about a major traffic situation at the George Washington Bridge.

9. Wildstein's title was so made up he didn't even know what it meant. Wildstein's position was created for him by the Port Authority. His real job was to handle politics for the Christie Administration.

"Do you know what the director of interstate capital projects means?" Cortes, the prosecutor, asked.

"No, sir, I don't know what that means," he said.


Read it here: http://www.wnyc.org/story/wildstein-names-more-names-and-more-bridgegate-trial-day-6-takeaways/

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Sep 27, 2016, 11:53 AM

51. Open The Bomb Bay Doors.....

yes the governor is a lying weasel who ran a thug administration using the resources of the state for the advancement of his personal well-being. I guess that's not really a bombshell, is it?

Wildstein testifies he told Christie about 'tremendous amount of traffic in Fort Lee'

The prosecution's star witness on Tuesday detailed how Gov. Chris Christie was told of the traffic jams at the George Washington Bridge in the midst of the gridlock.

David Wildstein, who pleaded guilty to federal crimes associated with the Bridgegate scandal and turned government information, testified he and Bill Baroni, Christie's top appointee at the Port Authority, boasted to the governor about the traffic jams when they saw him in person at a Sept. 11 memorial event in 2013.

"Mr. Baroni said, 'Governor I have to talk to you about something,'" Wildstein recalled.

"He said) there's a tremendous amount of traffic in Fort Lee ... and you'll be pleased to know Mayor Sokolich is very frustrated," Wildstein said.

Wildstein said that he and Baroni boasted to the governor about not returning Soklolich's repeated phone calls.

Christie responded that he wasn't surprised that the Fort Lee's mayor "wouldn't be getting his phone calls returned," Wildstein said.

Prosecutors showed jurors a series of photographs of Christie talking to Baroni and Wildstein ahead of the ceremony at Ground Zero.

Port Authority Chairman David Samson, who was also at the Sept. 11 memorial, had also been told about the lane closure even before they happened, Wildstein testified during his third day on the stand in the so-called Bridgegate trial in federal court in Newark. He said he told Samson the lanes were closed to retailiate against Sokolich because he would not endorse the governor for re-election.

Previously, Wildstein's attorney had suggested publicly "evidence exists" that could implicate the governor had knowledge of the lane closures.

But Christie was never charged by federal prosecutors and has never been directly linked to the political revenge scheme and he has denied he ever had any knowledge of the plan.

However, Wildstein testified under oath the governor knew about the traffic jams.

According to Wildstein, Christie responded: "Well, I'm sure Mr. Edge would not be involved in anything political," referring to Wildstein's pseudonym as a political blogger, Wally Edge.

"Were you and Mr. Baroni bragging?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Cortes asked Wildstein.

"Yes, very much so," Wildstein said.

On Sept. 10, 2013, Wildstein told jurors he and Baroni discussed plans to ahead of the governor's visit to boast about the scheme.

"We intended to talk to Gov. Christie about the effects of the lane closures," Wildstein said. "Kelly had previously said to me the governor is going to love this."


Read the rest here: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/09/wildstein_bridgegate_christie.html

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Sep 27, 2016, 01:51 PM

52. 'Bridgegate' witness says Governor Christie backed lane closures

Source: Reuters

U.S. | Tue Sep 27, 2016 | 12:36pm EDT

'Bridgegate' witness says Governor Christie backed lane closures

By Joseph Ax | NEWARK, N.J

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was aware of and supported a plan to close lanes at the George Washington Bridge in 2013 in an act of political payback, a key prosecution witness testified Tuesday at the criminal trial of two former Christie associates.

David Wildstein, a former executive at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, told jurors in Newark federal court that he and Bill Baroni, another Port Authority executive, discussed the lane closure with Christie before a memorial service marking the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks at the World Trade Center.

The testimony marked the first time federal prosecutors have presented specific evidence to back their contention that the Republican governor knew about the scandal that New York's tabloids christened "Bridgegate" as it unfolded, despite his repeated denials.

Baroni and Christie's former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, are charged with fraud and other crimes for allegedly orchestrating the September 2013 closure of access lanes at the bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey, to punish the town's Democratic mayor for refusing to endorse Christie's re-election bid.

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Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-new-jersey-bridgegate-idUSKCN11X1YU

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Sep 27, 2016, 01:59 PM

53. The Latest: Christie Again Denies Knowing of Traffic Plot

Source: Associated Press

The Latest: Christie Again Denies Knowing of Traffic Plot

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEWARK, N.J. — Sep 27, 2016, 1:03 PM ET

The Latest on the George Washington Bridge lane-closing trial (all times local):

1 p.m.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie insists that he had no knowledge about lane closures on the George Washington Bridge either before or during the political payback plot.

The Republican spoke to reporters outside of his office in the statehouse on Tuesday after a former ally testified Christie was told about the gridlock while it was unfolding and seemed happy about it.

David Wildstein says he told Christie about traffic in Fort Lee on the third day of the four-day shutdown in 2013. Wildstein says that Christie laughed after responding sarcastically that he didn't think Wildstein was involved in a political plot.

Christie says he did not authorize the lane closures and that no evidence would be presented showing that he did.

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Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/latest-bridge-case-jurors-hear-scheme-unfolded-42391599

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Response to Eugene (Reply #53)

Tue Sep 27, 2016, 02:56 PM

54. Well, duh -- authorizing it would have been illegal!

Besides, if it's true that Wildstein told him about the closures, what didn't he say, "What the heck are you talking about?"


rocktivty

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Response to Eugene (Reply #53)

Tue Sep 27, 2016, 06:20 PM

57. LIAR

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2016, 12:35 PM

59. Bridge Case Witness Thought He Was Still on Christie's Team

Source: Associated Press

Bridge Case Witness Thought He Was Still on Christie's Team

By DAVID PORTER, ASSOCIATED PRESS NEWARK, N.J. — Sep 28, 2016, 11:50 AM ET

A self-described conspirator in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case testified Wednesday that he expected to stay in Republican Gov. Chris Christie's "political future" even after he resigned in the wake of revelations that the resulting traffic jam might have been politically motivated.

On direct questioning by the government, David Wildstein said he was told by Christie senior staffers to resign in December 2013, three months after the September lane realignment at the bridge plunged the town of Fort Lee into four days of gridlock. The plan was to punish Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Christie's re-election, Wildstein testified earlier.

Wildstein, who testified Tuesday that Christie was told about the traffic jam while it was underway, said he thought he would take some time off and then play a different role for the governor after he resigned as executive at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees New York-area bridges and tunnels.

"I had been told by others I was still on the governor's team," he said. "I was told the governor was happy I'd stepped up and taken responsibility."

Wildstein said that assessment came from Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien and political adviser Michael DuHaime.

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Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/jury-views-legislative-testimony-jersey-bridge-trial-42416183

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Response to Eugene (Reply #59)

Wed Sep 28, 2016, 01:47 PM

60. To refresh your memories, here's Christie's 2-hour press conference



He fired Kelly, but allowed Wildstein and Baroni to resign and only demoted Stepien. Why didn't he fire EVERYONE?


rocktivity

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Response to Eugene (Reply #59)

Sun Oct 2, 2016, 12:47 PM

71. "I was told the governor was happy I'd stepped up and taken responsibility"

Well, it WAS very "responsible" of him to resign at their command rather than "step up" and resign voluntarily -- is Wildstein a "team" player, or what?


rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2016, 01:50 PM

61. Just for delaying an ambulance

They all ought to be dropped off that bridge

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2016, 03:51 PM

62. The Latest: Witness Describes Cover-up in Bridge Case

Source: Associated Press

The Latest: Witness Describes Cover-up in Bridge Case

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEWARK, N.J. — Sep 28, 2016, 3:34 PM ET

The Latest on the trial in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

The government's key witness in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal has described how a cover story was promoted in the aftermath of the September 2013 gridlock aimed at punishing a Democratic mayor who didn't endorse Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

David Wildstein also testified about which Christie staffers he told about the scheme.

Prosecutors say Wildstein conspired with former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive Bill Baroni and former Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly to realign traffic lanes to cause gridlock and punish a mayor who didn't endorse Christie.

Wildstein testified Wednesday he briefed Baroni before Baroni told a New Jersey legislative committee in 2013 that the realignment was part of a traffic study.

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Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/latest-witness-christies-office-wanted-democrats-42423798

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2016, 04:09 PM

63. Testimony: GOP Staff Wanted Democrats off Bridge Authority

ABC News:

David Wildstein testified Wednesday (9/28) that two weeks after he started work at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 2010...Gov. Chris Christie's staff asked him to produce a list of authority employees so the Democrats could be purged.

Bill Stepien, Christie's deputy chief of staff at the time, told him to produce a list of Port Authority employees appointed by previous Democratic administrations...The Port Authority...has been accused of being a haven...for patronage hires...


A haven for patronage hires? I can't imagine why anyone would come to a conclusion like that. And I hope this will put to rest all of this nonsense about Christie being a fake bipartisan!


rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2016, 11:23 PM

64. Today's Post-Mortem....

more Wildstein. More people knew about the lane closures. More denials from Christie. Riddle me this Batman, if, as Christie claims, there was always traffic at the GWB so Wildstein & Baroni mentioning it wouldn't have been noteworthy, why would these two knuckleheads have been giving him traffic updates on normal everyday conditions? Just idle small talk? What was he, like John Candy in Planes,Trains & Automobiles when they were driving the wrong way on the highway? Thank you very much....how do they know where we're going?




The Bridgegate Conspiracy Widens, and Other Takeaways from the Bridgegate Trial Day 8

Bridgegate star witness David Wildstein continued to show the depths of his relationship with Gov. Chris Christie, and the extent to which he told Christie's top aides about the political nature of the lane closures. Here are your takeaways from day 8 of the trial:

1. Christie's spox knew — nine days before Christie said no one knew. Wildstein says he told Christie's spokesman, Michael Drewniak, about the true purpose of the lane closure scheme on Dec. 4, nine days before Christie roundly denied to reporters that he knew anything about it.

Under questioning from prosecutor Lee Cortes, Wildstein said he told Drewniak at a steak dinner that others in the governor's office had been involved in planning — had in fact approved the planning.

"And I relayed to him the conversation that I had had with Governor Christie on September 11th," Wildstein said.

"Did you tell Mr. Drewniak the true purpose of the lane closures?" Cortes asked.

"Yes, I did," Wildstein said. "Specifically that this was political retaliation to Mayor Sokolich for not endorsing Governor Christie's campaign."

Drewniak said otherwise in his own sworn testimony before the legislature in 2014, when he described Wildstein insisting he had done a "traffic study" at that dinner. Wildstein's lawyer said Wednesday that Drewniak stands by that testimony.

Drewniak now makes $150,000 a year as chief of staff for New Jersey Transit.

2. Christie called Wildstein "Mr. Wolf" at that 9-11 ceremony. On his "Ask The Governor" radio show, Christie denied everything Wildstein said on Tuesday: that he'd joked with Wildstein about the lane closures at a ceremony for the 12th anniversary of 9-11. But Wildstein twisted the knife in further on Wednesday, saying that when he brought two Port Authority employees to meet the governor at that ceremony, he jokingly referred to Wildstein as "Mr. Wolf," after the Pulp Fiction character Winston Wolf, played by Harvey Keitel, who cleaned up the bodies after crimes had been committed.

3. Christie personally told Wildstein to ax Democrats working at the Port Authority. In June 2010, Wildstein traveled down to Trenton and met with Christie and a half dozen top aides to go over a list of Democrats at the Port Authority that Wildstein had prepared at the behest, he said, of Christie campaign guru Bill Stepien. Stepien was then working as deputy chief of staff for Christie.

Under cross examination by Baroni attorney Michael Baldassare, Wildstein was asked, "You ever remember sitting with the governor with a list of names where he said, 'Gone, gone, stay, stay, gone, I'll get back to you?'"

"Yes, I do remember," Wildstein replied. "It was in the governor's office in the state house."

The defense is trying to prove that Wildstein was the point man and the decider, the "enforcer," as Wildstein acknowledged, and not Bill Baroni, the man on trial.

4. After everything, Wildstein still thought he was going to work for Christie's presidential campaign. He said that Stepien and DuHaime told him that he could lay low, then move over. "I had been told by others that I was still part of the team. That I was still valued as a member of the team. I was told at some point that Governor Christie was happy that I had stepped up and taken responsibility," he said.


Read it here: http://www.wnyc.org/story/bridgegate-conspiracy-widens-and-other-takeaways-bridgegate-trial-day-8/

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Response to Laxman (Reply #64)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 12:13 PM

70. 2 and 3 are the big ones

Last edited Mon Oct 3, 2016, 11:55 AM - Edit history (1)

because they establish a direct chain of command between Christie and Wildstein, and even more important, that Christie KNEW that Wildstein was installed at the PA to be his political "fixer." So why SHOULDN'T we believe that they discussed a lane closure program with him prior to the 9/11 ceremony?


rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2016, 11:24 PM

65. K&R...

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2016, 11:31 PM

66. Here's A Sentiment I Can Get Behind....

too bad the NJ State Legislators don't have the backbone for this.

Impeach Chris Christie

If the New Jersey legislature acts fast, it will have time to impeach Chris Christie. The governor’s term expires in January 2018, which is only about a year from now, and impeachment is a laborious process, so someone ought to get this thing going. A former Christie ally says Christie knew his cronies had closed three lanes of the George Washington Bridge, creating a massive, four-day traffic jam — delaying commuters, children on the way to school and the occasional ambulance transporting some unfortunate individual who might not appreciate that his life was being jeopardized to punish a Christie political foe. We all have to die, but not for Chris Christie.

As it turned out, the only death was to Christie’s presidential ambitions, which was fitting. According to prosecutors, government witnesses and the hunches of countless New Jersey politicians, Christie was trying to show what a wonderful GOP presidential candidate he would be by winning a huge second term as governor. To do this, he was lining up endorsements by Democratic mayors who, in the scheme of things, normally endorse Democrats. This is a tradition.

The mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., was a Democratic mayor who was refusing to endorse Christie. He needed to be punished, some Christie people deeply felt, and so the bridge-closing scheme was allegedly concocted. Fort Lee, as it happens, is the western terminus of the George Washington Bridge, which is one of the busiest in the world. Traffic would back up, and Fort Lee itself would suffocate in awful fumes and nothing would ever move again. The recalcitrant mayor would see the error of his ways and would become appropriately meek in the presence of Christie.

It is not alleged that Christie knew of the scheme in advance. It is alleged that he knew about it as it was happening. It is further alleged that he thought it was funny — but then he chuckles at Donald Trump also. All these allegations — with the exception of the one about Trump — were made under oath in open court by the former Christie ally, who says he is one of those who came up with the scheme. If he is being truthful, then Christie ought to be impeached if only for choosing idiots as aides.

Impeachment, after all, is just an indictment. It is a way at getting at the truth. It is not a final judgment, which, in this case, should be left to the commuters of New Jersey. But the contempt for the people of the state, for the hapless motorists and for the oxygen-deprived residents of Fort Lee is surely a cause for impeachment.


Read it here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2016/09/28/chris-christie-should-be-impeached-in-bridge-scandal/?utm_term=.e7fedcd6d85f

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Fri Sep 30, 2016, 10:47 AM

67. Is There Anybody In The Christie Administration...

who WASN'T in on this? Raise your hand if you had nothing to do with it. Hello? Buhler? Anyone?

