The defense rested Wednesday in the Bridgegate trial after federal prosecutors completed their cross-examination of Bridget Anne Kelly, a former top aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Jurors in federal court in Newark then got 90 minutes of legal instructions from U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton.
Kelly continued to maintain that she believed the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge that caused massive traffic jams in Fort Lee in September 2013 were done for a legitimate traffic study and not to punish Mayor Mark Sokolich for his refusal to back Christie’s bid for a second term. She said she thought Sokolich and David Wildstein, a former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive, had been discussing the lane closings. This was even after Wildstein forwarded her a text from Sokolich and asked her what to do, saying Fort Lee’s traffic problems were only one of hundreds of things she had to deal with.
Bill Baroni, former deputy executive director of the Port Authority, and Kelly face prison terms if they are convicted. They both say that Wildstein, who pleaded guilty and became the star prosecution witness, was the architect of the scheme.
The jury is expected to start deliberations next week.
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