New Jersey “Bridgegate” Trial

11.4.16

November 04, 2016  NJ Advance Media reports “N.J. lawmakers want to relaunch their Bridgegate probe, target Christie.”

“The leaders of the legislative panel that investigated the Bridgegate scandal said Friday they want to relaunch their probe following the conviction of two former Christie administration insiders in federal court.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) and state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) said the guilty verdicts reached by a jury on Friday were warranted, but they believe a key player in the controversial lane closures at the George Washington Bridge — Gov. Chris Christie — was left off the hook.

“In the aftermath of today’s guilty verdict in the Bridgegate scandal, I’m calling on the leadership of the New Jersey Senate and Assembly to reconstitute the Legislative Select Committee on Investigations to look into the actions of Governor Chris Christie,” Wisniewski said in a statement issued Friday afternoon.

“With two of the highest ranking members of the Christie administration found guilty of criminal conduct, it is time to find out what the governor knew, when he knew it, and what actions he took in relation to the shutdown of the lanes on the George Washington Bridge,” Wisniewski said. “During the trial, numerous witnesses offered testimony under oath that directly contradicts Governor Christie’s public statements.

Shortly after the verdict was announced, Christie said he was “saddened” by the convictions but vowed to correct what he termed “the lies that were told by the media and in the courtroom” about his involvement in the Bridgegate saga.”
Read more HERE.

11.4.16

Something smells! It appears the court does not want to touch on the “motive” behind the “scheme.” Is there fear that deliberating this issue will further reveal the involvement of the U.S. Attorneys Office in shielding Governor Christie from obstruction of justice and abuse of power?

The U.S. DOJ has already accomplished this! A complaint was filed with the US DOJ/OIG. The “events” that occurred with Bridgegate coincide with correspondences, e-mails, etc.regarding a demand for investigation into Bergen County and Fort Lee. Pursuit of a full investigation continued through September 13, 2013 and continues.

Office of the Inspector General (OIG)
Reply from Governor Christie
E-mails
Correspondence to Michael E. Hororwitz, Inspector General, July 23, 2013
DOJ-OIG latest response, dated September 19, 2013

The Bridgegate time frames coincide with requests, e-mails for an investigation into Bergen County Prosecutor’s and Fort Lee, N.J.
New Jersey officials’ original claim for the lane closures was due to a “traffic study” which later revealed there was no such study. Many suspected this scheme was an act of political retaliation against the Mayor of Fort Lee. They were caught in lies….was the “retaliation” against the Mayor another “scheme” to cover up the real reason? It has been consistently reported that “we want to know what the reason was?” There is probable cause to further investigate Christie’s “association” with Bergen County Prosecutor Molinelli and the cover up of state/federal crimes! With all of the “silence” from N.J. officials …. this is believed to be the “reason/motive” behind Bridgegate. Is there any doubt as to why Federal prosecutors would not want to delve into “motive”?

Bridgegate verdict: Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly guilty on all counts

NJ Advance Media reported “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 September 2013.”

“Kelly’s attorney, Michael Critchley, said his client would appeal and that he would continue to pursue a mistrial.

“Obviously, we’re disappointed,” Critchley said. “My client is innocent. This was a unique theory of prosecution (and) obviously we’re going to appeal.”

Moments later, outside the federal courthouse, Critchley said his client “was a scapegoat” but he refused to answer any questions regarding Christie. Kelly, who did not speak, stood beside Critchley and appeared to be visibly quaking.

A more upbeat Baroni also held a brief press conference outside the courthouse, claiming his innocence. He thanked friends and family here and in Ireland for their support, including members of the gay community.

“I am innocent of these charges,” Baroni said. “And I am very, very looking forward to an appeal.”

Baroni’s attorney, Michael Baldassare, said “it was a disgrace” that the U.S. Attorney’s office did not charge “powerful people.”

“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,” Baldassare said. “… They should have had belief in their own case to charge powerful people, and they did not.”

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman praised the outcome and said he was “enormously proud” of his staff, members of the FBI and Office of Inspector General.

Pressed by reporters on why others, including Christie, were not charged, Fishman said, “We indicted only the people who we believed we had evidence beyond a reasonable doubt … to convict in this courthouse.”
Read more HERE.

Last month, Bill Brennan, a Bergen County activist filed a criminal complaint against Christie, charging him with official misconduct for his alleged role in the plot. Bill Brennan based his complaint on Wildstein’s testimony. A Christie spokesman called the complaint “dishonorable,” but a hearing was scheduled for the charge in Superior Court in Hackensack later this month. Read more HERE.

Bridgegate prosecutor: Guilty verdict was a ‘just result’

“The guilty verdicts handed down to two former aides to Gov. Christie on Friday were a “just result” in a case that was fully and fairly litigated, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said.

Fishman, speaking outside of the federal courthouse in Newark, said a crime was committed, regardless of the defendants’ motive in the Bridgegate saga. “We believe that the evidence in this case more than adequately proved beyond a reasonable doubt that these two defendants were guilty of the crimes with which they were charged,” Fishman said. “That was us for a just result.”

“Pressed by reporters to explain why he didn’t charge others, including Christie, Fishman said he only sought indictment where there was solid evidence.

Earlier this week, defense attorneys questioned the judge’s instructions to the jurors which said that Baroni and Kelly could be found guilty without consideration of the motive for closing the lanes. Fishman said the pair were charged with misuse of public property and that the a motive was not necessary in considering guilt.

“Motive is always relevant in a criminal case, but it not an element of an actual crime,” Fishman said.

The sentencing guidelines for Baroni and Kelly will likely be higher than the 20-27 months for David Wildstein, the star witness for the defense who cooperated with federal prosecutors, Fishman said. ” Read more HERE.

November 4, 2016  NJ Advance Media reported “Jury deliberations will continue Friday in the Bridgegate scandal, after a day of back-stage legal wrangling and a mysterious request for a mistrial that was filed under seal on Thursday morning.

At the same time, the judge in the case denied a defense motion to re-instruct jurors on whether they should consider motive in determining the guilt or innocence of two former Christie administration insiders for their roles in shutting down the George Washington Bridge in 2013.” Read more HERE.

News groups seek court order to unseal Bridgegate mystery.

“A group of news organizations, including NJ Advance Media, have filed with the court in the Bridgegate scandal to unseal the record dealing with a request this morning for a mistrial.

The filing before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton said the case was one of the highest-profile trials of public officials in state history and it continues to draw national attention.

“It is essential to public confidence in the integrity of the judicial system that the public be able to fully understand and discuss the issues at stake as to the conduct of this trial,” said attorney Bruce S. Rosen of McCusker, Anselmi, Rosen & Carvelli, who is is representing the media group that includes Bloomberg News, North Jersey Media Group, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, as well as NJ Advance Media. which provides content for The Star-Ledger and NJ.com.

After a six-week trial, Wigenton sealed a portion of the case without explanation in the middle of jury deliberations, after a redacted request by defense attorneys for a mistrial, that gave no reason for the application. At the same time, assistant U.S. Attorney David Feder, in a separate motion, asked the court to seal the record.

“Because the filing refers to a matter that was addressed in a sealed courtroom on November 2, 2016, and because its disclosure would complicate the court’s efforts to ensure a fair trial, the government submits that, in an abundance of caution, the filing should be maintained under seal,” Feder said.