Here’s the Unofficial List of Bridgegate Co-conspirators

Back in May, news organizations learned of a list naming unindicted Bridgegate co-conspirators developed by federal prosecutors. It’s a list of individuals about whom prosecutors believe there’s "sufficient evidence to designate as having joined the conspiracy.”

Media organizations went to court to get the names, based on the fact that many were public officials or state employees. We lost the case. However, based on evidence presented at federal trial, much of it from the sworn testimony of Bridgegate mastermind David Wildstein, we can put together our own, highly unofficial list of unindicted co-conspirators.

This is, needless to say, not a legal document. It may not match the prosecution's own list. It's just a handy guide to keep track of who knew what, when, according to Wildstein. All the individuals Wildstein named say he's a liar.

The list may widen, but here’s what we know so far, based on the prosecution’s case.


Read the list here, its worth it: http://www.wnyc.org/story/heres-unofficial-list-bridgegate-co-conspirators/

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 08:44 AM

68. Apparently, I'm Not The Only One....

who thinks Christie Has Blood On His Hands. It took exactly one day for them to reach an agreement on the Transportation Trust Fund.

Christie the destroyer: How New Jersey's governor ran the Port Authority and NJTransit into the ground

The Bridgegate trial and the train crash in Hoboken highlighted in a single week how severely Gov. Chris Christie has damaged two of the region’s critical transportation agencies.

Christie’s fecklessness in pursuit of national power has reduced the once-mighty Port Authority to a dispensary of political patronage and punishment and steadily crippled NJTransit.

Prosecutors opened the trial of two former Christie aides by claiming the governor knew about the plan to close George Washington Bridge entrance lanes as a way to punish the mayor of Fort Lee for failing to endorse Christie’s reelection.

One-time pal and enforcer David Wildstein testified that he told Christie about the lane closures as they were taking place, prompting high laughter at a 9/11 memorial ceremony at the World Trade Center.

Christie denies, denies, denies — and was apparently spared indictment because prosecutors could not show that he approved the plot beforehand. Whatever the fact, testimony starkly demonstrated his plundering of the PA.

Established to promote development of the New York-New Jersey port, the authority is ruled by the governors of both states and, in its heyday, was both imperious and populated by talented public servants.

The agency suffered a long, slow decline as New Jersey politicians increasingly saw it as the biggest pot of money available.

With the two states — particularly New Jersey — desperately needing better cross-Hudson transit, Christie siphoned funds for local pet projects.

Compounding the felony, Jersey members of the authority board wasted billions on a grandiose white marble WTC PATH station.

As a result, the PA has neither the funds nor the muscle to replace its outmoded Manhattan bus terminal.


Read the rest here: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/christie-destroyer-article-1.2813600

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 09:25 AM

69. Kick

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Wed Oct 5, 2016, 12:03 PM

72. For An Excellent Summary....

bringing you up to speed on Week 3 of the Bridgegate trial check out the excellent podcast from WNYC.

The Christie Tracker Podcast: The Bridgegate Trial – Week 3

It was another busy week in Christie world.

Over the past several days, Governor Christie announced a deal to allow a gas tax hike to pay for transportation projects in New Jersey... he called Donald Trump a genius on Fox News Sunday for losing nearly a billion dollars in 1995... and, after a long weekend, former port authority official David Wildstein was back on the stand for week 3 of the Bridgegate trial.

WNYC's Matt Katz and Andrea Bernstein and the Star-Ledger's Tom Moran join us with the latest. Speaking with host David Furst, Matt says defense attorneys have been working hard to portray Wildstein as a 'crazy, lying lunatic.'

Meanwhile, Matt adds, 'Wildstein has said that basically, almost every person close to Christie knew during the period of the cover-up.'

According to testimony from Wildstein, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo knew more about efforts to cover up the lane-closure scheme than he let on. Andrea breaks down what we know so far.


check it out here-you won't be sorry: http://www.wnyc.org/story/christie-tracker-podcast-bridgegate-trial-week-3/

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Response to Laxman (Reply #72)

Wed Oct 5, 2016, 12:07 PM

73. Thanks Laxman

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Wed Oct 5, 2016, 09:00 PM

74. Witness: Plan Was to 'Insulate' Christie in Bridge Scandal

Source: Associated Press

Witness: Plan Was to 'Insulate' Christie in Bridge Scandal

By DAVID PORTER, ASSOCIATED PRESS NEWARK, N.J. — Oct 5, 2016, 3:32 PM ET

The man at the heart of the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case concluded eight days of testimony Wednesday by reiterating that a goal in the aftermath of the scandal was to insulate New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's office from blame.

David Wildstein, the one person to plead guilty in the alleged political retaliation plot by Christie loyalists against the mayor of the town that abuts the bridge, struck a contrite pose as he described first telling a bridge authority police official not to lie about the plot then reversing field.

"I was in a bad place. I was feeling sorry for myself," Wildstein said during questioning by defense lawyers. The official, Paul Nunziato, said in December 2013 the lane closures near the bridge, which caused massive gridlock for four days in the town of Fort Lee, were part of a traffic study suggested by police.

The overriding goal in the months following the September 2013 closures, Wildstein said, was to keep Christie's office out of any public discussions.

That goal, he said, guided the preparation for testimony in November 2013 to a New Jersey legislative committee by Bill Baroni, one of two defendants Wildstein testified against in the current trial. Baroni told that committee the gridlock was due to a traffic study that had been poorly communicated to local officials and motorists.

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Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/key-government-witness-returns-stand-bridge-trial-42584161

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Thu Oct 6, 2016, 07:43 AM

75. You Get To The Point....

where nothing is shocking anymore. Witness Chris Stark described an incident where Monmouth County Freeholder John Curley got into it with Christie. Christie called him a F***ing Idiot. Reports were that Curley call Christie a Fat F**k. Contacted to confirm the story Curley said it wasn't true. Curley said the true story was that he called Christie a Fat MotherF***er. Now that's something you don't see in the paper every day.

There was more to his testimony:

Bridgegate witness describes how Christie's office did favors for Democrats to gain support

The governor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs was supposed to be an outreach office—a one-stop shop for mayors, local officials and civic leaders seeking assistance from the state.

But as Gov. Chris Christie's 2013 re-election campaign ramped up, the agency took on another role. It became a virtual arm of the campaign, using public resources to help convince Democratic officials to endorse the governor.

"It lasted until the end of the campaign," testified Christopher Stark, a former regional director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, or IGA.

Stark, called as a witness by federal prosecutors Wednesday in the Bridgegate corruption scandal, worked for Bridget Anne Kelly, the one-time aide to Christie. She is currently on trial with former Port Authority deputy executive director Bill Baroni, charged with conspiring to shut down toll lanes at the George Washington Bridge in September 2013 in a scheme to flood Fort Lee with traffic after the borough's mayor declined to endorse the governor.
In his testimony, Stark talked about an operation within the governor's office that sought to build relationships with agreeable Democrats with free passes to the governor's box at MetLife Stadium for Giants and Jets games; tickets to the Prudential Center for Devils NHL games and Seton Hall basketball; breakfasts and dinners with the governor at Drumthwacket, and exclusive access to Ground Zero.

Friends of the governor got their calls returned, grants for their communities, and invitations to special events. Officials that did not appear likely to endorse, or who otherwise found themselves incurring the ire of the governor himself, would ultimately be put in what Stark called a "time out" of sorts. They were put on a list of individuals who were to be "hands off." Their calls were not to be returned.

"We were to have no communication with them. We were not supposed to call them back," he said.


Read the rest here: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/bridgegate_focuses_on_favors_to_democrats_and_expl.html#incart_river_home

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Thu Oct 6, 2016, 10:50 PM

76. Christie to freeholder: 'I will f---ing destroy you'

Source: Asbury Park Press

Christie to freeholder: 'I will f---ing destroy you'

Susanne Cervenka and Dustin Racioppi , Asbury Park Press 6:06 p.m. EDT October 5, 2016

NEWARK - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie threatened to "fucking destroy" fellow Republican Monmouth County Freeholder John Curley after Curley called him a "fat fuck" in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, according to testimony today from the Bridgegate trial.

The exchange between the governor and the freeholder came up during testimony from former Christie staffer Christopher Stark.

Stark said Curley called him with a "curt" message after Sandy because Curley believed Christie was taking credit for recovery efforts in the aftermath of the 2012 storm, when local elected officials like Curley were doing the work on the ground.

According to Stark's testimony, Curley said, referring to Christie, "Who does that fat fuck think he is?"

Stark, a former regional director in the governor’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, said Christie then called Curley to express his displeasure.

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Read more: http://www.app.com/story/news/politics/new-jersey/chris-christie/2016/10/05/bridgegate-curley-called-christie-fat-f----after-sandy/91614168/

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Thu Oct 6, 2016, 10:53 PM

77. Witness Says Christie Aide Asked Her to Delete Email About Lane Closings

Source: New York Times

Witness Says Christie Aide Asked Her to Delete Email About Lane Closings

By KATE ZERNIKE OCT. 6, 2016

NEWARK — As the scandal over the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge mushroomed in December 2013, Bridget Anne Kelly called a co-worker one evening in a panic.

“You know, Christina, if someone tells me something is O.K., who am I to question it?” she asked.

Then, according to testimony in United States District Court here from the co-worker, Christina Renna, Ms. Kelly asked her to delete an email that had been written three months earlier, when the lane closings were causing a catastrophic traffic jam in Fort Lee, N.J. Prosecutors say the closings were planned by Ms. Kelly and two other senior aides to Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey as a punishment of the town’s mayor after he declined to endorse Mr. Christie for re-election.

The email that September day documented a call from the mayor to a young staff member in the governor’s office, in which the mayor complained about safety hazards from the shutdowns and said he suspected that they were “government retribution.”

Ms. Kelly, a deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, had received the email from Ms. Renna and replied, “Good.”

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Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/07/nyregion/ex-christie-staff-member-says-she-was-asked-to-delete-email-about-lane-closings.html

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Oct 11, 2016, 08:18 AM

78. The Hunterdon County Mess....

isn't quite dead yet! Yes, entry #1 of the Crime Digest still lives-barely.


New Scrutiny for Whistleblower Case

Though both parties reached a $1.5 million settlement earlier this month following years of costly litigation, a high-profile whistleblower case between a former Hunterdon County prosecutor and the administration of Gov. Chris Christie may yet get a closer look from members of the New Jersey legislature.

Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Morris), chairman of the lower house’s Judiciary Committee, called last week for a “full public airing” of details of the settlement, which ended a drawn-out legal battle between Ben Barlyn, a former assistant prosecutor, and the state. The case concerned Barlyn’s claim that he was wrongfully fired six years ago after speaking out against the Christie administration’s quashing of a set of indictments to help political allies.

McKeon also introduced a bill on Friday that would bar public entities and public employees from entering into the kind of confidential agreement on whistleblower lawsuits that Barlyn and the state reached, and which has kept much of case material — that was uncovered through the litigation — from being released.

“The very essence of the whistleblower statute is to encourage the public discourse of whether it was corruption or wrongdoing or whatever. It's counterintuitive that the litigation as part of a settlement should be stifled,” McKeon told NJ Spotlight.

The calls from the ranking lawmaker have the potential to shed more light on the recently-closed case, which began in 2010 after Barlyn complained that the withdrawal of indictments by then-Attorney General Paula Dow of three Republican law enforcement officials — Hunterdon County Sheriff Deborah Trout, Undersheriff Michael Russo, and former sheriff’s Investigator John Falat Jr. — was politically motivated.

All three had been indicted in May, 2010 on 43 counts of official misconduct, including failure to conduct proper background checks, forcing employees to sign loyalty oaths, and making a false law enforcement badge for Robert Hariri, the CEO at Celgene Cellular Therapeutics and prominent political donor who had given $6,800 to Christie's first gubernatorial campaign.

Barlyn, along with fellow assistant prosecutors Charles Ouslander and William McGovern, had presided over the investigation. But Barlyn said that his office was overridden, when Dow, in what many experts have since agreed was an unusual move, took over the case and three months later convinced a judge to dismiss the indictments, citing “legal and factual deficiencies.”

Eventually, Barlyn was suspended for “insubordination” and later fired for what the prosecutor’s office characterized as issues with job performance. But he’s maintained that it was his questioning of the quashed indictments, as well as his suspicion that they might have been motivated by Hariri’s connections with Christie or Trout’s friendship with Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, whose campaign she supported in 2009, that led to his removal.

The controversy made national headlines over the past several months and at one point looked like it might rise to the level of another high-profile corruption case: Bridgegate, the closing of commuter lanes at the George Washington Bridge in 2013. Barlyn himself has pointed to parallels between that case and his own, arguing that both involve allegations of corruption at the bistate Port Authority and the misuse of political authority by the Christie administration.

He said his allegations implicate both Dow, who went on to a job at the Port Authority, and Christie’s former chief of staff Richard Bagger, who became an authority commissioner.


Read the rest here: http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/16/10/10/new-scrutiny-for-whistleblower-case-involving-christie-administration/

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Response to Laxman (Reply #78)

Tue Oct 11, 2016, 05:01 PM

79. If Barlyn's attitude and job peformance sucked that much

Last edited Tue Jul 4, 2017, 03:49 PM - Edit history (2)

proving it in court should have been a piece of cake...or should I say, a box of donuts?

NJ.com, June 2013: An intern in the governor's office...brought into the Statehouse a box of doughnuts doctored with the words "Christie Crème" and "Expanding Nationwide in 2016!!!"

Spoofing on the iconic white and green polka-dotted Krispy Kreme design, the box also featured the banner “Serving New Jersey Since 2010,” the year the Republican governor took office.

In a photograph obtained by The Star-Ledger, the box is shown on a table with other desserts.

Christie's spokesman, Michael Drewniak, made light of it, saying the intern simply took a cue from a late-night host 's recent quips about the governor...calling him "Christie Creme doughnut" among other names.

"I think this intern needed to leave the doughnut jokes to Jimmy Fallon," Drewniak said.


NJ.com, Oct. 2016: Renna testified ...about her increasingly troubled relationship with her boss (Kelly) and a pact with a co-worker to quit after being passed over for a promotion...(S)he complained in a text message: "I'm super pissed off. And I'm a grudge holder..."

Renna testified how a group of interns was brought into the office and held a bake-off contest as a team-building exercise...One of the interns brought in a doctored box of Krispy Kreme donuts that said: "Christie Crème. Expanding Nationwide in 2016."

After a photo and story appeared on NJ.com and in The Star-Ledger, Renna said the governor and other high-level staff members "all freaked out" and came down on Kelly. But Renna found out the intern wasn't reprimanded.

"She won the [expletive] contest," she complained to a co-worker. "She didn't get into trouble."

Sure, the intern should have been a little more sensitive to Christie's weight issues and his playing coy about running at the time -- "EXPANDING nationwide?" But, as Renna said, she won the (expletive) contest. Was Renna upset that the intern didn't get into trouble because Kelly in turn "freaked out" and "came down" on HER? What were the presumably older and politically wiser "judges" overseeing the contest thinking, and how did the pic get leaked to the media? Christie and his immediate subordinates were right to came down on Kelly because it happened on her watch. But since Renna was mad at Kelly anyway, shouldn't the incident have made her happy -- or is she THAT good at holding grudges?


