Gov. Chris Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, implicated in the “Bridgegate” scandal, appeared in U.S. District Court in Newark for a pre-trial hearing Wednesday. Bridget Anne Kelly’s lawyer, Michael Critchley, suggested that the “highest ranking officials in the state,” presumably including Christie, were involved in an effort to punish Democratic mayors who failed to endorse the governor in his run for re-election in 2013.
Critchley said the administration cancelled meetings with Jersey City Mayor Stephen Fulop to get even. In Fort Lee, where Mayor Mark Sokolich also refused to back Christie, Kelly allegedly arranged with Christie appointees at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to create massive traffic jams by shutting down access lanes to the George Washington Bridge.
U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton denied a number of defense motions to keep evidence out of the trial.
Christie has not been charged with any criminal activity and says he does not remember any discussions of Fort Lee’s traffic problems.
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