On Wednesday, both the defense teams and federal prosecutors shuttled in and out of the courtroom throughout the day on what they would only describe as a “legal issue,” but would not disclose what the issue was, or allow the public in the courtroom while they argued behind closed doors.

The judge has yet to put anything on the record indicating she ruled on the matter and the jury continued its deliberations for a third day Thursday.

Rosen, in his filing before Wigenton, said the issues involved in the case focus on allegations of public corruption, and are at the very core of the First Amendment.

“While we acknowledge the court may need to consider fair trial issues, there can be no dispute that the court is also constitutionally obligated to keep proceedings transparent and open to public view or provide specific reasons for sealing documents or the courtroom that pass constitutional muster,” he wrote. Read more HERE.

November 3, 2016  NJ Advance Media reported “Judge denies defense request to re-instruct jury.”

“The judge in the Bridgegate trial this afternoon denied a request to re-instruct jurors on whether they should consider motive in determining the the guilt or innocence of two former Christie administration insiders for their roles in shutting down the George Washington Bridge.

But she did not rule on a separate request for a mistrial that has been filed under seal.

Earlier today, defense attorney Michael Baldassare moved for a mistrial in the high-profile political case, but his filing was redacted of any information that would give a clue as to what was at stake. The U.S. Attorney’s office also filed a motion in connection with the request, asking that it all remain under seal.

While the matter remains a mystery, typically court proceedings involving issues with the jury are among those that can be put under seal.

At issue in the motion decided by the judge was a filing by defense attorneys who charged that jurors that been incorrectly instructed, after U.S. District Court Judge Susan D. Wigenton told jurors they need not consider the politically inspired motive in the George Washington Bridge scandal in determining the the guilt or innocence of the defendants.

In Wigenton’s ruling on Thursday, she said the defense “failed to set forth any dispositive factual matters or controlling decisions of law that have been overlooked or newly discovered information.”‘ Read more HERE.

Bridgegate jurors set to deliberate amid new legal issue

November 2, 2016  NJ Advance Media reported “3 questions Bridgegate jurors ask about charges spark heated debate.” Read more HERE.

Bridgegate defense asks judge to reverse order it says could ‘eviscerate’ case.

“As deliberations in the Bridgegate case continue, defense attorneys this morning asked the judge to reconsider her instructions to the jury that lawyers for Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni claim could “eviscerate” their case.

At issue was whether Kelly and Baroni, the two former Christie administration insiders charged with illegally shutting down toll lanes at the George Washington Bridge to cause traffic problems in Fort Lee, could be found guilty of conspiracy if their intent had not been to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich.

U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton said on Tuesday that motive was not an issue in the case, and told the jury the answer was yes. Michael Critichley, who represents Kelly, said the response would “direct a verdict of guilty.”

“While it is true that motive is not an essential element of every conspiracy, it is an essential element when the grand jury charges a defendant with conspiring to do so, and in fact, doing something he is authorized to do, but doing it for an improper purpose,” Critchley wrote.

He said the indictment charged a conspiracy to accomplish a specific unlawful purpose—in this case political retribution against the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Gov. Chris Christie. The attorney said the government must prove that unlawful purpose.

“It was an error to instruct the jury otherwise and the court should correct that error now,” he wrote, asking the judge to re-instruct the jury.” Read more HERE.

November 1, 2016  NJ Advance Media reported “Bridgegate jurors: Is conspiracy a crime if no intent of revenge?”

“One day into their deliberations and jurors in the Bridgegate scandal have begun raising questions that could go directly to the heart of the prosecution’s argument.

In a message to the judge, jurors asked whether Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni, the two former Christie administration insiders charged with illegally shutting down toll lanes at the George Washington Bridge to cause traffic problems in Fort Lee, could be found guilty of conspiracy if they did not intend to punish Mayor Mark Sokolich.

U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton’s answer of “yes” left the defense attorneys deflated and one expressed concerned that the instructions would “eviscerate” their case.

“By answering the way you are answering, you are directing a verdict of guilty,” declared Michael Critichley to the judge.” Read more HERE.

“Bridgegate jury begins deliberations: What are the charges?
The nine counts are as followed:

Count 1

Charges Baroni and Kelly with conspiracy to obtain by fraud, knowingly convert and intentionally misapply property of the Port Authority, an organization receiving federal benefits.

Count 2

Charges Baroni and Kelly with the substantive offense of obtaining by fraud, knowingly converting and intentional misapplying property of the Port Authority.

Count 3

Charges Baroni and Kelly with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Count 4 & 6

Charges Kelly with wire fraud.

Count 5 & 7

Charges Baroni with wire fraud.

Count 8

Charges Baroni and Kelly with conspiracy against civil rights.

Count 9

Charges Baroni and Kelly with depriving the residents of Fort Lee of their civil rights.

Read more HERE.

“Michael Critchley, in his closing arguments in the George Washington Bridge lane closure trial, implored jurors to consider the character of the main source of the government’s case. At the same time, Critchley, in his impassioned last pitch to jurors, insisted New Jersey’s governor is “a liar” who knew about the lane closures a month before the plan was put into motion.

Missing voices: The witnesses Bridgegate jurors never got to hear.

“Bridget Anne Kelly, now on trial in the Bridgegate scandal, testified she told Gov. Chris Christie on at least three occasions about the 2013 lane closures at the George Washington Bridge that led to her indictment.

Federal prosecutors never called the governor as a witness. Neither did the defense.

Kelly said she spoke as well to her boss, Kevin O’Dowd, then the governor’s chief of staff. He also did not testify. Jurors never heard from Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien, either.

“This case was perhaps more noteworthy for the witnesses who didn’t testify than for those who did,” remarked Robert Mintz, former deputy chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey and a prominent criminal defense attorney at McCarter & English. “Jurors will no doubt have questions as to why they never heard from others in the administration, including the governor, whose names were prominently mentioned by both the prosecution and the defense.”

Indeed, during a closed-door conference with Wigenton last week regarding instructions to the jury, both the defense and federal prosecutors hotly debated what jurors should be told about why certain people whose names figured during the trial were not called to the stand, according to transcripts of the meeting.

“The jury wants to hear from the governor,” said G. Michael Bellinger, a member of Baroni’s legal team.

Michael Critchley, who represents Kelly, argued that the failure to produce Christie and other so-called “missing witnesses” constituted a lack of evidence. Read more HERE.

At trial’s closing, someone finally takes on the bully named Chris Christie

10.27.16

The below article was updated at 4:54 PM.

 NJ Advance Media reported today “Jury summations in Bridgegate trial mysteriously delayed a day.”

Closings in the Bridgegate trial were inexplicably cancelled Thursday morning after a long closed-door meeting between the judge and the attorneys in the case.

“We have a legal issue to resolve,” was all U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton told the jury, after a nearly one-hour delay. “Things have come up.”

She said “providing we resolve the issue today, we’re going to resume tomorrow.”

The jury was told to return Friday morning.

In a closed door hearing on Tuesday, the defense had objected to the judge’s final instructions to the jury in which she said the prosecutors only had to convince the jury that there was a misuse of Port Authority resources.

Wigenton ruled that prosecutors did not have to prove that Kelly and Baroni intended to punish Sokolich as part of the conspiracy charge.