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #79)

Tue Oct 11, 2016, 10:58 PM

80. Christie Knew Nothing....

of the lane closures BUT....he was all over the office baking contest! Really? On some level I can buy that but back in the real world that doesn't really make sense.

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Response to Laxman (Reply #80)

Wed Oct 12, 2016, 03:15 PM

83. Since it was meant to be team-building exercise, he very likely didn't know about the contest

until he saw the pic in the media!

But aside from "How did the pic get into the media?", the big question is "Why was the entry allowed to enter the contest, never mind win it?" The intern should have been reprimanded (if not fired for being so obviously unqualified) by whoever supervised the contest if it wasn't Kelly herself.

And the only person who should have "come down" on Kelly was her immediate superior -- Christie's chief of staff. If "everybody" came down on her, this story takes on the same significance as the one about Christie referring to Wildstein as his designated dirty trickster: it suggests that the chain of command between Kelly and Christie was more direct than his organizational chart indicates.


rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Oct 11, 2016, 11:20 PM

81. What A Day That Was....

quite a day in court today. First Deb Gramacconi testifies that she told Christie about Kelly's involvement in the lane closures before he gave his famous "I know nothing" press conference, then Kelly's lawyer lets slip his client will say she told Christie about the lane closures before they took place (kaboom!) and then the top cop from the Port Authority says Baroni definitely lied in his "traffic study" testimony to the legislature. Wow, just wow.

P.A. cops: Baroni gave phony Bridgegate testimony to lawmakers

The Port Authority's police union's top cop testified Tuesday he was "quite upset" when former Port Authority executive Bill Baroni told a legislative committee in November 2013 that his department had requested a traffic study be done at the George Washington Bridge.

That's because Paul Nunziato, the president of the Port Authority's Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, said he knew what Baroni was saying at the time was a lie, Nunziato said.

"I never raised the issue," of a traffic study, he told the jurors in a federal courtroom on Tuesday afternoon .

Nunziatio said he and his second in command, Michael DeFlippis, were summoned to Baroni's office in the weeks before he was scheduled to appear before the legislative committee investigating the lane closures.

Baroni seemed "jittery and a little nervous'' during the meeting, Nunziatio said. Baroni, Gov. Chris Christie's top appointee at the bi-state agency, told the men he wanted to tell lawmakers the massive gridlock in Fort Lee was tied to a safety study that they themselves had requested on behalf of their members.


Former Christie aide says Baroni alerted her about Bridgegate emails

Deborah Gramiccioni, tapped to replace Port Authority deputy executive director Bill Baroni days before he was pushed out by the Christie administration, said she first got wind of the scandal that would become Bridgegate when she went to talk to him about the job she was taking.

It was just three months after the unannounced toll lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in September 2013 that had caused major traffic gridlock in Fort Lee, and there were growing questions by the state legislature about who had ordered the lanes shut down, and why.

"We discussed the lane closures," the former federal prosecutor said. She recalled Baroni telling her that he had heard that emails existed from Bridget Anne Kelly regarding the unauthorized lane changes, but he had not seen them.

"I was surprised to hear that," Gramiccioni testified. She told him to tell the governor's chief counsel and chief of staff because "it's better they hear it from you first."

The trial of Kelly and Baroni, who are charged with conspiracy and fraud in the politically-motivated lane closures continued on Tuesday in federal court in Newark with Gramiccioni on the stand.

A confidante and former deputy chief of staff for Gov. Chris Christie who recently nominated her to become a Superior Court judge, she told jurors about what she described as a growing realization that there was apparently more to Bridgegate than the bogus cover story put out by the Port Authority that it had been nothing more than a "traffic study."


Calls for a Talking Heads song:

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Response to Laxman (Reply #81)

Wed Oct 12, 2016, 03:27 PM

84. Oh My

Shit hits fan!!!

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Oct 11, 2016, 11:28 PM

82. those aren't "crimes", according to Christie

pot smoking, now there's a crime.

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Thu Oct 13, 2016, 11:16 AM

85. Kick- Judge issues criminal summons for Christie over Bridgegate

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10028227868

You have to publish your book on this

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Thu Oct 13, 2016, 11:20 AM

86. x-posted from GD: Judge recommends N.J. Gov. Chris Christie be charged in bridge-closing scandal

Last edited Thu Oct 13, 2016, 11:56 AM - Edit history (1)

GD thread: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10028227870

LBN thread: Judge signs summons against Christie over GWB lane closures

Source: PennLive

Judge recommends N.J. Gov. Chris Christie be charged in bridge-closing scandal

By PennLive staff and wire reports
on October 13, 2016 at 10:49 AM, updated October 13, 2016 at 10:51 AM

A judge has recommended N.J. Gov. Chris Christie be charged with official misconduct in the state's "Bridgegate" case.

Former Port Authority executive William Baroni and former Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly are on trial, accused of plotting deliberate lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in what has been described as an act of political retribution.

The tie-ups reportedly were retribution against the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie for re-election. Two of three lanes connecting Fort Lee to the heavily-traveled George Washington Bridge, which runs between New Jersey and New York City, were closed on the first day of school in September 2013.

[font size=1]-snip-[/font]

Brian Thompson ✔ @brian4NY
URGENT BREAKING: NJ judge issues Probable Cause criminal summons vs. @GovChristie for official misconduct in office #Bridgegate @NBCNewYork
10:01 AM - 13 Oct 2016
1,742 1,742 Retweets 1,406 1,406 likes

NBC New York 4 reported:

The case now goes to the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, which will determine if the case will lead to an indictment.
Attorneys representing Christie declined to comment on the case.

[font size=1]-snip-[/font]


Read more: http://www.pennlive.com/nation-world/2016/10/nj_gov_chris_christie_bridgega.html

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Thu Oct 13, 2016, 02:02 PM

87. A spokesman for Christie said the governor plans to appeal

Last edited Thu Oct 13, 2016, 06:19 PM - Edit history (2)

the "dishonorable complaint filed by a serial complainer..."

Spoken like a truly dishonorable retributioner.

Source: NBC New York


rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Thu Oct 13, 2016, 08:06 PM

89. k$R

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Fri Oct 14, 2016, 08:10 AM

90. Take A Few Minutes.....

and watch this video. All of the Bridgegate nonsense that seems so impossible to fathom suddenly makes sense when you realize it was just standard operating procedure for this administration.

https://

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Response to Laxman (Reply #90)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 12:07 PM

92. Very very good

You have the makings of a great documentary here. Check your PM

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Oct 18, 2016, 03:06 PM

93. k&R

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Oct 18, 2016, 07:40 PM

94. U.S. Attorney portrays Baroni as 'attack dog' for Christie

http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-trial-u-s-attorney-portrays-baroni-as-attack-dog-for-christie-1.1678851

<snip>
The danger of putting a defendant on the witness stand was on full display Tuesday as a prosecutor took a no-holds-barred approach to questioning the actions of a former ally of Governor Christie before, during and after the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal.

Under four hours of aggressive cross-examination from Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Cortes, Bill Baroni, the former deputy director of the Port Authority, alternated between expressing remorse for not having done more to expose the true nature of the lane closures and stating that he acted as best he could given the pressures put upon him by the Christie Administration.

As U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman looked on from the back of the courtroom, Baroni answered a barrage of questions that created an unflattering image of his character and poked holes in his version of events. Many questions seeking “yes” or “no” answers elicited lengthy explanations from Baroni, drawing frequent rebukes and cutting comments from Cortes.

“Mr. Baroni, if I want an explanation I will ask for one,” Cortes said at one point.


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Response to malaise (Reply #94)

Wed Oct 19, 2016, 10:25 AM

95. "Many questions seeking “yes” or “no” answers elicited lengthy explanations from Baroni..."

Lengthy explanations? "I did it because Christie told me to" will suffice!


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #95)

Wed Oct 19, 2016, 10:27 AM

96. I did laugh at that

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Response to malaise (Reply #94)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 09:01 PM

101. Baroni's testimony: One hot mess

NorthJersey.com: (Baroni) said that he had not been privy to the bridge scheme. Instead, he said, he was tricked by Wildstein...(T)he lane closures had been Wildstein’s idea...and he had believed Wildstein’s assertions that they were needed for a study to improve traffic flow...

According to Baroni, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s office signed off on press statements released by the Port Authority’s New Jersey side...(H)e did not believe that Kelly was responsible for final approval of any Port Authority communications, but rather routed them through the governor’s office...


Observer.com: Baroni set up a meeting with Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich to discuss the lane realignment in person. However...since the office of the governor had not confirmed that the meeting could proceed, it was likely that the meeting would have been cancelled by Baroni...The meeting never occurred due to a cancellation from Sokolich...


NJ.com: ...Baroni said while Wildstein was under him in the Port Authority's table of organization, it was Wildstein who was calling the shots from Trenton. "Gov. Christie told me to hire him...David was responsible for issues that...the governor was interested in."

Did (Wildstein) report to you?" asked (the) defense attorney ..."He did not," Baroni replied. "He reported to Trenton." Trenton, he said, was Christie.


LoHud.com: ...Baroni was asked by a prosecutor about a text message exchange he had with David Wildstein...Baroni was checking with Wildstein how to respond to a request from Fort Lee mayor, Mark Sokolich, for a meeting to dispel rumors that the lane reductions were punitive.

Wildstein responded to Baroni that he had run the meeting request by Kelly, the governor’s deputy chief of staff. But Kelly, who was in charge of relations between the Christie Administration and local officials, had not yet responded.

Baroni (was)...asked whether Kelly represented “Trenton,” shorthand for the Christie Administration. Baroni told the court: “The instructions from Trenton were going to come from Miss Kelly.”

Sitting at the defense table on the other side of the courtroom, Kelly shook her head.


It's a hot mess because it throws the "chain of command" issue right on the table: Baroni's in trouble because as Wildstein's alleged superior, he's caught between what he didn't know and what should have known. He didn't try to stop Wildstein because even if he'd had the authority to, he knew Christie approved of what Wildstein was doing. And during the infamous two-hour press conference, Christie said that Wildstein was "Baroni's hire" -- he had only granted Baroni "permission!"

But then again, this is what comes of being unable defend yourself without implicating someone else. There's a special legal term for it -- GUILTY.


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #101)

Sun Oct 23, 2016, 07:33 AM

102. Good post

Thanks

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Thu Oct 20, 2016, 02:12 PM

97. Christie's approval rating hits an all-time low

Politico: Gov. Chris Christie's approval rating has dropped to its lowest point yet and is approaching a record level for any New Jersey governor in recent memory, according to a new poll...(which) comes just days after Christie signed into law a 23-cent-per-gallon increase in the gas tax and as the Bridgegate trial has dominated the news with negative headlines about his administration’s conduct...

(Seventy) percent of New Jersey voters say they’re following somewhat or very closely...Fifty-two percent of those surveyed say there is sufficient proof that Christie knew about the George Washington Bridge lane closures and did nothing to stop them...

Christie (also) appears to be lowering his profile as a surrogate for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who the governor serves as a top adviser.

CrooksAndLiars: Chris Christie appears to be slowly distancing himself from the dumpster fire that is the Trump campaign. He isn't doing as many interviews and not serving as the best surrogate since that Access Hollywood tape came out.

Today he gave a brief interview where he was asked about whether he is proud of how Donald Trump is running his campaign of late. His answer is pretty telling:

(Q:) Are you proud of the campaign he’s running?

CHRISTIE: Listen, it’s – for me, the person who needs most to be concerned about the kind of campaign they’re running is the candidate. Because it’s the candidate’s campaign. It’s not my campaign...(I'm a) surrogate...I’m proud of everything I’ve said and that’s all I can control. The rest of it I can’t...


Translation:
I have done my best to reign in the crazy but it isn't working. I am not in charge so I am stepping back and letting Trump crash his own campaign and this interview will serve as proof that I was not in charge or taking ownership. Also, I am innocent of Bridgegate even though there is a lot of evidence that I did indeed conspire to do some shady sh*t and may be facing criminal charges. Thanks for not asking me about it.


Translation of the translation: ME in charge of controlling the crazy? It's been like we've been in a contest to see which of us is crazier. It's taken this long for someone to notice that putting me in charge of controlling the crazy is like putting me in charge of guarding the donuts?


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #97)

Thu Oct 20, 2016, 03:42 PM

98. ROFL

Couldn't happen to a more deserving person

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Fri Oct 21, 2016, 02:57 PM

99. Kelly says she told Christie of plot the day before she sent 'traffic problems' email

http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-kelly-says-she-told-christie-of-plot-the-day-before-she-sent-traffic-problems-email-1.1681115
<snip>
Christie about a plan to conduct a traffic study in Fort Lee the day before she wrote the “time for some traffic problems” email that federal prosecutors say set a week of politically-motivated gridlock at the George Washington Bridge in motion.

Taking the witness stand in her own defense Friday, Kelly explained that Christie “really didn't react” when she told him of the upcoming study, but said “OK” and asked her when it would be scheduled.
Bridget Anne Kelly arrives at federal court in Newark on Friday, October 21, 2016.

Christie told her to “make sure you run it by O'Dowd,” she said, referring to Christie's chief of staff at the time, Kevin O'Dowd.

Oh My!!! rofl:

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 04:49 PM

100. k$R

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon Oct 24, 2016, 09:01 AM

103. A Little Something...

to brighten up a Monday morning. Sure to be another interesting day at the Federal Court House in Newark. Bridget will likely have a little 'splainin to do. Time for some cross-examination in Newark! Is it wrong that I'm smiling? (explain that one away Bridget)

Bridget Kelly back on stand in Bridgegate after notable first day

She cried, she laughed and did her best to explain the emails that appeared to paint her as a driving force in a rogue political operation.

But returning today for a second day of testimony, Bridget Anne Kelly still has yet to face her toughest questions, in what is expected to be a grueling cross examination by federal prosecutors into her alleged role in the Bridgegate scandal.

Kelly took the stand Friday to tell her side of the story for the first time and is still being quizzed by her lawyer, veteran defense attorney Michael Critchley, who presented a picture to the jury of a struggling single mother of four, with a high pressure job and a boss with a quick temper.

Soon, however, the three assistant U.S. attorneys who are prosecuting the case will have their turn. And they are expected to intensely grill Kelly on the emails and texts she sent before and after the September 2013 lane closures at the George Washington Bridge that raised a lot of questions.

The government alleges the lane shutdowns were orchestrated as an act of political retribution to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich with massive traffic jams, in retaliation for his refusal to endorse Gov. Chris Christie for re-election. On trial with Kelly is Bill Baroni, the one-time deputy executive director of the Port Authority, which operates the George Washington Bridge.

A former deputy chief of staff to Christie, Kelly spoke last week of the day-to-day back-stage political dealings she said she was only vaguely aware of, including what she called a "crazy plan" by David Wildstein, a long-time Republican operative who boasted of his connections with the governor. She said she didn't realize until it was too late that there may have been a more sinister motive to the lane closures.

