Two former staffers for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were found guilty of all charges against them on Friday.
Bridget Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, and Bill Baroni, a Christie appointee to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, have been convicted of using traffic troubles at the George Washington Bridge as a weapon for political retaliation.
Kelly and Baroni were part of a scheme they had hatched with former Christie ally David Wildstein. They orchestrated the traffic jams, using lane closings and changings to create the backups, as a way to punish Democratic Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich after he failed to support Christie’s 2013 bid for re-election. Wildstein has already pleaded guilty to the charges brought against him.
Sentencing isn’t on the schedule until late in February, but the most serious charge they have been convicted of carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years behind bars. The federal jury deliberated for five days before returning the guilty verdict.
Gov. Christie has insisted that he was completely and totally unaware of the devious plot his staff had concocted. So far, he has not been charged with any crimes. The Bridgegate scandal is a large part of the reason that his campaign for the presidency went down in flames of failure. Despite Christie’s claims that he knew nothing of the scheme, Kelly, Baroni, and Wildstein have all testified in court that Christie was absolutely told of what they were doing, both before and during the time of the lane closings, and he had no objections to their plans whatsoever.
After his own presidential campaign tanked, Christie threw his support behind Donald Trump. Apparently, he figured that his political career was already over, so he might as well kiss up to a guy that can afford to pay his bail when the time comes.
Featured image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images