Rather, the judge said the government must only prove that the two intentionally conspired to misuse the agency’s resources. Read more HERE.

 NJ Advance Media reported today “After surprising ruling by judge, Bridgegate closing arguments begin today.”

“After nearly six weeks of testimony in the trial against Gov. Chris Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, and Bill Baroni, the governor’s top appointee to the Port Authority, jurors will begin to hear closing arguments today.

Before charging the jurors yesterday, the judge had closed-door session with prosecutors and defense attorneys on Tuesday and told the prosecutors they needed to convince the jury the pair conspired to misuse the Port Authority’s resources at the time of the closures.

She said whether Baroni and Kelly intended to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Christie’s re-election bid when they allegedly played a role in shutting down local access lanes to the bridge should not be considered as part of the conspiracy charge.

“It appears that the overall objective was obviously misusing Port Authority resources, and the end result goes more to motive as to whether it related to Mayor Sokolich and punishing Mayor Sokolich for not endorsing Governor Christie,” Wigenton said.

She continued: “And so that aspect of it, I do not think, needs to be part of the charge because it goes beyond what the object of the conspiracy is.”

The judge’s decision appeared to flummox defense attorneys, according to a court transcript of the closed-door sessions.

Michael Critchley, Kelly’s defense attorney, attempted to push back against the judge, arguing, “I thought that’s what we were doing (here) for the last six months.”

“I thought I was defending a charge that, at its core, beginning to end, was an allegation that Bridget Kelly and Mr. Baroni entered into activity to intentionally punish Mayor Sokolich for not endorsing,” he said. “Now, I don’t know what I’m defending.”

But jurors in the federal trial were told Wednesday to find a verdict on, among other charges, whether Baroni and Kelly misused Port Authority property, an authority that received at least $10,000 in federal aid in 2013. Read more HERE.

COMMENTARY:

Something smells! On trial are Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni. They were charged with nine counts of conspiracy, fraud and related charges in connection with the September 2013 toll lane shutdowns at the bridge.

Bridgegate closing arguments were to begin today. Jurors  were told Wednesday to find a verdict on, among other charges, whether Baroni and Kelly misused Port Authority property.

In an unexpected turn, “jury summations in Bridgegate trial mysteriously delayed a day.”

It appears the court does not want to touch on the “motive” behind the “scheme.” Is there fear that deliberating this issue will further reveal the involvement of the U.S. Attorneys Office in shielding Governor Christie from obstruction of justice and abuse of power?

The U.S. DOJ has already accomplished this! A complaint was filed with the US DOJ/OIG. The “events” that occurred with Bridgegate coincide with correspondences, e-mails, etc.regarding a demand for investigation into Bergen County and Fort Lee. Pursuit of a full investigation continued through September 13, 2013 and continues.

Office of the Inspector General (OIG)
Reply from Governor Christie
E-mails
Correspondence to Michael E. Hororwitz, Inspector General, July 23, 2013
DOJ-OIG latest response, dated September 19, 2013

The Bridgegate time frames coincide with requests, e-mails for an investigation into Bergen County Prosecutor’s and Fort Lee, N.J.
New Jersey officials’ original claim for the lane closures was due to a “traffic study” which later revealed there was no such study. Many suspected this scheme was an act of political retaliation against the Mayor of Fort Lee. They were caught in lies….was the “retaliation” against the Mayor another “scheme” to cover up the real reason? It has been consistently reported that “we want to know what the reason was?” There is probable cause to further investigate Christie’s “association” with Bergen County Prosecutor Molinelli and the cover up of state/federal crimes! With all of the “silence” from N.J. officials …. this is believed to be the “reason/motive” behind Bridgegate. Is there any doubt as to why Federal prosecutors would not want to delve into this “tentacle”?

10.26.16

October 26, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “Defense rests in Bridgegate as prosecutors question Kelly’s version of events.”

After six weeks of testimony, dozens of witnesses and declarations of innocence from the two former Christie administration insiders now on trial, the defense in the Bridgegate scandal has rested.

Summations are scheduled to begin on Thursday and the jury is expected to begin their deliberations on Monday.

Seven women and five men will decide the fate of Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff to Gov. Chris Christie, and Bill Baroni, the one-time deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The two are charged in a nine-count indictment with conspiracy and fraud in connection with a scheme of political retaliation targeting the mayor of Fort Lee over his refusal to endorse the governor for re-election.

Prosecutors say the two participated in a bizarre plan to close down several local access toll lanes at the George Washington Bridge, causing massive gridlock in Fort Lee over four days in 2013 as a way to punish the Fort Lee mayor for not endorsing the governor for re-election.

In a final day of testimony, federal prosecutors continued to methodically chip away at Kelly, focusing on the inconsistencies with what six other witnesses told the jury.

Those witnesses included Deborah Gramiccioni, former head of the governor’s Authorities Unit ; Matt Mowers, Chris Stark and Christine Renna, all former staffers under Kelly when she was in charge of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs; Jeanne Ashmore, director of the governor’s Office of Constituent Relations; Michael Drewniak, the governor’s former press spokesman, and David Wildstein, the government’s key witness in the case and the admitted mastermind of the lane closure plot.

Drewniak testified that he went to speak twice to Kelly in September and October of 2013, in the wake of the September 2013 lane closures.

The prosecutor again questioned her again and again on her decision to delete incriminating emails and texts, as a legislative committee investigating the lane closures began issuing subpoenas.

“I have not hidden that fact,” she said. “I was scared.”

Kelly added that “she was not the the only one” who deleted emails and text messages.

Kelly denied she ever sought to punish Sokolich for his refusal to endorse Christie for re-election. “We never had a bad relationship with Mayor Sokolich,” she said.

In her cross-examination, Kelly reiterated her contention that a now-infamous email she sent saying “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” referred only to a proposed study of toll lane alignments at the bridge, and not the political retaliation scheme as alleged by prosecutors.” Read more HERE.

“Christie not expected to testify in Bridgegate trial.”

“Closing arguments in the case will be made on Thursday and Friday, and the jury could start deliberations as soon as Monday.” Read more HERE.

October 25, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “Former Gov. Chris Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly will return to the stand Tuesday for cross examination by prosecutors for her alleged role in the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal.

Kelly spoke at length for the first time in three years when she first took the stand Friday and Monday to give her account of how the Bridgegate scandal unfolded. Her sometimes tearful testimony included claims that members of the governor’s inner circle, and Christie himself, were guilty of having “a memory issue” as the scandal spiraled out of control.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna briefly peppered Kelly with questions Monday afternoon about her role in the governor’s office as director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, or IGA. Khanna will continue his cross examination Tuesday morning. Here are four things he can be expected to grill Kelly on:

1. Deleted emails

Kelly told jurors she was frightened after she witnessed Christie demand from his senior staff to admit whether they had any knowledge of the lane closures during a December 2013 staff meeting.

“He’s having a memory issue too,” she declared, describing how she she began deleting incriminating emails pointing to her own knowledge once she realized the governor and senior staff were not acknowledging what they had been told.

Her decision to delete the emails, she said, as the Bridgegate scandal began to grow and she came to see the governor and his inner circle closing ranks. She recalled finding herself slowly coming to the realization that she was likely being made a scapegoat in the affair, she said.