The plan involved a temporary and unannounced realignment of toll lanes at the George Washington Bridge. She testified that she believed the lane closures were part of a legitimate traffic study proposed by Wildstein, a $150,000-a-year patronage appointee at the Port Authority and a zealous supporter of the governor.
She said Wildstein told her he wanted to eliminate two out of three toll lanes earmarked for local Fort Lee traffic. Kelly explained to jurors that Wildstein said he believed the dedicated lanes were unfair and caused traffic from the main approaches to the bridge to back up because there there were not enough toll lanes at the plaza to what is the busiest bridge in the world.

Kelly said Wildstein told her the local access lanes were created at part of a backroom political deal with a former mayor of Fort Lee decades ago. The former mayor owned a bank and there was traffic backup in front of that bank, the local lanes helped to eliminate the bottleneck.

Wildstein told her that while there would be some initial traffic issues in Fort Lee, drivers would soon adapt. And in the end, Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo would ultimately be able to claim credit for fixing congestion at the bridge, bringing quicker access into New York, Kelly testified. Wildstein said he even wanted to post big banners and signs touting the governors' success, she testified.

Kelly testified that Wildstein asked her to get the governor's approval and said Christie was fine with it when she mentioned it to him. "Typical Wally," she said the governor remarked, referring to Wildstein's former pen name as an anonymous political blogger when he wrote under the name of Wally Edge.

Christie has repeatedly denied having any advance knowledge of the plan. On Friday, his spokesman released a statement refuting Kelly's testimony.

According to Kelly, she let Wildstein know the governor had given his approval for the traffic study by simply acknowledging his prediction that there would be some initial traffic issues when the lane reductions were implements.

"Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," she wrote to Wildstein.

"If I had said 'time for a traffic study,' we wouldn't have all known each other," she told jurors.

Wildstein, though, has testified that that there was never actually a traffic study. He claimed it was always intended as retribution against Sokolich and that Kelly and Baroni were in on the plan from the beginning. He has pleaded guilty in the case and has served as the key witness for the prosecution.

But those are not the only words Kelly needs to explain.


Read it here: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/kelly_back_on_the_stand_today_in_bridgegate_what_w.html#incart_2box_nj-homepage-featured

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Response to Laxman (Reply #103)

Mon Oct 24, 2016, 12:04 PM

106. Don't cry for her, New Jersey -- the truth is, she should have copped a plea, too

Lohud.com: Baroni (was)...asked whether Kelly represented “Trenton,” shorthand for the Christie Administration. Baroni told the court: “The instructions from Trenton were going to come from Miss Kelly.”

Sitting at the defense table on the other side of the courtroom, Kelly shook her head.

And sitting on the witness stand, the person who put the Bridge(t) in Bridge(t)-Gate shook her pipes, singing better than Aretha Franklin and Adele combined.


NorthJersey.com: After nearly three years of silence...Kelly took the witness stand...and ...described her role in the administration as a sort of stagehand, responsible for making sure the governor’s public events were properly organized and his social events were catered to his liking...

Stagehand? She flatters herself -- she was a go-between between Christie and Wildstein because they both knew they'd need a fall guy.


Kelly said that Wildstein mentioned to her in early 2011 that the access lanes to the bridge in Fort Lee were “something that at some point the Port Authority was going to look at.” Then in June 2013...Wildstein told Kelly that he had spoken with (Port Authority) engineers...and the police department “to put together what would be a study or a review of these lanes" (and) to be sure she “ran this by the governor.”

"Run it by the governor" for what -- to introduce him to the idea, or to keep him informed of its development?


Kelly...portrayed herself as a sincere, down-to-earth mother who only took a job in Trenton...so that she could look after herself as her marriage of 15 years fell apart...The new job in the Governor’s Office...bumped her salary...to $83,000 (and) entailed a commute (of) an hour and 45 minutes...(T)he tolls on the New Jersey Turnpike were so expensive she took back roads...

When...asked...to tell the jury the names of her four children, Kelly’s voice cracked...

Boo hoo and cue the violins!

Oh, and did the marriage collaspe before, during, or after her relationship with Bill Stepien?


Kelly...said that when she told Christie of the plan Wildstein had proposed, “the governor said that’s typical Wally” ...(On August 12, 2013), (h)e said “OK,” asked when it would happen, and...wanted to know what our relationship was...with Mayor Sokolich,” Kelly said...she didn’t have an answer ready...

Oh? I thought interfacing with local officials was her speciality. Besides, wouldn't the best way to provide Christie with an answer was to interface with Sokolich about the impending traffic study?


Christie then told Kelly that they should get together for lunch the next day...She was...“a little nervous,” since she had never had lunch with the governor before and she worried about being prepared for any questions or status update requests from him. So around 10:30 that night, she texted Christie’s chief of staff at the time, Kevin O’Dowd, to tell him she wanted to give him “foresight” on “a couple of things,” which she said included the traffic study in Fort Lee.

And with that testimony, she signed her own death warrant, if you'll pardon the expression. What she was "nervous" and "worried" about was being vulnerable to having left her own immediate superior out of the loop -- without his protection, she knew she was in big trouble!


(On) Aug. 13, 2013, Kelly and Christie met for lunch...(T)he same day, Kelly sent Wildstein the “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email, to which he replied, “Got it.”

...Kelly said it was “absolutely not” an order to block access to the bridge for retribution. The message was sent “in a very quick manner” using words that Wildstein had often used...“'Traffic problems' were just two words that went together when you talked to David about the Port Authority...If I (had) said 'time for a traffic study' in Fort Lee, we wouldn’t all know each other.”

That's true -- that is, not if the traffic study wasn't MEANT to cause traffic problems. But wasn't the point of Wildstein "getting" the message from her was that she had "got it" from Christie? Wasn't HE included in her "we all"?


Kelly tearfully told the jury that she was frightened by Christie after receiving profane put-downs...(W)hen she suggested that Christie should open a public event and then pass control to other officials, he threw a water bottle...shouting: “What do you think I am, a [expletive] game show host?” ...(T)he bottle struck her arm.

(Her attorney) asked Kelly, “You’re afraid of the governor?”

With tears in her eyes, Kelly said, “Yes. Yes.”

“He’s a big tough guy, eh?”

“Yes,” Kelly said.


She lost her promise, but she hasn't produced the smoking gun: Did Christie specifically tell her to tell Wildstein to cause traffic problems in Ft Lee? Stay tuned...



rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon Oct 24, 2016, 09:52 AM

104. A Fateful Meeting In A NJ Diner....

if only Mr. Doblin knew then what he knows now he might have gotten some real answers at that breakfast. As it is, a very interesting anecdote and quite compelling :

Doblin: DuHaime, Kelly dispel any doubts about Christie and the GWB

N JAN. 8, 2014, I had breakfast at the Tick Tock Diner in Clifton. I remember the date because it was the same morning my colleague Shawn Boburg broke wide the scandal that is known as Bridgegate. Boburg was first to report that Governor Christie's deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, had sent David Wildstein an email with the words, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee." As fate would have it, I was having breakfast with Mike DuHaime.

DuHaime was part of Christie's inner circle; I'm not sure if he still is, given his testimony Friday at the trial of Kelly and former Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. DuHaime testified he told Christie prior to a December press -conference that both Kelly and Bill Stepien — Kelly's former boss and Christie's former campaign manager — knew about the GWB lane closures. Christie went on to his press conference and denied that was true.

But back to the Tick Tock. The Record's GWB story broke shortly before I got to the diner. I was reading furiously, and when DuHaime arrived, I immediately asked for comment. He didn't know what I was referring to, so I showed him the story on my phone. He started reading, and when he saw Stepien's name, he was visibly upset, making a comment that this could involve the campaign, referring to Christie's successful reelection campaign.

I asked DuHaime if he knew anything about the GWB lane closures in advance. He said no. It didn't occur to me to ask whether he knew about the lane closures after the fact and spoke with the governor about it or whether his shock about Stepien was because Stepien was now linked to the scandal or rather that he did not know Stepien could be linked to the scandal.

In any case, almost immediately DuHaime's phone lit up. "Call Blocked" — I could read it from my side of the booth. DuHaime signaled that it was the governor. He got up without his suit jacket or coat and went outside to talk. He was gone for a long time.

Whatever illusions anyone may still have had that anyone close to Christie was out of the Bridgegate loop are now shattered like so many pieces of glass. Those illusions lie on the floor catching the light, the glass shards sending out small distorted rainbows that will never end in a pot of gold.

Kelly took the stand on Friday as well. And she began telling her story. She didn't try to paint herself as a dupe, as did Baroni earlier last week. Kelly said she was trying to please Christie, and by her testimony, Christie was a hard boss to please, foul-mouthed and foul-tempered. Every stereotype of Christie is being proved as either true or understatement.

Kelly testified that she told the governor of the lane closure plan the day before she sent the infamous email. So on Aug. 12, 2013, Christie knew of the traffic jam to come in Fort Lee. At least from Friday's testimony, there still is no definitive proof Christie understood it was political retribution. Some blanks we are left to fill in, like a "Wheel of Fortune" saying that is missing one or two letters. We do not have to ask Vanna to complete it. We can figure it out.

The Bridgegate trial is not over and Kelly is not finished on the stand, but I have heard more than enough. Many of the people going in and out of a federal courthouse in Newark are people I spoke with regularly. Some of them I liked. It is hard to wrap my head around how some of these folks chose to continue down such a dark path to the very end — all for Christie.

Back in December of 2013, I could not accept that anyone would gridlock Fort Lee because its mayor, a Democrat of no particular star constellation, refused to endorse Republican Christie. I didn't get it. I didn't understand how so many people could be bamboozled by Christie. They believed they were helping the next president of the United States, and the 36,000 people of Fort Lee were just collateral damage on the road to the White House.

How pathetic that was. That is.

Because as I read parts of the trial transcripts, Christie comes across as the least presidential person I can imagine short of the current Republican presidential nominee. I joked with a colleague last week that Christie was Willie Stark, the Huey Long-like fictional creation in "All the King's Men." But Willie Stark built big things, besides a political machine. He was loud and without character, but there was a legacy of accomplishments.

So Christie isn't even Willie Stark. He has not built anything. Neither have his followers. Some have lost their integrity completely. Some are tarnished. Maybe the tarnished will redeem themselves over time. I don't know.

I sat in the Tick Tock for more than 30 minutes before DuHaime returned. During that time, I ordered my breakfast. At one point, the waitress came by to top off my coffee cup. She saw that I had been sitting there alone for a while and said with a laugh, "If you were on a date, I would leave him."

Great advice. I expect many people who followed Christie and now are paying a heavy price for it wish someone had told them just that before orange traffic cones were placed near the GWB.


Read it here: http://www.northjersey.com/opinion/duhaime-kelly-dispel-doubts-about-christie-and-gwb-1.1681942

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Response to Laxman (Reply #104)

Mon Oct 24, 2016, 10:04 AM

105. Great stuff - I'm lovin' it

:popcorn!!!

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Oct 25, 2016, 10:45 AM

107. Bridget Kelly Will Apparently Be....

the last witness. But that doesn't mean she won't have a lot to say on cross-examination. Personally, I'd like to hear from Christie and O'Dowd and Egea and Timpone-but you can't always get what you want.

Read up on yesterday's testimony and listen to what Matt Katz has to say here:http://www.wnyc.org/story/bridget-kellys-own-words/

In Bridget Kelly's Own Words

Excerpts from Bridgegate defendant Bridget Kelly's second day of testimony reveal much about her legal strategy, and about how the Christie Administration worked.

"Wildstein will handle it." - When Kelly told Gov. Chris Christie about the traffic study in Fort Lee in two separate conversations during the lane closures, this is how she says the governor responded. He was referring to David Wildstein, the political operative he appointed at the Port Authority, which runs the bridge. Wildstein pleaded guilty and is a witness for the prosecution.

"What's the endorsement status? We need to know this going into this." - As early as Christie's second year in office, government staffers began compiling lists of local officials who might endorse the governors' reelection. "Endorsement status" became a guide for how the administration would deal with localities and their representatives. A desire for an endorsement from the mayor of Fort Lee led to the September 2013 Bridgegate traffic jams.

"The governor was asked a question specifically about the traffic study. And he made a joke about it and claimed he had no knowledge about it. And I thought to myself: We talked about this. Now he was laughing and joking about it and saying he had no knowledge about it." - On Dec. 2, 2013, WNYC asked Christie if he had anything to do with creating traffic to get back at a local mayor for not endorsing him. Christie, in a moment captured on video and shown to jurors at trial, joked about "working the cones" in "overalls and a hat."

"When everyone around me, including the governor, started denying that they had any knowledge, who am I?" - By early December, it becomes clear to Kelly that the men in Christie's inner circle who knew about the lane closures were circling the wagons, leaving her vulnerable to be scapegoated.

"I was scared. And I have four kids and I needed to be as direct, forthright with [my bosses] as I could be, because what they were saying in the media wasn't what I knew to be the case." - On Dec. 13, 2013, Christie told the media at a press conference that he had no reason to believe anyone in his senior staff had any information about a political retaliation scheme at the bridge. Kelly describes fear and shock as she listens to Christie say this.

"I was petrified. Because I had -- I had no one to go to talk to about what I thought was going on. [Chief of staff] Kevin O'Dowd was my boss. I had told him about the traffic study. He was now having a little bit of a memory issue. Gov. Christie's also my boss. He's having a memory issue, too. And everyone around the governor, or people that had either worked for him here in Newark at the U.S. Attorney's Office, or people that were so close to him...they're going to talk to me? And they're going to understand what I'm telling them and not him? Everyone's livelihood depends on Chris Christie, including mine." - Kelly describes being isolated in the final month of her time at the Statehouse before she became the only staffer there fired and charged in the scheme.

"I told him: I did have documents, and I did delete them." - Sensing that she needed to cover her tracks in order to avoid turning Christie into a liar, Kelly says she deleted emails about the lane closures and then told her supervisor, O'Dowd -- a former federal prosecutor -- what she had done. An investigation was underway at the time in the legislature, so the emails were potential evidence.

"I was gun shy. I was scared. But he would then turn it on, and be charming. It was a confusing, frightening time. I felt both at the same time." - Christie, as Kelly describes it, manages with both a hug and a shiv.

"The governor said he had a conversation with Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo and he told Gov. Cuomo to tell [Port Authority executive director] Pat Foye to back the fuck off." - Kelly said she was in Christie's office as he recounted this conversation to a group of advisers. Foye was the Cuomo appointee who reopened the lanes to end Bridgegate. Christie and Cuomo have repeatedly insisted no such conversation took place.

"He was told to contact me. That I was going to be okay. That a job would be found for me. That I wouldn't have to worry about anything. And that it would be okay." - Kelly said after her smoking gun "time for some traffic problems Fort Lee" email came out on Jan. 8, 2014, she got a call from a friend of Christie's -- criminal defense attorney Wally Timpone. He was going to represent her, Kelly said, and he would take care of her. She later changed attorneys, and Timpone was nominated to the state Supreme Court by Christie.

"There was an alternate universe going on. And I just, I felt like by myself on an island." - Kelly was ostracized, isolated and fired after her "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email was released.

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Response to Laxman (Reply #107)

Tue Oct 25, 2016, 10:55 AM

108. "The governor said...he told Gov. Cuomo to tell Pat Foye to back off."

Kelly said she was in Christie's office as he recounted this conversation to a group of advisers...Christie and Cuomo have repeatedly insisted no such conversation took place.


