2Two former aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie charged in a bizarre scheme of political retaliation against a mayor who refused to endorse the governor for re-election were found guilty by a jury on all counts in the long-running “Bridgegate” saga, reports 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 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 Christie. Kelly cried and continued to sob as she heard the word guilty repeated time and again.
U.S. District Judge Susan 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. Kelly’s attorney, Michael Critchley, said, “My client is innocent. This was a unique theory of prosecution (and) obviously we’re going to appeal.” Baroni said, “I am innocent of these charges, and I am very, very looking forward to an appeal.” Baroni’s attorney, Michael Baldassare, said, “In keeping with the disgrace that was this trial, one of the things the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be ashamed of is where it decided to draw the line on who to charge and who not to charge. They should have had belief in their own case to charge powerful people, and they did not.”