But Kelly, charged with federal crimes for her role in the lane closures, will probably have to answer questions on why she deleted email evidence.

2. “Time for some traffic problems”

It was the email that rocked Trenton and made national headlines. In January 2014, Kelly’s now-infamous email to the admitted mastermind of the scheme, David Wildstein, was made public.

When Kelly first took the stand on Friday, she said Wildstein came to her in the summer of 2013 with a plan for a traffic study and that’s what she always believed the lane closures were all about.

3. “Is it wrong that I’m smiling?”

4. Flights to Tel Aviv

Read more HERE.

“Kelly says she used ‘poor choice of words’ in infamous Bridgegate emails.”

Prosecutors Tuesday challenged Bridget Anne Kelly’s explanations for the incriminating emails that pulled her into the 2013 lane closure scandal at the George Washington Bridge.

By turns defiant and at times near tears, Kelly insisted that the e-mails and text messages were at times a “totally poor choice of words,” but were written quickly as banter amid what she thought was a legitimate traffic study at the bridge.

She also contradicted the testimony of several prosecution witnesses, including Matt Mowers, a former staffer under Kelly, who now works for Donald Trump.

Kelly said she called Mowers a month before the lane closures to ask whether the mayor of Fort Lee was going to endorse Gov. Chris Christie for re-election. He said he told her there was no chance, and said she replied that was all she needed to know.

“It wasn’t a one-and-done,” Kelly recalled, saying the two exchanged far more information and that the call was not brief.

In her testimony Tuesday, Kelly denied she ever sought to punish Sokolich for his refusal to endorse Christie for re-election. “We never had a bad relationship with Mayor Sokolich,” she said.

In her cross-examination, Kelly reiterated her contention that a now-infamous email she sent saying “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” referred only to a proposed study of toll lane alignments at the bridge, and not the political retaliation scheme as alleged by prosecutors.

Kelly, though, admitted she deleted several texts and emails tied to the lane closures, as she began to fear she was being made a scapegoat in the affair. Read more HERE.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2016, 1:17 PM NorthJersey.com News reported “Bridgegate trial: Kelly takes the stand again, saying her emails were misinterpreted.” (This article cannot be located. The link to this article takes you to an updated article “Bridgegate trial: Kelly says she feared she was being set up.”)

Excerpts from the October 24, 2016 article:

“During that week in September, Kelly, a former deputy chief of staff to the governor, said she believed the closures were done as part of a traffic study, but she began having doubts soon after the lanes were reopened. And by the time Christie held a December press conference in which he denied his senior staff had knowledge of the lane closures, she said “it was like an alternate world.”

In her second day on the witness stand in her own defense, Kelly also explained her thinking behind correspondence during the week of the lane closures that suggest she was in on the lane reductions that prosecutors say were done to punish the town’s Democratic mayor, Mark Sokolich.

Kelly has testified that she first told Christie of a planned traffic study at the bridge in August, one month before the lane closures.

Kelly said she started getting confused on the final day of the lane closures, Sept. 13, after Port Authority’s executive director, Patrick Foye reopened the lanes despite the pleas of Baroni to keep them closed. The port’s chairman at the time, David Samson, a close friend of Christie’s, had also gotten involved. Wildstein told Kelly that Samson was helping to “retaliate.”

“None of that made any sense to me,” Kelly said, because Wildstein was “emphatic” about the success of the traffic study. “This was totally contrary to anything he was telling me. I didn’t understand it at all.”

A column in The Record the following day, Sept. 14, further confused Kelly, she said. The column, like two others that week, had said there was no communication about the lanes between the Port Authority and Fort Lee. Kelly said Wildstein had assured her that that wasn’t the case and that the stories were inaccurate.

“Everything that David told me, there was no reason not to believe him,” Kelly said. “I was very confused.”

As the weeks wore on, Kelly began to feel as if her job was in jeopardy. She said she had discussed the lane closures with Christie, as well as his chief of staff at the time, Kevin O’Dowd. But neither of them said they knew about the closures and allegations of political retribution, she said.

During a Dec. 2 press conference, Christie joked about the lane realignment when asked about it by a reporter. Then, on Dec. 12, O’Dowd called Kelly and asked her if she knew anything about the lanes and if she knew anything about retribution. Kelly said she told him no, only that there was a traffic study.

The following morning, Dec. 13, Christie called a senior staff meeting in his office and said that if anyone knew anything about the lane closures they should see O’Dowd or his chief counsel at the time, Charlie McKenna.

“I was like, he knew about Fort Lee – he, meaning the governor. Kevin O’Dowd knew about Fort Lee, Mike Drewniak knew about Fort Lee,” she said, referring to the governor’s then-spokesman. “I was at that point petrified, because now nobody was remembering that they knew everything about this traffic study.”

When Christie told reporters during the news conference that he had had that meeting and been assured by his staff that no one had involvement in the lane closures or that they were done as political payback, Kelly texted O’Dowd, “let me know what you want me to do,” according to evidence. O’Dowd did not respond, she said, but she wanted to speak wit him because “the governor’s words didn’t match my actions.”

“I just knew that it wasn’t going to be a good thing for me,” Kelly said.

Kelly’s testimony will continue today until early afternoon, when court breaks for the day.” The link to READ MORE will take you to this article:

“Bridgegate trial: Kelly says she feared she was being set up.” 

“As rumors about a political retribution plot persisted, Bridget Anne Kelly’s confidence that the George Washington Bridge lane closings were really part of a traffic study turned to panic as she suspected she was being set up to take a fall.

“I was petrified,” Kelly testified Monday, again taking the witness stand in her own defense. “Everyone’s livelihood depends on Chris Christie. Including mine.”

But even as her email that it was “time for some traffic problems,” became public, the same email federal prosecutors say ordered the lane closures, Kelly said, she was assured by her attorney at the time “that a job would be found for me” and “that I wouldn’t have to worry about anything.”

Christie fired Kelly the morning after that conversation and she hasn’t worked since. That attorney, Walter Timpone, is now on the state Supreme Court, nominated by Christie, and Kelly is in federal court fighting charges. Kelly and Bill Baroni, a former Port Authority deputy executive director, are accused of working with former agency executive David Wildstein to wreak havoc on commuters to discipline Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor, Mark Sokolich, for declining to publicly support Christie’s reelection.

On the witness stand for a second day, Kelly acknowledged that during her time as a deputy chief of staff to Christie, her office paid close mind to endorsements for his 2013 reelection bid. But Kelly said “absolutely not” when her attorney, Michael Critchley, asked if she punished Sokolich for not endorsing Christie.

To Kelly, the lane closures that began the week of Sept. 9, 2013, were part of a traffic study ordered by Wildstein, who she said was “the governor’s guy” at the bi-state Port Authority. Kelly said she had told Christie about the plan a month earlier and that there would be “tremendous traffic problems in Fort Lee.” At the governor’s direction, Kelly then told his chief of staff at the time, Kevin O’Dowd.

Kelly said she started getting confused on the final day of the lane closures, Sept. 13, after the Port Authority’s executive director, Patrick Foye, reopened the lanes despite the pleas of Baroni to keep them closed. The agency’s chairman at the time, David Samson, a close friend of Christie’s, had also gotten involved. Wildstein told Kelly that Samson was helping to “retaliate.”