So we DO have Christie dead bang on obstruction! It's why the Feds have been so blase about pinning the conspiracy on him -- they can pin the coverup on him!


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #108)

Tue Oct 25, 2016, 11:02 AM

110. Of course there was a coverup

What did Samson know? That's what I want to know.

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Response to Laxman (Reply #107)

Tue Oct 25, 2016, 11:00 AM

109. Today should be very interesting

Still wish we could watch live

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Oct 25, 2016, 01:32 PM

111. Christie micromanages like this,

NYC.org: By attempting to show that Baroni was a Christie insider (a prosecutor) elicited an image of a hands-on governor who is eager to settle scores with his political opponents. One example: The incident of Bill Lavin, a former firefighters union official who had criticized Christie on the radio.

Baroni testified, "...My phone rang. It was the governor...He said, ‘Bill I need you to do something for me.' He said, 'You call Bill Lavin and tell him the governor said go f-- yourself'... I said, 'I can’t tell a friend that.'"

The governor...said, "'You like your job?'" Baroni testified. So Baroni...called Bill Lavin...


...Baroni testified in front of a U.S. Senate committee that was chaired by the late U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg....(who) had been vocally displeased about Christie's cancellation of a transit tunnel under the Hudson River, and about the Port Authority's raising of tolls on the Hudson River crossing.

Baroni...embarrassed Lautenberg with reams of data compiled by Wildstein, showing Lautenberg's frequent use of free toll crossings when Lautenberg was a Port Authority commissioner.

"Didn’t Chris Christie tell you to 'go down there and punch Frank Lautenberg in the face?'" (the) prosecutor...demanded. "You decided on your own you were going to talk to Frank Lautenberg in that way?"

"Gov. Christie gave me instructions, his instructions were pretty clear," Baroni replied. Christie, (the prosecutor) said, was "thrilled" with Baroni's performance .


NJ.com: "My view was that David Wildstein was a dangerous character within the Port Authority," (said) Scott Rechler, an outgoing Port Authority commissioner who served as deputy chairman when the lane closures occurred.

He (also) testified that he saw Wildstein, as "cancer" within the agency who created a "culture of fear." But...Wildstein could not be fired because he was protected politically by then-Port Authority Chairman David Samson, a key ally of Christie.


NorthJersey.com: “...Christie, and the private investigators his office hired, have maintained that the Intergovernmental Affairs department led by Stepien did not become politicized until after he left and turned over duties to Bridget Anne Kelly...

But such terms as “the political shop,” as well as other testimony and evidence in the trial, have sharply contradicted those assertions and showed Stepien — who now works for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign — and his staff regularly mixing politics with policy, raising serious questions of ethics violations in the governor’s office and suggesting instances of quid pro quo..."


...and we're supposed to believe that the news of the lane closings hit him like a lighting bolt out of a clear sky?


rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Oct 25, 2016, 08:18 PM

112. Another Day.....

I don't even know what to call this. Bridget Kelly flails and explains and excuses and prevaricates. Why didn't she cop a plea?

Cross-examination questions Kelly's timeline of fallout from GWB scandal

The prosecution dissected Bridget Anne Kelly’s words Tuesday and questioned her actions, pitting her testimony against that from her former staff and questioning her timeline of the fallout from the George Washington Bridge scandal.

Kelly, a former deputy chief of staff for Governor Christie, spent her last two days on the witness stand casting herself as a bit player in the administration paid $140,000 a year but far from a powerful insider like her predecessor and mentor, Bill Stepien.


http://www.northjersey.com/news/cross-examination-questions-kelly-s-timeline-of-fallout-from-gwb-scandal-1.1682438

It was all just an unfortunate vocabulary mix-up:

Kelly says she used 'poor choice of words' in infamous Bridgegate emails

In terse and often testy questioning, prosecutors Tuesday challenged Bridget Anne Kelly's explanations for the incriminating emails that pulled her into the 2013 lane closure scandal at the George Washington Bridge.

By turns defiant and at times near tears, Kelly insisted that the e-mails and text messages were at times a "totally poor choice of words," but were written quickly as banter amid what she thought was a legitimate traffic study at the bridge.

She also contradicted the testimony of several prosecution witnesses, including Matt Mowers, a former staffer under Kelly, who now works for Donald Trump.

Kelly said she called Mowers a month before the lane closures to ask whether the mayor of Fort Lee was going to endorse Gov. Chris Christie for re-election. He said he told her there was no chance, and said she replied that was all she needed to know.

"It wasn't a one-and-done," Kelly recalled, saying the two exchanged far more information and that the call was not brief. She said she was prompted to call Mowers to get information asked by the governor.

Kelly was also questioned about the testimony of Christopher Stark, who also worked for Kelly and testified that when a meeting with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop was cancelled, she told him it was because the newly elected mayor "was playing both sides of the fence" by getting together with state Sen. Barbara Buono, the Democratic challenger to Christie in 2013.

"I wouldn't have had that conversation with Chris Stark," Kelly said.

"So his testimony is false?" she was asked.

"His memory is not what mine is," she replied.


http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/hard_questions_for_bridgegate_defendant_as_trial_n.html#incart_2box_nj-homepage-featured

We're coming into the home stretch folks. Now what can I post about?

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Wed Oct 26, 2016, 05:14 PM

113. We're Coming Into The Home Stretch....

and the trial ends kind of quietly. It would have been hard to keep up with the pace of damning evidence that was set over the last couple of weeks. Now it's all over except the shouting:


Defense rests in Bridgegate as prosecutors question Kelly's version of events

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.

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.

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."


Read the rest here: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/defense_rests_in_bridgegate_as_the_trial_winds_dow.html#incart_river_home_pop

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Response to Laxman (Reply #113)

Wed Oct 26, 2016, 05:28 PM

114. Well at least she put the blame squarely on Christie

which is where it belongs. Fabulous coverage as usual from you and rocktivity

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Response to malaise (Reply #114)

Wed Oct 26, 2016, 05:47 PM

115. Thank You....

and thank you to Rocktivity for the help. She's been all over this story. And thank you to all the other DU'ers who have contributed since Volume I. Who knew when you posted this: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024395877#post77 where this would take us! It was like Roy Schieder saying "you're gonna' need a bigger boat" in Jaws. I can't believe it's been almost 3 years and over 120,000 views of the four volumes combined. (of course 10,000 are you, me and rocktivity). Oh well. It isn't over yet, but I think we're closer to the end than the beginning. That's how life goes, isn't it?

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Response to Laxman (Reply #115)

Wed Oct 26, 2016, 05:52 PM

116. You might need Volume 2

You should send copies to every library and university in the state. I want to buy your complete documentary

The best news - here endeth that scumbag's political career. ReTHUGs are shameless.

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Wed Oct 26, 2016, 05:54 PM

117. An Important Ruling....

from Judge Wigenton regarding the jury charge. Motive is not important. Just whether or not the defendants committed the crime. That is a correct ruling, but it hurts the defense who probably wanted to say that the prosecution did not prove the motive (revenge on Sokolich) beyond a reasonable doubt. Doesn't matter now.

Bridgegate trial: Prosecution doesn't need to prove motivation behind GWB lane closures

For more than a year since the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced charges against Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni for their alleged role in the George Washington Bridge lane-closure scandal, the motivation for the shutdown has been clear: to punish Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor for not endorsing Christie for re-election, according to the prosecutors.

But the jury will not consider that motivation when it determines whether Kelly and Baroni are guilty. Judge Susan D. Wigenton decided during a closed meeting Tuesday with lawyers to discuss the instructions that including the language in the conspiracy charges against Kelly and Baroni “goes beyond what the object of the conspiracy is.” That means prosecutors must convince the jury only that Kelly and Baroni misused Port Authority resources when the lanes were shut over five mornings in September 2013 — but not why.

“They are not charged with punishing Mayor Sokolich, they’re charged with misusing Port Authority, the use of the Port Authority resources,” Wigenton said Tuesday, according to a court transcript.

Wigenton’s decision comes as attorneys on both sides prepare to spend the rest of the week making closing statements to the jury. On Wednesday, the prosecution finished cross-examining Kelly, a former Christie deputy chief who wrote the “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email that allegedly set the lane closures in motion.


Read the rest here: http://www.northjersey.com/news/bridgegate-trial-prosecution-doesn-t-need-to-prove-motivation-behind-gwb-lane-closures-1.1682836

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Response to Laxman (Reply #117)

Thu Oct 27, 2016, 01:26 PM

118. The prosecution doesn't have to prove motive as a rule (if you'll pardon the expression)

and I hope the prosecutors take the time to spell that out to the jury. Casey Anthony would probably be in jail today if her prosecutor had taken the time to spell out the differences between direct and circumstantial evidence -- and that they're equally valid.

But this isn't the final chapter only the beginning of his end. Here's hoping for Volume 5: Christie's Prosecution!


rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Thu Oct 27, 2016, 10:20 PM

119. Chris Christie's Giant Shadow.....

looming over the Bridgegate trial. That's a mighty big shadow. And now everything we've been saying for three years all comes out in the wash. He's even worse than people imagined, isn't he.



Gov. Christie’s Shadow Over Bridgegate

Mr. Christie remained the offstage villain, the Mephistopheles of Trenton, but it was impossible for even casual trial observers not to discern, from witness after witness, the evident viciousness and grubbiness of the governor and his administration. He does exert a strange gravity, like some lonely planet, pulling lesser moons into orbit while greedily circling other bodies of greater mass and density: first the White House, and then the decaying gas giant Donald Trump. Mr. Christie, who with the former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani remains one of Mr. Trump’s dead-end defenders, is apparently still leading Mr. Trump’s presidential transition team.

Whatever verdict is delivered in the Bridgegate trial, the picture of Mr. Christie and his administration that has been exposed is devastating. One can search the news accounts in vain for honorable motives, for openness and integrity, for a sense of “public service” as that overworked term is understood.

A supreme example of Mr. Christie’s venality was, oddly enough, not discussed at trial — the taxpayer dollars that Mr. Christie wasted to commission a friendly Bridgegate investigation by Randy Mastro, a former aide to Mr. Giuliani. The report, to nobody’s surprise, found Mr. Christie blameless:

“Governor Christie’s account of these events rings true. It is corroborated by many witnesses, and he has conducted himself at every turn as someone who has nothing to hide.”

Right. That sounded like a ridiculous whitewash then, but even more so now. Truthfulness will be for the jury to decide, but it’s clear somebody’s lying, or everybody is.


Read the entire op-ed here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/27/opinion/gov-christies-shadow-over-bridgegate.html

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Response to Laxman (Reply #119)

Fri Oct 28, 2016, 03:05 PM

121. "Gov. Christie’s SHADOW Over Bridgegate"?

Is it wrong that I am smiling about the New York Times' poor choice of words?


rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Thu Oct 27, 2016, 10:24 PM

120. Has Chris Christie Taken Down The Republican Party....

in New Jersey for a generation? I don't know about that. There are still lots of really conservative areas of the state where they will hide out waiting, but this is a very interesting look at what the fallout just might be. An excellent analysis by Matt Freidman:

Chris Christie's epic collapse

When Donald Trump made his strange trip to a Hindu anti-terrorism rally in Edison, New Jersey, Chris Christie — the governor who is heading Trump’s transition team — was noticeably absent. Garden State leaders could only wonder whether Christie was laying low because of the unpopular presidential nominee's hot-mic comments about women, or because of his own deepening problems stemming from the Bridgegate scandal.

Such is the condition of Christie’s career. Once a GOP star, his fortunes have plummeted since the high point of his landslide re-election in 2013, and now look to be nearing rock-bottom as an aide’s trial leads to embarrassing revelations about his possible complicity in the notorious lane closures at the George Washington Bridge.

Budget and infrastructure setbacks have wrecked his narrative of a renewed New Jersey.

His failed presidential bid made him a punchline in his deep-blue home state, and his subsequent embrace of Trump has only made things worse.

Christie is now in the awkward position of trying to distance himself from the candidate, even as he reportedly remains a key behind-the-scenes player. Since Trump’s taped comments about groping women surfaced, Christie has not appeared publicly for Trump, and pointedly said, when asked about Trump's defiant responses to allegations of sexual harassment, that he could only answer for his own comments as a surrogate.

And looming over everything is the sordid election-season revenge plot known as Bridgegate, which has been thrust back into the headlines in recent weeks by the trial of two of Christie’s former subordinates — and which has gone even worse for the governor than generally expected.

One of the defendants, former Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly, not only painted the governor as a willing accomplice in the plan to close lanes to the George Washington Bridge, but as a bully who threw a water bottle at her because he didn’t like the format of an event she was planning. (She testified that he said, “What do you think I am, a fucking game show host?”)

Later, Christie’s chief strategist, Mike DuHaime, testified that he told Christie that Kelly and then-Deputy Chief of Staff Bill Stepien had knowledge of the lane closures at a time when Christie told the New Jersey press his staff were not involved.

It’s been enough to put a damper on whatever remaining hopes Christie might have had for a job in a Trump administration. As Rutgers political science professor Ross K. Baker said to POLITICO even before the recent revelations, Bridgegate has made him “the most improbable nominee to any cabinet post.”

Meanwhile, the governor appears to be taking his party down with him....


Read the whole thing here: http://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/2016/10/bridgegate-christies-parting-gift-to-new-jersey-republicans-106757

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Sat Oct 29, 2016, 10:56 PM

122. A closeup of the prosecution's closing argument

NorthJersey.com: In a summation lasting about four hours, Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Cortes said that Kelly, the governor’s former deputy chief of staff, and Baroni, the governor’s former top executive appointee at the Port Authority, “shared an intense commitment to the political success of Governor Chris Christie...They saw themselves as his loyal lieutenants who were free to use their government jobs to launch political attacks and who never attempted to separate politics from their jobs in public service..."

Loyal lieutenants so intensely committed to Christie, they deliberately kept their loyalty a secret from him, LOL!


With so much riding on Wildstein’s testimony, Cortes emphasized that Wildstein’s...agreement with prosecutors depends upon him testifying truthfully.(They) will request leniency when Wildstein, who faces up to 15 years in prison, is sentenced. Cortes added that much of what Wildstein told the court was corroborated by documents, emails, text messages, phone records and testimony.

Glad to hear about the corroboration, since the jury could decide not to believe a single thing Wildstein says simply because they don't like him. But in turn, that certainly doesn't mean that the defendants are telling the truth by default!


Politico.com: Cortes cited...Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich (who) called, emailed and texted Baroni asking for help...as first responders struggled to deal with a missing child and a cardiac arrest...Baroni's motivations are made clear by what he didn’t do — respond to Sokolich...and (by) his subsequent testimony...in Trenton, which prosecutors have cast as an elaborate attempt to cover up the plot.

Actually, what Baroni chose to do was obey Christie's orders: no point tipping him off about what he already knew -- especially since it was exactly was what he wanted.


NorthJersey.com: ...Cortes said..Kelly portrayed herself as a cog in the Christie machine, fearful of the governor’s temper...But (she) was “one of the 10 most senior advisers to the governor” and a protégé of Bill Stepien, Christie’s former campaign manager, who played hardball with political opponents.

Protégé, not social secretary. And don't forget that Kelly and Stepien also had a romantic relationship: so much for her frail, helpless, damsel-in-distress routine.


