Christie Associates Found Guilty

Two former associates of NJ Governor Chris Christie were found guilty of causing traffic problems for political gain. In what has been called "Bridgegate," Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni conspired to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge in 2013 as retaliation against the mayor of Fort Lee. At the time, Kelly was Christie's deputy chief of staff, and Baroni was the deputy director of Port Authority. Previously, two other aides admitted guilt in relation to the scandal.

The most incriminating piece of evidence was an email exchange between Kelly and David Wildstein, who leaked the plan. The message is clear: "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."

Christie emails

In a statement released after the verdicts, Christie says he's "saddened," but he continues to maintain his innocence.

Christie statement

Christie reiterated this point during an interview with CBS News.

But the verdict is bad news for Christie-and possibly for Donald Trump. On the stand during her trial, Kelly said that Christie knew about the plan, and text messages from another aide said he "flat out lied." Trump had named Christie to lead a transition team should he become president, and Christie is actively campaigning for Trump in these last days before the election.

Discussion Starters:

  • Does this verdict hurt Christie's chance of maintaining his innocence? Why or why not?
  • Assess his statement to the press. How effectively does he stay clear of the case and verdicts?
  • What, if anything, should Trump do at this point? He didn't choose Christie as his vice presidential running mate, but he's clearly a Christie fan.