“None of that made any sense to me,” Kelly said, because Wildstein was “emphatic” about the success of the traffic study. “This was totally contrary to anything he was telling me. I didn’t understand it at all.”

A column in The Record the following day further confused Kelly, she said. The column, like two others that week, had said there was no communication about the lanes between the Port Authority and Fort Lee. Kelly said Wildstein had assured her that that wasn’t the case and that the stories were inaccurate.

“Everything that David told me, there was no reason not to believe him,” Kelly said. “I was very confused.”

Kelly began to feel as if her job was in jeopardy. In addition to the governor and his chief of staff, Kelly said, she spoke with Christie’s top spokesman, Michael Drewniak, about the lane closures and a traffic study at the bridge. But none of them said they knew about the closures and allegations of political retribution as rumors swirled and reporters continued to ask questions, she said. Read more HERE.

October 24, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “Bridget Kelly back on stand in Bridgegate after notable first day. She still has yet to face her toughest questions, in what is expected to be a grueling cross examination by federal prosecutors into her alleged role in the Bridgegate scandal.

The three assistant U.S. attorneys who are prosecuting the case will have their turn and are expected to intensely grill Kelly on the emails and texts she sent before and after the September 2013 lane closures at the George Washington Bridge that raised a lot of questions.

The government alleges the lane shutdowns were orchestrated as an act of political retribution to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich with massive traffic jams, in retaliation for his refusal to endorse Gov. Chris Christie for re-election.

A former deputy chief of staff to Christie, Kelly spoke last week of the day-to-day back-stage political dealings she said she was only vaguely aware of, including what she called a “crazy plan” by David Wildstein, a long-time Republican operative who boasted of his connections with the governor. She said she didn’t realize until it was too late that there may have been a more sinister motive to the lane closures. Read more HERE.

“Bridget Kelly said she deleted Bridgegate emails as governor had ‘memory issue'”

Her decision to attempt a cover-up her involvement came, she said, as the Bridgegate scandal began to grow and the governor and his inner circle closed ranks, claiming to have no knowledge of the lane closures. She recalled finding herself coming to the realization that she was being made a scapegoat in the affair.

It all culminated in a Dec. 13, 2013 press conference at which Christie declared that none of his staff had any inkling of what happened in Fort Lee.

“Everyone’s life depended on Gov. Christie. Including mine,” she said, breaking down. “By Dec. 13, this was evident that this was something larger than me.” Read more HERE.

Kelly: Christie said to ‘let Wildstein handle it’ as Bridgegate scandal grew, read more HERE.

October 23, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “3 revealing moments in Bridget Kelly’s Bridgegate testimony.”

The former Deputy Chief of Staff for Gov. Chris Christie, Bridget Anne Kelly, took the stand Friday in the Bridgegate trial, speaking at length for the first time in the three years since the scandal broke.

The government alleges the lane shutdowns at the George Washington Bridge in September 2013 were orchestrated as an act of political retribution to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich with massive traffic jams, in retaliation for his refusal to endorse Gov. Chris Christie for re-election. On trial with Kelly is Bill Baroni, the one-time deputy executive director of the Port Authority, which operates the George Washington Bridge.

Kelly testified under oath on Friday she told Christie in advance about the plan to close toll lanes at the George Washington Bridge in 2013, and said she had gotten his approval for what she thought was a legitimate traffic study.

But that wasn’t the extent of the details Kelly revealed.

Here are three things Kelly said during Friday’s testimony:

1. Christie was in the loop
Kelly told jurors former Port Authority executive David Wildstein asked her on Aug. 12, 2013, to talk to the governor about a plan to add additional mainline access to the George Washington Bridge by closing off some local Fort Lee access lanes.

2. “Time for some traffic problems” was a joke

Kell’ys conversation with the governor occurred a day before she sent the now-infamous “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email, which she said was an innocent message replying to what she called a “crazy plan” by Wildstein.

The email has been considered a key piece of evidence by prosecutors in the case because they contend it suggested that she was putting the lane closures into play.

3. Christie’s alleged temper

Read more HERE.

October 21, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “Bridget Anne Kelly, who authored the now-infamous “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email, finally took the witness stand Friday to tell a federal jury her side of the story in the Bridgegate scandal that led to her indictment in a bizarre scheme of political retribution.

Earlier on Friday, Mike DuHaime, Christie’s long-time political strategist, testified that minutes before a news conference in December 2013, at which the governor insisted his top staffers had assured him they had no knowledge of the George Washington Bridge lane closures, the governor spoke with him on the phone.

The conversation lasted five minutes and ended just moments before Christie walked out of his office into a room packed with reporters and TV news cameras.

The governor claimed no one in his office knew anything about the lane closures. But by that time, DuHaime testified that he had confirmation from David Wildstein that Kelly was aware of the closures and that emails existed that proved she knew.

DuHaime’s conversation with Christie was at the forefront of defense attorney Michael Critchley’s grilling of DuHaime, who blanked on details of his conversation with the governor.

It is Kelly who faces the most graphic evidence in the high-profile case. She was the one who sent an email to Wildstein a month before the lane closures. Kelly will also have to explain texts she exchanged with Wildstein the week of the lane closures, including one on Sept. 10, 2013.

It was not until Jan. 9, 2014, after the “time for traffic problems” email leaked from a legislative committee came to light, that the governor—then gearing up for his long-anticipated run for the presidency—called a press conference and fired her.

But her attorney, Michael Critchley, has repeatedly told the jury that Kelly had taken her direction from others higher up in the administration. And he pointedly noted that on the day she sent the “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” she had lunch with the governor.” Read more HERE.

Kelly testifies Christie signed off on Bridgegate lane closures.

“Bridget Anne Kelly refuted the charges against her in the Bridgegate scandal, telling a jury she told Gov. Chris Christie in advance about the plan to close toll lanes at the George Washington Bridge in 2013.

She denied ever having any knowledge of the bizarre scheme of political retaliation alleged by federal prosecutors.

And she asserted that other higher-ups in the governor’s inner circle were all well-aware of what was going on in Fort Lee, long before it played out, and that no one seemed that concerned about it.

The governor has repeatedly denied any advance knowledge of the lane shutdowns in Fort Lee.

In a statement released Friday the governor’s office refuted Kelly’s testimony.

“As the governor has said since January 9, 2014, the governor had no knowledge prior to or during these lane realignments, and he had no role in authorizing them. Anything said to the contrary is simply untrue,” said Christie spokesman Brian T. Murray.

The first talk of the lane closures in Fort Lee happened in the summer of 2013, Kelly testified.

Kelly said Wildstein had called her that summer with what he called “a weird idea even by my standards.”

“He told me it was a backroom political deal with the former mayor of Fort Lee.

Kelly, whose testimony continues on Monday, still must explain texts she exchanged with Wildstein the week of the lane closures, including one on Sept. 10, 2013, the second day of historic traffic backups in Fort Lee. Read more HERE.

October 20, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “PA commissioner testifies Christie, Cuomo discussed Bridgegate aftermath. Scott Rechler, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top appointee to the bi-state agency’s board of commissioners, testified Christie and Cuomo talked about about a month after the Fort Lee lane closures, and that Christie expressed aggravation over Foye and his belief that New York was leaking information to reporters.