Both defendants, Cortes said...“had a higher responsibility...and that responsibility was to make...decision(s) in the best interests of the people of New Jersey...not what they believed was in the best interests of Bill Baroni or Bridget Kelly or Chris Christie.”

The best interests of Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly WERE the best interests of Chris Christie. Remember, they're being tried for the illegal things they did, not the reasons why they did them. So it's very clever of Cortes to place Christie squarely on top of the pyramid (a metaphor, not a weight joke) even though he was never charged or called as a witness.


rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon Oct 31, 2016, 12:41 PM

123. Baroni attorney takes aim at 'habitual liar' Wildstein in closing argument

NJ.com: Michael Baldassare, who represents Baroni, focused his closing arguments almost entirely on Wildstein..."They built their case around him," he declared...(and) claimed Wildstein would say anything to stay out of jail. "All you have is his words," he said.

AND the hard drive he took from your client, counselor!


Baldassare...said testimony of other Port Authority officials painted Wildstein as a feared and hated man who could not be fired because of his claimed connections with Christie. Yet "They would never put Chris Christie on the stand (b)ecause all he would have said on that stand is that David Wildstein is a liar..."

Well, YOU didn't put him on the stand, either, counselor! What did YOU have to fear from Christie -- that he say that HE'D lied about approving your client's hiring of Wildstein?


...(H)e argued..."The notion that Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly conspired with David Wildstein comes from one place...the mouth and the mind of David Wildstein."

That's TWO places. Well, three places when you include the hard drive Wildstein took from your client, counselor!


Observer.com: “Bill Baroni is innocent of the charges brought against him today by federal prosecutors. The accusations are false. When all the facts come to light, Bill will be fully exonerated,” Baldassare said...“(H)abitual liar David Wildstein lied under oath to a federal judge about Bill Baroni...Today, he said under oath that he is a criminal. The record in this case is equally clear that David Wildstein is a liar.”

Everything the witness says is a lie; therefore everything the defendant says is true? Baldassare must have been playing hookey from law school when the lesson about the prosecution not needing to prove motive was taught. And the closing arguments of a trial isn't the best time for a jury to be learning that not all the facts have come to light...


rocktivity


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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon Oct 31, 2016, 01:13 PM

124. Christie Hit By Hurricane Buzzkill

Looks like Christie was looking to score some public relations points on the fourth anniversary of New Jersey's response to Hurricane Sandy:

North Jersey.com: ...Christie started...the fourth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy...in Hackensack (because)...“I think sometimes people don’t pay nearly as much attention to what happened up here. We need to continue to remember that those folks, just as much as folks at the Shore, had their lives turned upside down..." He ran off a laundry list of the damage inflicted by the storm: 325,000 housing units affected, $5.9 billion in overall damage, 19,000 small businesses closed temporarily or permanently...71 percent of electric distribution in the state was cut off by the storm...The PSE&G substation in Hackensack was inundated by storm surge and then rebuilt and elevated to prevent damage from future storms...“We’ve gotten the job done in the rebuilding from Sandy,” he said.

Well, There's no reason to doubt that, is there?


Chris Christie was met with protesters at Jimbo's Bar & Grill on the Seaside Heights boardwalk...during what was planned as a commemoration on the fourth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy...“I’ve got to shout at my governor to get something done,” George Kasimos, a member of a group called Stop FEMA, yelled at Christie. “I don’t even call you governor any more.”

“There will always be critics,” Christie said. “And I am happy to take the criticism. Because when you take the criticism that means you’re actually in a position to do something. The people most of the time who are hurling the criticism are the people who have never accomplished anything in their lives worth noting..."

The people who are hurling criticism at you in this case are also marking their fourth year of living in hotels or in damaged housing.


Christie said..."These are complicated issues and they don’t lend themselves to explanations when people are yelling and screaming...” He also said...several contractors had been prosecuted on fraud charges (and) the state opened the rebuilding program to contractors who had not been pre-screened after hearing complaints that the process with the approved contractors had been going too slowly...And he put part of the blame for problems on the National Flood Insurance Program.

Giving Sandy money to towns who weren't effected by the storm, like New Brunswick and Belleville, is what should have been "complicated." How much of the $945 million he's received from Obama is he still sitting on -- and perhaps skimming the accrued interest? Since diverting to the 2016 GOP presidential campaign is no longer viable, maybe he's planning use it to balance New Jersey's budget.


He stepped away from the lectern for several minutes and spoke one-to-one with some residents, taking down their contact information...

Such a buzzkill. Anyhow, happy Hurricane Sandy anniversary, Governor Soprano!


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #124)

Mon Oct 31, 2016, 01:53 PM

125. And speaking of buzzkills...

Last edited Mon Oct 31, 2016, 05:28 PM - Edit history (1)

New York Post: Donald Trump initially offered the vice-presidential running-mate slot to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie but then withdrew it, sources said...

...Trump had not made his choice among Christie, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Most of his Trump’s advisers — including then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump’s two eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric — and GOP leaders pressured Trump to pick Pence...Christie contacted Trump and made his final, impassioned ­appeal on July 12.

“Trump had wanted Christie but Bridgegate would have been the biggest national story,” a...Trump source said. “He’d lose the advantage of not being corrupt.” Trump agreed to name Pence the next day and broke the news to Christie, saying it would “tear my family apart if I gave you VP,” a source said.

Well, seeing as one of Trump's in-laws has had it in for Christie for sending his father to jail, I'm still surprised that he had any kind of front-line involvement in Trump's campaign (unless the in-law's ulterior motive was to drop him from the highest pinnacle possible). Funny that this should land in the papers at the same time he was trying to score public relations points with the anniversary of hurricane Sandy...


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #125)

Tue Nov 1, 2016, 05:26 PM

131. He'd lose the advantage of not being corrupt?

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #124)

Tue Nov 1, 2016, 02:24 PM

130. This needs its own thread

Very important

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon Oct 31, 2016, 02:35 PM

126. KICK!!!!!!

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon Oct 31, 2016, 02:41 PM

127. Wasn't there a movie titled "Get Out Your Handkerchiefs"?

And cue the violins -- here comes Bridget Kelly's closing arguments:

In an emotional presentation that lasted more than two hours, Michael Critchley cast client Bridget Kelly as a single mother faced with an administration more concerned with keeping Christie’s nascent presidential hopes alive than with exposing the truth when details of the scandal surfaced three years ago...

Cupping his hands as if holding a megaphone, Critchley nearly yelled, “Chris Christie, where are you?”

Kelly was “the odd person out,” he said. “The inner circle, they know what the code is: ‘Chris Christie knows nothing.’ Bridget Kelly has a different version, and that makes her dangerous. They want that mother of four to take the fall for them. Cowards. Cowards.”

Critchley reminded jurors...that the government didn’t call Christie...to testify because Kelly is telling the truth..

Hands up who didn't see a damsel-in-distress sob story coming. And what stopped the defense from calling Christie to testify -- the fact that his "telling the truth" that Kelly was the link in the chain of command between him and Wildstein would have incriminated EVERYONE?





rocktivity

The prosecution's rebuttal summation is due this afternoon.


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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2016, 12:14 PM

128. Why Did It Take So Long....

for the true picture of Christie to come to light? He's just so bad it is incredible. But, at least the piling on has begun. An apt description of the phoney tough guy:

The growling, tough guy who chased and put down hecklers oversaw a coterie of “cowards” who turned Kelly into a sacrificial scapegoat for Christie’s presidential ambitions, according to Critchley.


The profanity hurling, insult doling, bottle throwing coward who saves his most vitriolic outbursts for women. (anybody else notice that?) Just a disgusting slob.

Christie cast in new role on his old turf

For nearly seven years, former federal prosecutor Chris Christie strung together an impressive winning streak of convictions by mining New Jersey’s culture of corruption.

But on Monday, Bridget Anne Kelly, co-defendant in the George Washington Bridge lane closing case, made a last-ditch bid at survival, casting herself as a casualty in the culture of Christie.

During his heyday as U.S. attorney for New Jersey from 2001 to 2008, defense attorneys complained that Christie’s crusading against what he called the “disease of public corruption that spread like wildfire from south to north” made it impossible for their clients to get a fair trial.

On Monday, Kelly and her wily and theatrical defense attorney Michael Critchley played the anti-Christie card on a jury drawn from a public that has turned sour on the once-indomitable Christie, and whose reputation as a bully had long preceded him — and was deepened by the seven-week trial in Newark.


Read the rest here: http://www.northjersey.com/news/stile-christie-cast-in-new-role-on-his-old-turf-1.1685721

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Response to Laxman (Reply #128)

Tue Nov 1, 2016, 01:23 PM

129. K & R for exposure

Truth will out!

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2016, 05:55 PM

132. Prosecution Rebuttal Arguments -- Predictions, anyone?

NewsHerald.com: In rebuttal, Assistant U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna said the case wasn't about who could have been charged or...been called to testify. (The defense) "...wants to distract you from the core of the case. Why? Because the evidence against (the defendants) is devastating."

Khanna...(added) that Baroni changed his story about the traffic jams at least three times, including in front of a legislative committee probing the closures in 2013. He said emails and texts among the three co-conspirators corroborated Wildstein, including a text Kelly sent him during the week of the gridlock that read, "Is it wrong that I am smiling?"

..."Don't let them whitewash it," Khanna said. "It's as outrageous as it sounds."


Observer.com: ...(Prosecutors) painted Kelly...as a willing participant in the culture of Christie’s office...“She makes you… think that she is a victim of the governor’s office,” attorney Vikas Khanna said, citing Kelly’s acknowledgement of the fact that she willingly ignored Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop’s 2013 requests for meetings...“She has embraced the punitive nature of the governor’s office.”

According to Khanna, Wildstein has nothing to gain from lying about Kelly and Baroni’s involvement (and that he) has no motivation to “rack up" convictions...(Had) Wildstein had that incentive, he likely would have filled in gaps in his recollection with evidence incriminating higher-level figures mentioned in the trial like Governor Christie...

Khanna reminded jurors of the close personal relationship Baroni and Wildstein shared and said it “makes no sense” that Baroni wouldn’t know about the lane closures when Wildstein entrusted him with details on other sensitive matters in the last as both a friend and a superior at the bi-state agency...“They lied… when they thought no one was watching...”


Bridget will skate on everything but the wire fraud -- closing a bridge is men's work.


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #132)

Tue Nov 1, 2016, 06:35 PM

133. I Don't Know....

the jury had some interesting questions today. You never know if it was the entire jury or just one or two jurors who wanted some clarification. I gave up trying to interpret jury questions a long time ago.

Bridgegate jurors: Is conspiracy a crime if no intent of revenge?

Jurors in the Bridgegate trial in their first full day of deliberations left without reaching a verdict Tuesday, but not before sparking an emotional debate between defense attorneys and the judge in the case regarding the alleged motive behind the political scandal.

A written question passed from the jury room led to an angry exchange and a rebuke from the judge over an issue defense attorneys said could "eviscerate" their case.

At issue was whether whether Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni, the two former Christie administration insiders charged with illegally shutting down toll lanes at the George Washington Bridge to cause traffic problems in Fort Lee, could be found guilty of conspiracy, if their intent had not been to punish Mayor Mark Sokolich.

U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton, who is presiding over the case in federal court in Newark, said the answer was "yes."

"You can be guilty of a conspiracy without this specific purpose," Wigenton told prosecutors and defense attorneys.

But Michael Critchley, who represents Kelly, argued strongly against the judge's response. "By answering the way you are answering, you are directing a verdict of guilty," he declared, before dropping back into his chair, as if deflated. The judge immediately chastised him.


I don't think Bridget is going to get off on Count 2 or the wire fraud charge. The combination of time for some traffic problems, is it wrong that I'm smiling and can we cause some traffic problems at the rabbi's house just leaves a trail of breadcrumbs right back to her doorstep.
Read it here: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/11/bridgegate_jurors_ask_if_conspiracy_is_a_crime_if.html#incart_river_home_pop

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Response to Laxman (Reply #133)

Wed Nov 2, 2016, 11:59 AM

134. NO ONE should be getting off from the wire fraud charges

especially if the emails were not exchanged on government servers.

But the jurors' questions have me suspecting that I'm on target about an effort to "rescue" Bridget. She was just the secretary; nice girls don't close bridges. Besides, how can you expect them to sleep at night if they effectively orphan her four children?

As for the conspiracy/intent question, does the jury believe Kelly and Baroni didn't have ANY "specific purpose", or that their purpose was something OTHER than punishing Sokolich...like, maybe, I don't know...obeying Christie?


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #134)

Wed Nov 2, 2016, 12:22 PM

135. They Won't Be Orphans...

their dad is a very nice man who is the golf pro at Chris Christie's country club in Mendham. Imagine that. I think they're dead to rights on the wire fraud charges. They used texts and emails (on their personal accounts) to make the arrangements. On the other charges and the jury questions, I hope its only one or two jurors who didn't quite understand the instructions. I find it hard to believe that any of them bought the bogus cover stories of Baroni and Kelly. They were insultingly bad.

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Response to Laxman (Reply #135)

Wed Nov 2, 2016, 01:13 PM

137. You mean he STILL has his job at Christie's country club?

He hasn't shown up one day to find traffic cones blocking his locker?


rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Reply #133)


Response to Laxman (Original post)

Wed Nov 2, 2016, 01:29 PM

138. DING DING DING! Rocktivity, you're our grand prize winner!

Last edited Thu Nov 3, 2016, 01:24 PM - Edit history (8)

Less than half an hour after I posted this:

Is (Kelly's lawyer) saying that it shouldn't be considered a conspiracy because they got caught?

I came across this:

NorthJersey.com: Two former associates of Governor Christie may have behaved badly by allegedly closing access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in an act of political retribution, but they didn’t break any laws, say their attorneys...(They)...say that even if the alleged political conspiracy is true, there is no law against causing a traffic jam.

Critchley said that Kelly, who sent a now-infamous email “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” cannot be prosecuted because her actions did not even violate Port Authority policies, let alone federal laws. He added that Kelly and Baroni are being prosecuted under a law usually used against people who commit theft or bribery, even though the pair did not benefit financially from the lane closures. He also argued that charges of violating civil rights are usually brought against people accused of using excessive force.

Baroni’s lawyer, Michael Baldassare, repeated many of Critchley’s arguments (and) also argued that Baroni was denied a fair trial because prosecutors failed to pursue evidence that could exonerate his client. In particular, Baldassare zeroed in on...a lengthy report in March 2014 exonerating the governor of blame for the lane closures. Instead of handing over its evidence to prosecutors, the firm redacted and withheld thousands of documents, and released massive collections of documents in large, unsearchable files...Gibson Dunn has billed the state $8 million in fees for its work...


The Mastro report potentially exonerating? It's null and void -- doesn't even exist, or so I've heard. Apparently they tried this tactic back in February, and it might have worked if they asked the right questions: did Gibson Dunn conspire to destroy the report, and did they do so with or without a proveable motive?


rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Thu Nov 3, 2016, 01:23 PM

139. Defense Seeks Mistrial

Last edited Mon Aug 26, 2019, 03:20 PM - Edit history (2)

NJ.com: Defense attorneys...asked for the declaration of a mistrial...in the wake of a furtive, day-long battle that took place behind-the-scenes...over whether jurors had been incorrectly instructed.

The request was made in a redacted application that gave no reason for the mistrial request. At the same time, assistant U.S. Attorney David Feder filed a separate motion asking the court to seal the record..."(b)ecause the filing refers to a matter that was addressed in a sealed courtroom on Nov. 2, 2016, and because its disclosure would complicate the court's efforts to ensure a fair trial..."

It was not known whether the issue involved the jury itself or another legal matter. But it came following a...dispute (about)...U.S. District Court Judge Susan Wigenton (telling) jurors they need not consider the politically inspired motive in the George Washington Bridge scandal in determining the the guilt or innocence of the defendants...

"While it is true that motive is not an essential element of every conspiracy, it is an essential element when the grand jury charges a defendant with conspiring to do so, and in fact, doing something he is authorized to do, but doing it for an improper purpose," (Kelly's attorney) wrote in his motion. He called it an error to instruct the jury otherwise, and that the court should correct it with re-instructions to the jury.

It is also true that the prosecution does NOT have to PROVE motive or intent -- EVER. Your clients have been charged with committing illegal acts, NOT with their motives for committing them.

Glad to hear about the request for a seal -- it saves the the defense the embarrassment, at least.


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #139)

Thu Nov 3, 2016, 09:08 PM

140. They Didn't Get It....

did they! Not quite true that you never have to prove intent. There are a number of specific intent crimes that depend on forming the appropriate mens rea to support a conviction. (1st degree Murder for instance) It's an element of the crime. These charges don't come under that category. Motive-now that's another story. Here the motive explains why they would do something so incredibly stupid and arrogant but they don't have to prove it- but it helps to show it so everything makes sense.

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Fri Nov 4, 2016, 08:15 AM

141. A Bogus Study, A Dear Friend, Campaign Contributions.....

and $14 million from the NJ Taxpayers. All to benefit our esteemed governor and his friends. Any one of us should hope that if we are ever in trouble we can get somebody else to pick up the tab and have an investigation conducted by a close friend. And it was very nice of them to make large contributions to Christie's campaign with our tax dollars.

Christie's Taxpayer-Funded Lawyers Increase Work on Bridgegate Case

Gov. Chris Christie's taxpayer-funded legal bills for Bridgegate spiked as the case moved to trial and proceedings began, according to the latest documents provided to WNYC from the Attorney General's Office.

The attorneys from the Gibson Dunn firm, including a close friend of Christie's and several who contributed to his presidential campaign, billed almost every day as the trial began in September. Christie was on a list of potential witnesses but was not called to testify. It is unclear what exactly the attorneys were doing, since the bills are heavily redacted.

The bills from January 2014, when the scandal broke, through the beginning of October bring the total cost for Gibson Dunn and its subcontractor, digital forensics firm Stroz Friedberg, to $11,278,532.20.

Christie has also retained an attorney to defend him against a citizen's criminal complaint of official misconduct related to the lane closures scandal, but spokesmen for the governor's office didn't answer a question about who pays for that representation. The attorney, Craig Carpenito, referred questions to the governor's office.

Gibson Dunn initially was hired to respond to federal criminal subpoenas that landed in the governor's office in the wake of Bridgegate. Later the firm produced an internal investigation that blamed much of the lane closures on the emotional state of Bridget Kelly, who was later charged in the scheme.

The role of defendant Bill Baroni did not factor into their findings. And the cover-up, which has been at the center of the federal trial, went unmentioned.

Twenty-eight Gibson Dunn attorneys contributed to Christie's presidential campaign, including one of the attorneys who interviewed him for the internal investigation, Debra Wong Yang -- a personal friend of Christie's who hosted a campaign fundraiser for him. Wong Yang continues to bill the state for legal work on the case.


Read the full story here: http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/16/11/03/christie-s-taxpayer-funded-lawyers-increase-work-on-bridgegate-case

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Fri Nov 4, 2016, 12:17 PM

142. Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly GUILTY on ALL counts

NJ.com: In a seven-week trial that saw their own words used against them, Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly were convicted of helping orchestrate massive traffic tie-ups at the George Washington Bridge in September 2013. The plot was hatched to send a pointed message to Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, after he stepped back from his earlier public support of Gov. Chris Christie...

The jury began reading its findings just before 11:30 a.m. and delivered their guilty decisions in rapid fire. Baroni and Kelly were charged on nine counts, and faced five of them together. The other four charges were split evenly, two each for the defendants.

Baroni stared at the jury stoically as the verdicts were read. Kelly cried and continued to sob as she heard the word guilty repeated time and again. Neither defendant stood as the verdicts were read...(They) face a maximum of 20 years in prison, but are likely to serve far less under federal sentencing guidelines...


I'm very pleased to hear that the defense "no motive, no crime" tactic failed, along with what I suspect was an effort among a juror or two to turn Kelly into a damsel in distress.

May there be a Volume Five or Six: "Christie's Prosecution!" with a side order of Gibson Dunn's prosecution, too!


rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Fri Nov 4, 2016, 12:19 PM

143. I Didn't Honestly Think...

that I would ever be making this post:

Bridgegate verdict: Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly guilty on all counts

Two former Christie administration insiders charged in a bizarre scheme of political retaliation against a mayor who refused to endorse the governor for re-election were found guilty Friday on all counts in the long-running Bridgegate saga.

In a seven-week trial that saw their own words used against them, Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly were convicted of helping orchestrate massive traffic tie-ups at the George Washington Bridge in September 2013. The plot was hatched to send a pointed message to Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, after he stepped back from his earlier public support of Gov. Chris Christie.

The jury passed a note to judge Friday morning, indicating it had reached a verdict. Attorneys started to filter back into the federal courthouse around 11 a.m. The jury began reading its findings just before 11:30 a.m. and delivered their guilty decisions in rapid fire.

Baroni and Kelly were charged on nine counts, and faced five of them together. The other four charges were split evenly, two each for the defendants.

Baroni stared at the jury stoically as the verdicts were read.

Kelly cried and continued to sob as she heard the word guilty repeated time and again. Neither defendant stood as the verdicts were read.

Afterward, Kelly hugged her attorney and her mother.

Baroni was embraced by his attorney and then went to his parents.

The decision came one day after U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton denied a defense motion to re-instruct the jury.

Wigenton set the sentencing date for Feb. 21. Baroni and Kelly face a maximum of 20 years in prison, but are likely to serve far less under federal sentencing guidelines.

The criminal case, built around a rarely used provision of a fraud statute that makes it a crime to "misapply" property of federal aid recipients, charged that Baroni and Kelly intentionally misapplied the property or money of the Port Authority.

The jury of seven women and five men heard from 35 witnesses, including both defendants who took the stand on their behalf. But the most damaging evidence might have been the now-infamous "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email sent by Kelly less than a month before several local access toll lanes at the world's busiest bridge were inexplicably closed for nearly a week in September 2013, leading to paralyzing gridlock on local streets.


Read the rest here: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/11/bridgegate_verdict_bill_baroni_and_bridget_kelly_g.html


Can we get a little bit of respect for the Christie Crime Digest?

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Response to Laxman (Reply #143)

Fri Nov 4, 2016, 12:32 PM

144. Laxman and Rocktivity

We saw this through - partly - nexy Christie. He also knew. Oh Happy Day!

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Fri Nov 4, 2016, 01:32 PM

145. Warning...This May Cause Nausea Or....

lightheadedness, but I feel compelled to post this:

Following Friday's verdict in the Bridgegate trial, Governor Christie issued this statement:

“On January 9, 2014, I apologized to the people of New Jersey for the conduct exhibited by some members of my Administration who showed a lack of respect for the appropriate role of government and for the people we serve. Those people were terminated by me and today, the jury affirms that decision by also holding them responsible for their own conduct.

“Like so many people in New Jersey, I’m saddened by this case and I’m saddened about the choices made by Bill Baroni, Bridget Kelly and David Wildstein. Today’s verdict does not change this for me.

“But let me be clear once again, I had no knowledge prior to or during these lane realignments, and had no role in authorizing them. No believable evidence was presented to contradict that fact. Anything said to the contrary over the past six weeks in court is simply untrue.

“As a former federal prosecutor, I have respected these proceedings and refused to comment on the daily testimony from the trial. I will set the record straight in the coming days regarding the lies that were told by the media and in the courtroom.”


When do you think his crisis management team wrote this?

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Response to Laxman (Reply #145)

Fri Nov 4, 2016, 03:46 PM

147. "No BELIEVABLE evidence?" Believable by WHO?

There's VERY believable evidence that Kelly was the link in the pipeline between you and Wildstein. But aside from that, you've got much bigger sins to atone for...


rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Fri Nov 4, 2016, 03:45 PM

146. A Far More Interesting Read Today...

than it was three years ago. Boy, talk about history putting things into perspective! This article is even more remarkable to read now after the verdict. Also, we need to give props to Shawn Boburg and the Road Warrior at the Record for making sure this didn't get covered up the way Kelly, Wildstein, Baroni, Stepien and Christie intended. Also, recognize the work done by Matt Katz and Andrea Bernstein at WNYC in New York.

Road Warrior: Closed tollbooths a commuting disaster

Driving south from Tenafly to the George Washington Bridge has never been an easy rush-hour ride, but at least Claude Lewin could take solace in knowing that the slow journey through Fort Lee and across the span to his Manhattan job was less time-consuming than it is for those who live farther west.

"Maybe 30 or 35 minutes," Lewin said.

But not this week.

"Two hours and 15 minutes!" he said of his Monday commute — a little less for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but not much less.

The reason: The Port Authority, which runs the bridge, cut the number of tollbooths from three to one on the big span and narrowed the traffic patterns on its approaches from two Fort Lee streets. Instead of three lanes, the approach from Bruce Reynolds Boulevard and Martha Washington Way funnels down to one lane that leads to a combination cash-and-E-ZPass toll booth.

"Other than after the 9/11 attacks, I've never seen such a fiasco of delays at the inbound, upper-level part of the bridge," said Ridgefield's Mildred Van Zwaren who teaches in Upper Manhattan.

"Ludicrous!" shouted Cresskill reader Chuck Ciocco. "Chronic delays like these destroy one of the two main reasons that most of us moved to this area — great schools and a short commute."

Why would the Port purposely quadruple commuting time for some of the people who live closest to one of the nation's busiest bridges?

Port officials aren't saying much more than this brief statement from spokesman Chris Valens: "The Port … is reviewing traffic safety patterns at the … bridge to ensure proper placement of toll lanes."

This was news to Keith Bendul and Mark Sokolich.

"It's not true," said Bendul, who is chief of the Fort Lee Police Department. "We first heard about this at 7:15 Monday morning, It was the first day of school. Our parents now have to get up an hour and a half early to get their kids to class. We couldn't clear all the residual traffic until 11:30."

Sokolich, who is Fort Lee's mayor, seemed even more perplexed than his police chief or the angry commuters who were jamming his borough hall telephone line.

"I've asked the Port for an explanation, but they haven't responded," said the Democrat. "I thought we had a good relationship. Now I'm beginning to wonder if there's something I did wrong. Am I being sent some sort of message?"

When dealing with the Port Authority, the bi-state monolith that has been accused of hiding its political rationales for hiking tolls, hiring cronies and nearly giving away the naming rights to one of its biggest assets, it doesn't take much to get the rumor mill going. The Road Warrior phone was ringing all Thursday afternoon with equal numbers of calls from road-weary bridge commuters and conspiracy theorists who insisted that the Port was punishing Sokolich – either for failing to endorse Governor Christie's election bid or for pushing through a $500 million, 47-story high-rise housing development near the bridge, or for failing to support the Port's last toll hike.

"Those two tollbooths were purposely closed without notice to anyone," said a source close to the situation. "There is absolutely no legitimate traffic-safety rationale for this change."


Read the rest here and say wow!: http://www.northjersey.com/news/new-york-tri-state-area/road-warrior-closed-tollbooths-a-commuting-disaster-1.639923

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Sat Nov 5, 2016, 09:07 AM

148. A Very Interesting Account....

of the jury deliberations from one of the jurors. Really compelling stuff. Let's you into the mindset of the jurors and what was so difficult about this case. They seemed like nice people. Christie should have been on trial. All legitimate questions to ask. The end result was a unanimous verdict of guilty on all counts:

Tears, doubts, heated debate in Bridgegate jury room

Emotional arguments, tears, and heated exchanges characterized much of the jury deliberations in the George Washington Bridge lane closure case, according to a Morris County man who sat on the jury that listened to the case for six weeks and deliberated over another five days.

The man, who wished to be identified only as Juror 10, said that the debate among the five men and seven women was so heated that the jury had to be sent home early on Wednesday, the second full day of deliberations.

When they returned their verdict Friday morning, the jury found Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni guilty on all counts of conspiracy, fraud and civil rights charges. The pair, both 44 years old, face a maximum of 20 years in prison.

“It was very hard,” the juror said. “Thinking about somebody going to jail.”
The man, who had no idea of the possible sentence awaiting the pair, added: “I think they were both very nice people, but I just tried to do the best I could as an honest and a fair juror.”

Jurors began deliberating on Monday afternoon following six weeks of testimony involving 35 witnesses and hundreds of text messages, emails, documents, audio and video clips.

Initially, the juror said that he and his colleagues were split roughly eight to four in favor of convicting Kelly and Baroni. Although several jurors were adamant that the defendants were guilty, the juror said most kept an open mind until the final day of deliberations.

“We had an agreement that anyone, at any time, could change their vote,” the man said.

Deliberations began around 3 p.m. on Monday after the prosecution concluded its closing arguments. Because the jury had so much information to process, the man said that apart from selecting a foreman, jurors decided not to begin deliberating until they had given themselves an evening to mull over the case.

Tuesday, the first full day of deliberations, was very difficult, the juror said. He declined to provide details, but he said that “things got testy” and that he personally felt as though he was suffering from “information overload.” Several jurors were in tears, he said.


Read the rest here: http://www.northjersey.com/news/tears-doubts-heated-debate-in-bridgegate-jury-room-1.1688069?page=all

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Response to Laxman (Reply #148)

Mon Nov 7, 2016, 12:34 PM

149. "It was very hard sending somebody to jail?"

Last edited Wed Sep 20, 2017, 11:34 AM - Edit history (1)

The man declined to describe the conflict, but he said that Wednesday “was probably the worst day” with the roots of the disagreement based on the impact the verdicts would have on the defendants’ lives.

If the defendants’ acts are determined to be illegal and criminal, convicting them is the jury's department. Determining and delivering the appropriate amount of "impact" of the verdicts on the defendants’ lives is the judge's department.


rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon Nov 7, 2016, 12:44 PM

150. Some taxing post-Bridge(t)-Gate matters

Last edited Mon Nov 7, 2016, 06:01 PM - Edit history (2)

Watchdog.org (4/2016): Gov. Chris Christie failed to report as income or pay taxes on $380,000 in expense allowances he received from the state...By not declaring the allowances on their joint returns, Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, avoided roughly $152,000 in federal income taxes over four years.

Christie gets a $95,000 a year expense account. In the state budget, it’s described as an “allowance to the governor of funds not otherwise appropriated, for official reception on behalf of the state, operations of an official residence, and other expenses.”

The governor is not required to provide receipts, refund surpluses or provide information to the state on how the money is used. But failure to report a “non-accountable” allowance to the Internal Revenue Service is a different matter.