His testimony contradicts public comments Cuomo and Christie have made denying they talked about Fort Lee.

Michael Critchley, who is defending former Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly in the trial, pressed Rechler to describe what he meant when he emailed someone in December 2013 about having a “weird conversation with Pat Foye” about the Fort Lee closures. “I don’t recall,” Rechler responded. Read more HERE.

Wildstein termed a ‘cancer,’ as Bridgegate defense focuses on key witness

“David Wildstein pleaded guilty more than a year ago to orchestrating the Bridgegate scandal.

But for much of the day Thursday, it seemed as if Wildstein was on trial, as defense attorneys for two former Christie administration insiders facing federal charges sought to portray the prosecution’s key witness as a political con artist and “dangerous” figure who misled jurors.

Christie political strategist Mike DuHaime, meanwhile, directly contradicted Wildstein’s claims that he was told the lane closures were meant to send a message of retribution.

Much of the day, though, was focused on Rechler, who was called as a defense witness by Michael Critchley, who represents Kelly. Read more HERE.

Tom Moran | Star-Ledger Editorial “Big day in Bridgegate: Baroni testimony gets nailed.”

Mr. Moran “hits the nail on the head!” “If this were a legitimate study, prosecutors asked, why didn’t Baroni tell the local mayor, Mark Sokolich, who was in a state of panic, sending emails, texts, and phone messages about his “urgent matter of public safety”? The only plausible reason he froze out Sokolich is that he knew this was an underhanded operation, and he had no answer for him. And that act, along with lying to the Legislature, would make him guilty.” Read more HERE.

October 18, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “Bridgegate prosecutors portray Baroni as Christie attack dog. Federal prosecutors on Tuesday aggressively pushed back against Bill Baroni’s claim he was just following David Wildstein’s orders when access lanes to the George Washington Bridge were shut down and that he his only fault in the political revenge scheme was to trust Wildstein.

Instead, prosecutors painted a picture for jurors of Gov. Chris Christie’s top appointee to the Port Authority as someone close to the governor who, at times, acted as Christie’s attack dog. Read more HERE.

6 surprises from Bill Baroni’s Bridgegate testimony

Here are some of the highlights from Baroni’s day on the stand.

A better day for Christie?

Rube or rabble-rouser?

Bill Baroni, FBI informant
Baroni’s secret life as an FBI informant came out in opening statements, but he provided more detail on the side job Monday, saying he met about every other month with an FBI agent to give him information and “context” about what was going on in Trenton.

“I was serving a role of providing context in what was happening in state government, budgets, with programs, how things worked, whether or not I heard things around the Statehouse,” Baroni said. “It was casual conversations once every other month or so.”

Asked by defense attorney Jennifer Mara if he was in trouble of some sort, Baroni responded: “No, no. In fact I was told the opposite.”

He said he assumed the agent contacted him because Baroni, a former assemblyman and state senator, had run on a platform of ethics.

The conversations persisted for about six years and later included a second FBI agent. Baroni said he believed they ended because the agent retired.

Mara didn’t ask — and Baroni didn’t offer — if the information he provided led to any criminal investigations.

The Port Authority a ‘crazy’ place to work

Pregnant pause

Searching for his mother

Read more HERE.

October 17, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “Bill Baroni took the stand Monday to refute charges that he used the the world’s busiest bridge as a tool of political retribution.” Read more HERE.

Baroni says he did not know lane closures were revenge plot maintaining he knew nothing about a plot to punish the mayor of Fort Lee”. Read more HERE.

“Baroni also disputed an explosive claim by Wildstein that the two men told Gov. Chris Christie about the plot to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing the governor at a 9/11 ceremony in New York City in 2013.

Baroni said that he believed and trusted Wildstein, a political appointee to the Port Authority and the acknowledged mastermind of the lane closure scheme in September 2013.” Read more HERE.

October 16, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “Bridgegate trial: What if Kelly implicates Christie on the stand?

As the Bridgegate trial moves into its fifth week, the governor remains a key figure in the complex legal battle unfolding in the federal courthouse.” Read more HERE.

10.17.16

Bridgegate defendant Baroni expected to take the stand Monday. Read more HERE.

October 14, 2016 The Jersey Journal reports “Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop likely will not take the witness stand in the Bridgegate trial after all.

Federal prosecutors rested their case yesterday without calling Fulop, and defense attorneys said today they do not expect to call the mayor to the witness stand either.

Fulop was expected to testify on behalf of the prosecution to discuss efforts Gov. Chris Christie’s allies made starting in 2012 to win the mayor’s endorsement of the Republican governor’s re-election campaign.

Federal prosecutors have alleged Christie’s allies targeted Fulop as well as the Fort Lee mayor after the two Democrats said they would not support Christie in 2013.

Asked in City Hall yesterday whether he believed he would avoid the witness stand altogether, Fulop said, “The prosecution rested. What does that tell you?”
Read more HERE.

October 14, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports”Bridgegate misconduct complaint against Christie: What happens next?” A judge has allowed an official misconduct complaint against Gov. Chris Christie over his role in the Bridgegate scandal to proceed, but top criminal defense attorneys and former prosecutors say it’s tough to predict what happens next because those who handle such matters have been appointed by the governor.

“This is a mess, because the road ahead is fraught with political peril and conflict of interest,” said Stanley M. Brand, a former general counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives.

A judge ruled Thursday that enough probable cause exists for a citizen’s official misconduct complaint against Gov. Christie to move forward.

It was referred to Gurbir Grewal a Christie appointee whom the governor only last month re-nominated to serve as acting Bergen County Prosecutor. As such, Grewal serves at the pleasure of the governor.

State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), the Senate Majority Leader, told NJ Advance Media on Thursday she anticipated the Bergen prosecutor to recuse himself and the attorney general to do the same.

She said that while she was considering legislation requiring a special prosecutor, but said that for now, “we are all waiting to see what step number two is.” Read more HERE.

7 lies revealed during Bridgegate trial

Here are seven times witnesses under oath admitted or conceded they either lied or were not completely honest about circumstances surrounding the Bridgegate scandal.

1. Pat Foye: “Immaterial”

2. Mark Sokolich’s phony op-ed
The mayor had been consistently asked for weeks by reporters about what he believed the motive was for the lane closures. In the op-ed, he wrote that he did not believe the access lanes to the bridge were closed as result of punishment for refusing to endorse Christie’s re-election bid.

“This is simply not true, Sokolich wrote. “I have consistently and without deviation stated on the record that in no way do I believe that these lane closures are a result of my refusal to support the governor,” Sokolich wrote.

3. Wildstein’s ‘degree’

4. Wildstein to P.A. officials: “It was a a traffic study”

5. Port Authority’s “internal review”

6. Police department’s bogus statement

7. Baroni pressures police: “He’s full of [expletive]!”

Read more HERE.

October 13, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “Governor’s chief counsel testifies he saw “nothing nefarious” in Bridgegate.

The first witness for the defense Thursday afternoon was Charles McKenna, former chief counsel to the governor, who was tasked to fire Wildstein and Baroni in December 2013 as the extent of the scandal began to come to light.

A final prosecution witness, FBI special agent Michelle Pickels, testified that a search of Kelly’s private email account found several incriminating emails that had been sent to David Wildstein, the architect of the lane closure scheme, were missing.