Other New Jersey governors paid taxes on their allowances...Contrary to IRS rules, Christie did not declare the allowances as income on federal returns for 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013...

Watchdog.org: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie...arguing the money isn’t income because he has accounted for it...

“If it’s not public, then you’re not being accountable because it’s the public who decides whether or not you have a job,” said Bill Allison, senior fellow at Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit advocate for transparency in government. “I don’t know how they can be saying these are not public records and can’t be disclosed.”

NJ Spotlight.com: Gov. Chris Christie's taxpayer-funded legal bills...from the Gibson Dunn firm...billed almost every day as the trial began in September... It is unclear what exactly the attorneys were doing, since the bills are heavily redacted...

The bills from January 2014, when the scandal broke, through the beginning of October bring the total cost for Gibson Dunn and its subcontractor, digital forensics firm Stroz Friedberg, to $11,278,532.20....

Twenty-eight Gibson Dunn attorneys contributed to Christie's presidential campaign, including one of the attorneys who interviewed him for the internal investigation...hosted a campaign fundraiser for him...(and) continues to bill the state for legal work on the case.

Huh? Wasn't Christie's self-exonerating and now somewhat nonexistent Bridge(t)-Gate report completed by April 2014 with an interim report in December? The cost was estimated at $7 million back then -- the inflation rate isn't THAT high!


NJcom: In all his years as governor, Christie has filed for an extension in April and released his family's tax returns in October...(But) just days before the presidential election, Gov. Chris Christie has broken with precedent and has not yet released his 2015 tax returns...

In October 2015, the Christies disclosed that they earned nearly $1 million in income for 2014, much of that from First Lady Mary Pat Christie's income at...investment firm Angelo Gordon. In April 2015, (she) took an indefinite hiatus...when Christie ran for president...and has not returned...

Christie earns $175,000 a year, but is also given a $95,000 discretionary entertainment fund which is shielded from public disclosure laws and which the governor does not count as income...

A spokesman for the governor offered no explanation...saying in an email that "The Governor and Mrs. Christie will release their taxes when they are ready to do so."


Do the tax collectors agree that the discretionary entertainment fund is not income? Is their delay Christie's idea of showing solidarity for Trump? Or is the problem that his income can't be explained with a spouse who worked for only four months?

Not a good move at all, especially since Mrs. Christie is responsible for most of the bill. A review of HER finances could include a review of her Hurricane Sandy charity -- to which Jon Bon Jovi donated a million dollars after Christie signed a law he helped persuaded him to pass.



rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 01:07 PM

151. Judge denies request for special prosecutor in Christie case

Salon: A judge on Friday denied a request for a special prosecutor to be appointed in a criminal misconduct complaint against Gov. Chris Christie in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal.

State Superior Court Judge Bonnie Mizdol dismissed the motion by a former firefighter who brought the complaint in October, ruling that he lacked standing. The firefighter alleges Christie failed to order subordinates to reopen bridge access lanes in September 2013.

Three of Christie’s former allies were convicted or pleaded guilty in federal court in what prosecutors say was a scheme to punish a Democratic mayor who didn’t endorse Christie. The Republican governor wasn’t charged in the federal case and denied wrongdoing.

A grand jury would have to hear evidence and hand up an indictment in the state misconduct case before Christie would stand trial.

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon Dec 12, 2016, 03:54 PM

152. Laxman Has Asked Me To Inform You...

Last edited Fri Dec 23, 2016, 02:46 PM - Edit history (1)

that he hasn't been able to rejoin DU because he doesn't remember the email he set up with account with ten years ago. He's asked me to hold the fort in the meantime...and in the meantime, Christie seems to regressed into a "mean girls" mode...

11/8/2016
Dear Diary:
You should have see me on Charlie Rose last night! He wanted to discuss Bridge(t)-Gate and I gave him such a long overdue earful! I said I would have been "happy to appear at the trial" but now that it was over, "I'm not going to sit silent any longer" because "I didn't do anything wrong," the "what matters to me most is my reputation, and that's what I'm fighting for...I'm no longer going to be a punching bag on this." I bet THAT will get my poll ratings skyrocketing out of the high teens!



11/11/2016
Dear Diary:
You are NOT going to believe this -- President-Defect Donald Trump has decided to make Mike Pence the head of his transition team! Mike Pence??? Since when do vice president-elects ever given responsibility to do anything??? Oh, and in case I didn't get the hint, they demoted -- NOT replaced -- the two guys I brought into the campaign with me. I'll bet that son-in-law of his is behind this -- just because I sent HIS father to jail! Where does he get off being such a vengeful, vindictive bully??


11/15/2016
Dear Dairy:
Look at what that bastard Paul Muhshine wrote about me:

In the 1990 classic "Goodfellas"...Jersey's own Joe Pesci is told that he is going to become a made man in the Mafia. He is instead summarily dispatched with a shot to the back of the head because he did something that displeased the big boss. That's what happened to our governor last week - on a symbolic level of course.

Exactly what Christie did to upset Trump was not made public, but...My sources inside the Republican Party say that it was a collection of offenses...The people around Trump...concluded...that "Christie's all about Christie; he's not about you..."


That sounds a lot more like someting that Mulshine would say about HIMSELF -- why does he keep picking on me?



rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Fri Dec 23, 2016, 02:40 PM

153. This Blows Bridge(t)-Gate Out Of The Water...

Because he has no clandestine underlings to blame it on.

NJ.com (February 2014): The New Jersey Legislature plans to revive a bill giving Gov. Chris Christie the authority to raise salaries for top staff, enact a pension change that benefits a few elected officials and clear the way for Christie, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, to earn income from a book deal while in office...

To help secure votes for the proposal...(a)ll 120 legislators would see a $30,000 increase in the size of their budgets for staff salaries, bringing the total to $140,000 per legislator. The legislators pay their chiefs of staff and other aides out of that annual allocation, an amount that has not increased in more than a decade. Legislators themselves continue to earn $49,000 and would not see a raise.

The bill could reach Christie's desk as soon as next Friday, the lawmakers said. Among other things, it includes a provision that adds book fees to the list of income state officials like Christie are allowed to receive. Current law prohibits such outside income while in office.


NJ.com (February 2015): Every winning presidential candidate in the last 60 years has first published a book. So where is Gov. Chris Christie's?...(T)he 2016 field of GOP contenders have been teeing up 2016-aimed books at rapid-fire pace...

Under New Jersey state law, a sitting governor is barred from "receiving or agreeing to receive, whether directly or indirectly, any compensation, salary, honorarium, fee, or other form of income from any source, other than the compensation paid or reimbursed to him/her by the State for the performance of official duties." But that could change in the coming weeks or months.

Late last year, lawmakers worked on a deal that would rewrite the law to allow Christie to profit from a book deal in exchange for more money for legislative staff and judicial salaries..."We've got a lot of people working in these offices for far less than they'd make in the private sector, so if a bill comes up that lets the governor to profit from a book, and also increases the allotment for staffers, I'd certainly be open to it," said Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon...

Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester) said his bill to allow Christie to profit from a book could again gain traction if the governor "really wants it," noting that Christie may become increasingly motivated with each passing week. "The clock is ticking with his circumstances," he said.


NJ.com (December 2016): Tension is likely to be high at the Statehouse...as New Jersey lawmakers are scheduled to begin considering a pair of controversial bills linked to Gov. Chris Christie...

One (bill) the governor's office says could save money but critics warn could seriously hurt the state's newspapers. The other measure would loosen a state ethics law to allow Christie -- a Republican who is entering his second and final term -- to profit from a book deal while still in office. At the same time, it would allow millions of dollars in raises for high-ranking government employees that proponents say are long overdue. Both bills -- which have bipartisan support and are updates of past legislation that failed -- are being fast-tracked through the Democratic-controlled state Legislature.


NJ.com: ...(a) legal ad... is a notice that is required by law to be advertised in a local newspapers to meet public disclosure rules. Legal ads can be (placed by) municipalities announcing government actions or disclosing delinquent taxpayer notices...(B)usinesses and individuals are sometimes required to place public notices...The bill would allow businesses to place the ads for free.

Advocates say it would...save municipalities money...because (they) could post notices online and wouldn't need to spend anything on advertising...(T)he municipality would have to create a "notice website" that would have to be secure and searchable...cost(ing) money to establish and maintain...infrastructure, personnel and technology requirements...

The New Jersey Press Association estimates 200 to 300 jobs could be cut from the newspaper industry that's already reeling from a record decline in ad revenue if it loses public notice advertising...Christie has had a rocky relationship with the state's press.


It doesn't sound like his relationship with political expediency is doing well, either. Sure, the argument could be made that he ought to be able to write a book, and no doubt legislative raises are long overdue. But to turn them into Siamese twins -- at long last, has he no shame? And WHY does he still want to do the book? He no longer needs it as an instrument of national recognition. It's been about a year since his wife left her $750K part-time job -- maybe they're just hurting for money. But the real point is, each time he's tried to slip this deal through, the public has shouted it down for the smarmy backroom deal that it is...hmm, maybe Bridge(t)-Gate isn't the ONLY "rock" in Chrisite's relationship with the press!


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #153)


Response to Laxman (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2016, 12:07 PM

154. Just Say No To Christie, NJ Dems!

You would think that after barely getting out of Bridge(t)-gate alive, his public humiliation by the Trump regime, and his resulting low ratings, Christie would be a little more circumspect about being involved in anything for which he could be blamed directly. But noooo...

NJ.com: New Jersey lawmakers...began advancing a controversial bill that would loosen a state ethics law to permit Gov. Chris Christie to profit from a book deal while in office and also allow raises for a wide swath of high-ranking government employees...

The measure is now likely to be considered by the full Senate and Assembly on Monday -- only a week after it was quietly introduced...It's unclear exactly how much money the plan would cost taxpayers. Because the measure is being fast-tracked, the state Office of Legislative Services has yet to prepare an estimate -- though the figure is likely to be in the millions...


NJ.com: ...According to an estimate released by the nonpartisan state Office of Legislative Services...the bill...would cost the state and county governments $7.45 million in 2017 and at least $10.6 million in 2018 and beyond...

It appears the book deal part of the bill would not cost taxpayers anything. But the measure would allow all 120 members of the Legislature to increase the salary allotments for their staff members...


And you would think that after barely getting out of Bridge(t)-gate alive, his public humiliation by the Trump regime, and his resulting low ratings, New Jersey Democrats would be jumping on him as though it were fourth and inches at the Super Bowl. Indeed, the bill was originally "introduced" by a Democrat:

NJ.com: State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), the budget committee's chairman, said...that he's "not a fan" of tying the book aspect in with the raises but ended up voting for the legislation. "I'm being practical...There's a lot of good in this bill. If that is what's needed to make sure it gets bipartisan support and governor's signature? So be it."


But that was then, this is now. The Democrats are now in control of the state legislature, and Christie has neither political or moral credibility -- not to mention not having the support of the public. Why not just say no to him? Christie's "politics as usual" days are long since over!


rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2016, 12:39 PM

155. Christie's "Glinda" Moment

Last edited Mon Aug 26, 2019, 03:23 PM - Edit history (2)

NJ.com: At the core of Gov. Chris Christie's campaign to kill newspapers jobs is the claim that his bill will save money. He puts the number at $80 million...It's another lie. And I don't mean it's an innocent mistake. I mean it's a...whopper with a dark purpose behind it...

The last time this came up, the Legislature's own researchers found that locals might not save a dime, and that it could even cost them more to handle the job themselves online...(L)ocal governments (that) don't use newspapers...will have to establish secure web sites and hire someone to process...and track...these ads...

So where did Christie get the $80 million figure?..."Multiple state agencies sampled public notices in all daily newspapers in New Jersey over a consecutive 30-day period extrapolating the data over 12 months..." the press office said...(The) League of Municipalities...say this number did not come from them...A survey answered by 147 towns, which tended to be smaller towns, showed the average cost to be just over $7,000...

This is not about saving money. This is the governor's attempt to exact revenge on newspapers, and the reason is that we...point it out when he lies. What's depressing to me is that the Legislative leaders are joining hands with him. It's part of a deal, all struck in the back rooms, as usual. And it was bipartisan...


But like that scene in The Wizard of Oz, the N.J. Dems finally realized that Christie no longer had absolute power over them and dropped a house -- of representatives -- on him!



NJ.com: Finally, Democrats in Trenton are revolting against a craven backroom deal struck by their leaders, a sign of life in a party that seems to have lost its moral compass.

"I am so disgusted with my colleagues," says Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-Union). "There is no Democratic Party," says Sen. Loretta Weinberg. (D-Bergen). "Where are our core values?" asks Sen. Richard Codey (D-Essex).

...(T)hey are (also) grumbling about the sweetheart book deal, too. Why waive an ethics law to allow the governor to profit from a book while he is in office? Hasn't he ignored his job enough? And the big question: What is the motive? What did Democratic leaders get in return for these big concessions to the most unpopular governor in the country? They got a raise for their staffs and judges, but is that all it takes? Is their price that low?

I asked. They won't say.

What is there to ask? Christie has lost his political leverage, that's all. He hasn't got the support of either the Democrat majority in the state legislature, President Trump, OR the voters. It is now "safe" to just say no to him -- especially when the public interest is hanging in the balance.


NJ.com: In a stunning defeat for Gov. Chris Christie, state lawmakers...blocked a pair of controversial bills (Christie) was pushing for, stalling a measure that would end a requirement for legal ads to be published in New Jersey's newspapers and killing legislation that would have allowed Christie to profit from a book deal while in office...

Democratic leaders of the Senate said they would not even discuss the bills until it was clear how the Assembly would vote...Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) announced he was postponing a vote on the newspaper bill and that the book measure would not be reconsidered.

...Christie...has often cut deals with Democratic leaders and party bosses to usher through legislation over the last seven years...


Negotiating is not legislating, and bullying is not bipartisanship. Ding, dong, the Christie deals are dead!


rocktivity

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Response to Laxman (Original post)

Fri Jan 6, 2017, 11:20 AM

157. In Case You Need Further Proof That "Duplicating Duh Donald" Doesn't Work

Expert: Recent Trump Appointment ‘A Real Diss’ Against NJ Gov. Christie

President-elect Donald Trump (has) hired a political adviser (who) New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie cut ties with two years ago in the fallout from the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal...Bill Stepien, Christie’s former political guru, will fill the position of deputy assistant to the president and political director.

“This is a real diss against Chris Christie,” ...Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray...(said)...“There’s no question that this whole appointment is dripping with irony.” Murray (added that) Stepien was Christie’s enforcer, and he assumes that he will fill that same function in the Trump administration...


Not surprising, particularly after Christie's attempt at "Duplicating Duh Donald" with a Twitter storm. But was an "expert" REALLY needed to figure this out???


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #160)

Tue Jul 4, 2017, 11:17 PM

161. This is too freaking delish to miss Get thee to the greatest page

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Response to malaise (Reply #161)

Mon Jul 17, 2017, 01:22 PM

163. Get Thee to the Christie Crime Digest Volume V: The Epilogue

Last edited Mon Jul 17, 2017, 02:38 PM - Edit history (1)

https://www.democraticunderground.com/10661400


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #163)

Mon Jul 17, 2017, 03:34 PM

164. Ha

I want the book-could be called Beached!

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