The missing emails included the now infamous August 2013 message from Kelly to Wildstein that said: “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”

Pickels said she could not tell when they were removed, or why.

Prosecutors rested their case Thursday after showing the jury a video of Baroni’s November 2013 testimony in which he misled a state legislative committee on the lane closures, claiming they were part of a planned traffic study.” Read more HERE.

On October 13, 2016 The Observer reports “Federal Prosecutors Rest Their Case in Bridgegate Trial. After nearly four weeks of trial in the Fort Lee lane closure trial, federal prosecutors rested their case on Thursday. In the weeks of testimony, the star witness for the prosecution, David Wildstein, acted as a cooperating witness as part of the plea deal he forged after already admitting his role in reducing the number of local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in September 2013.

Wildstein claims that he conspired with the defendants as an act of political retribution against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for his failure to endorse the New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for re-election.

With the prosecution done presenting their evidence, defense attorneys will now use the coming weeks to attempt to convince the jury that the story laid down by Wildstein is a misrepresentation of facts where their clients are concerned. On trial are former Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority Bill Baroni (Christie’s highest appointee at the agency at the time of the lane reduction) and Bridget Anne Kelly, the former Christie Deputy Chief of Staff. Their attorneys are Michel Baldassare and Michael Critchley, respectively.

During his legislative testimony, Baroni also mentioned Port Authority PBA President Paul Nunziato and Vice President Michael DeFilippis and claimed that the two officers requested the traffic study. During their Tuesday testimony, Nunziato and DeFilippis claimed they were asked to lie by Baroni and take some responsibility for the lane realignment. The footage from the legislative hearing underscores that as the two officers said, Baroni proceeded with the statement despite their refusal to take responsibility for the closures.

Baroni is expected to testify in court as early as next week with Kelly likely to testify the following week. They face nine counts of conspiracy, fraud and related charges.” Read more HERE.

October 13, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “Bridgegate official misconduct complaint against Christie can move forward.”

“Enough probable cause exists for a citizen’s official misconduct complaint against Gov. Chris Christie to move forward in connection with the governor’s alleged failure to stop politically-motivated lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in 2013, a judge in Bergen County ruled Thursday.

The complaint by Bill Brennan, a retired Teaneck firefighter and citizen activist, alleges that Christie knew of the closures while they were happening and should have halted them.

“I’m satisfied that there’s probable cause to believe that an event of official misconduct was caused by Gov. Christie,” Municipal Presiding Judge Roy McGeady said. “I’m going to issue the summons.”

The governor’s office vowed to “immediately appeal” the ruling.

McGeady asked Brennan why he filed in Bergen, not Mercer County, where the governor’s office is located. Brennan said that it was because the lane closures took place in Fort Lee, which McGeady said was a satisfactory answer.

“It’s been dumped in this court’s lap so this court’s going to deal with it,” McGeady said.

McGeady said the case would now go to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, who will decide whether to bring an indictment against Christie. The prosecutor, Gurbir S. Grewal, a Christie appointee, would probably recuse himself, McGeady said.

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office declined comment. Read more HERE.

NBC New York video, view HERE. (Related: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Facing 10 Years In Prison As Summons Issued For Misconduct In Office, click here.)

October 11, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “The Port Authority’s police union’s top cop testified Tuesday he was “quite upset” when former Port Authority executive Bill Baroni told a legislative committee in November 2013 that his department had requested a traffic study be done at the George Washington Bridge.

That’s because Paul Nunziato, the president of the Port Authority’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said he knew what Baroni was saying at the time was a lie, Nunziato said.

“I never raised the issue,” of a traffic study, he told the jurors in a federal courtroom on Tuesday afternoon .

Prosecutors in the Bridgegate criminal trial called Nunziato to the stand Tuesday to bolster their argument Baroni lied to lawmakers to try and cover up the political payback scheme. Read more HERE.

October 9, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “Former Christie aide says Baroni alerted her about Bridgegate emails. Deborah Gramiccioni, tapped to replace Port Authority deputy executive director Bill Baroni days before he was pushed out by the Christie administration, said she first got wind of the scandal that would become Bridgegate when she went to talk to him about the job she was taking.

A confidante and former deputy chief of staff for Gov. Chris Christie who recently nominated her to become a Superior Court judge, she told jurors about what she described as a growing realization that there was apparently more to Bridgegate than the bogus cover story put out by the Port Authority that it had been nothing more than a “traffic study.”

Her testimony, though, was at odds with assertions by Wildstein from the stand that he had told many members of Christie’s inner circle about the scheme—including former campaign manager Bill Stepien and Michael DuHaime, a close political advisor.

Gramiccioni also testified in cross-examination about her suspicions over Wildstein even before her appointment to the Port Authority.

“I did not trust David Wildstein,” she said.

And she said there was a term they used about rules and protocols put into practice by Wildsten, like the so-called “one constituent rule” that they only person they had to please was Christie.

She said they were called Wildstein specials.” Read more HERE.

(On Friday, October 14, 2016 Gov. Christie formally nominated Deborah Gramiccioni for a state Superior Court judge position. Read more HERE.)

Bridgegate: What happened in Week 3
Read more HERE.

October 9, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “Bridgegate witnesses fill in details of Wildstein’s testimony. After the fireworks of David Wildstein, who testified for eight days about an alleged scheme of political retribution by allies of Gov. Chris Christie, prosecutors in the Bridgegate scandal have gone to their “B” list of witnesses to begin filling in the details.

And there have been moments in the trial when the raw, backstage gamesmanship of New Jersey politics have been put on public display.

Defense attorneys have hammered him on the multitude of lies he told as a political operative, his vindictiveness to those who crossed him, and his unswerving loyalty to the governor.” Read more HERE.

October 07, 2016 – Star-Ledger Editorial Board: Could this be Bridgegate: The sequel?

“All eyes have been fixed on star witness David Wildstein, but he’s not the only show in town. Our state just spent more than $3 million in legal fees and $1.5 million on a settlement, and won secrecy for what looks like another Christie scandal.

This one stars Ben Barlyn, a widely-respected former prosecutor in Hunterdon County who says he was working on a criminal case against a local Republican sheriff and her two deputies in 2010 when the state’s attorney general swooped in,  quashed the indictment and fired him for protesting.

He sued in civil court, arguing the case was dropped for political reasons, and has been desperately trying to make the indictments public ever since.

The sheriff’s office was charged with misconduct and making fake IDs, and one of the recipients just happened to be a major biopharmaceutical company with close ties to Christie’s administration. An accused undersheriff, Michael Russo, bragged that Christie “would have this whole thing thrown out.”

Then the Attorney General’s Office promptly killed the case, took all the grand jury transcripts to Trenton and waged a long fight to keep them secret.

Barlyn finally won the release of the testimony, though under this settlement, the state insisted everything he discovered must still be sealed to the public. That’s not uncommon for grand jury testimony, but the facts of this case make it look awfully suspect.

Other prosecutors and members of the grand jury also spoke out to say there was plenty of evidence to indict. And in a parallel suit, the sheriff’s claims that the criminal case against her was flawed have been rejected by three separate judges. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

The Attorney General’s Office says its decision to settle “was an economic one.” But if so, why not resolve this six years ago, before taxpayers shelled out $3.4 million in legal fees? After the grand jury testimony was released to Barlyn, did it fear it would lose this case?

The facts seem incriminating, and now we’ll never know the truth – unless the Legislature steps in. Political meddling isn’t a federal crime without direct proof of a favor, like a bribe, but it could be a state crime, of official misconduct. Since the Attorney General’s office isn’t about to prosecute itself, the Legislature must act as watchdog.

The public won’t trust in our justice system if it’s skewed in favor of the powerful. And given how much this administration has done to damage its credibility on integrity and transparency issues of all kinds – including the $43 million fine we now have to pay the feds, for shady oversight of Sandy dollars by a firm the state quietly fired – why should it be trusted here?

If a bridge can be shut down, so can an indictment. Lawmakers found much more than they bargained for when they lifted the rocks on Bridgegate. They should do the same on Barlyn’s case, and see what else crawls out.” Read more HERE.

October 7, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “3 ways public officials left their mark in Bridgegate trial. The George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal criminal trial has pulled back the curtain on New Jersey government’s inner workings — threats of physical violence and all.

The trial of former Christie senior aide, Bridget Anne Kelly, and top Port Authority appointee Bill Baroni — aided with the testimony of David Wildstein, Baroni’s former deputy — has revealed much about the state’s political gamesmanship.” Read more HERE.

October 6, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “Bridgegate witness takes back comments about Christie lying. Christina Genovese Renna, a former aide to Bridget Anne Kelly, was called to the witness stand Thursday.

Renna told the jury of the tearful conversation she had with Kelly as her boss was about to get fired, and the recriminations as the story finally went public.

At the same time, Renna walked back a highly charged text message she had sent to a colleague accusing Gov. Chris Christie of lying at a Dec. 13, 2013 press conference.

“It was a poor choice of words. I had no knowledge of whether the governor was lying or not. But it seemed to contradict what I had been told,” she testified.

She also admitted deleting an incriminating email involving the lane closures while watching the governor, although she saved a copy as a backup.

When the bridge toll lanes were closed the week of Sept. 9, 2013, Sokolich—who could not reach anyone at the Port Authority—finally got through to that IGA staffer, Evan Ridley, and expressed his frustration. Renna said she did not know then what was going on, but wrote an email to Kelly to let her know about the mayor’s call.

“The mayor told Evan that he has no idea why Port Authority decided to do this, but there is a feeling in town that it is government retribution for something. He simply can’t understand why that would be the case however, because he has always been so supportive of the governor,“Renna wrote. “The mayor feels he is about to lose control of the situation and that he looks like a [expletive] idiot.”

Months later, as a cover story of a traffic study by Port Authority was exposed and Kelly found herself in the middle of it all, Renna said she was asked by Kelly to destroy the email.” Read more HERE.

October 5, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “on Wednesday, the prosecution’s key witness in the case, David Wildstein, finally ended his testimony after eight days on the stand.

Christopher Stark, a former regional director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, or IGA, was called as a witness by federal prosecutors.” Read more HERE.

Who is telling the truth? 3 shockers in Wildstein’s latest Bridgegate testimony.
“Wildstein pulled back the curtain on new details of the Bridgegate scandal on Tuesday.
1. Christie and Cuomo spoke
2. Christie’s spokesman allegedly knew of the plot
3. Christie’s chief of staff got involved
Months before Christie maintained he found out about the nefarious motives behind the closures, his chief of staff pressed lawmakers and New York’s governor to put the issue to rest, Wildstein testified.

Christie’s then-chief of staff, Kevin O’Dowd, was “working with legislators to make the issue go away” in November 2013.” Read more HERE.

Here are three new revelations gleaned from Wildstein’s latest testimony:

October 4, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “Wildstein returns to stand today for fierce cross examination in Bridgegate trial.” Read more HERE.

New York Post reports “Cuomo helped Christie cover up Bridgegate: witness. After throwing ex-boss Chris Christie under the bus, former Port Authority exec David Wildstein spent his last day on the stand Tuesday targeting Gov. Andrew Cuomo — accusing him of playing along with a phony traffic-study report to cover up Bridgegate.

Wildstein testified that Cuomo ordered his top appointee at the agency, Patrick Foye, to “lay off Christie” by not challenging the bogus report, which was cited during testimony before a state legislative panel probing the burgeoning scandal.

Christie’s cronies had closed down lanes on the George Washington Bridge weeks earlier, claiming the move stemmed from a traffic study.” Read more HERE.

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COMMENTARY:

If Weinstein is a liar, has admitted he created the “scheme” of a “traffic study”, why are we to believe the motive behind the lane closures was “political retribution against the borough’s mayor”?

“The mayor had been consistently asked for weeks by reporters about what he believed the motive was for the lane closures. In the op-ed, he wrote that he did not believe the access lanes to the bridge were closed as result of punishment for refusing to endorse Christie’s re-election bid.

“This is simply not true, Sokolich wrote. “I have consistently and without deviation stated on the record that in no way do I believe that these lane closures are a result of my refusal to support the governor,” Sokolich wrote.”

Christie has covered up the misconduct, obstruction of justice with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office for years.

Christie is aware of a complaint against Bergen County Prosecutor, Molinelli. His response, click here. He sends info to AG Paula Dow, who ignores it, and then he nominates her for judgeship!

What about the James Sweeney case?  A former senior investigator for the Organized Crime Unit in the New Jersey Department of Criminal Justice….

More cover ups in Hunterdon County?  When Chris Christie’s administration quashed a grand jury’s 43 indictments against the Republican governor’s supporters in 2010, local prosecutor Bennett Barlyn objected. He was soon fired. Barlyn says the move to throw out the Hunterdon County indictments may have violated federal law — and that ties between New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman’s office and Gov. Christie may have improperly prevented a probe from moving forward. Read more HERE.

More ties to the USAG’s Office? A call was made to Christie, during his tenure as N.J. USAG regarding the original complaint against Molinelli, with ties to (then N.H. A.G. Kelly Ayotte.) The agent James Nobile, was rude, arrogant and told the caller “never call this office again.”

Well, this “Bridgegate” mess has the smell of 5 day old fish!

Whether Bergen County DA Molinelli is the answer to everyone’s question….”what’s behind the lane closing”, a full investigation is warranted!

This corruption runs deep!

10.2.16

Bridgegate: What happened in Week 2
Read more HERE.

September 29, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “Defense attorney Michael Critchley launched a furious attack on Bridgegate prosecution witness David Wildstein Friday, repeatedly calling him a liar, a thief and an abusive individual who would do whatever it took to further his own interests.

He pointedly noted the lies that were told to senior managers at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 2013, when he was planning a series of unauthorized lane shutdowns designed to send massive traffic backups into Fort Lee in a scheme of political retribution against the borough’s mayor.” Read more HERE.

Wildstein testifies top Christie aides helped prep Bridgegate testimony.  Read more HERE.

Wildstein’s Bridgegate timeline: Who knew and when? Read more HERE.

On Bridgegate, the stink around Christie gets worse  By Tom Moran
“The bigger problem for Christie is that the traffic allowed the FBI to pry off the lid of his administration. What they found inside, now revealed under oath at trial, is pure Jersey stink.” Read more HERE.

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Commentary:

If Weinstein is a liar, has admitted he created the “scheme” of a “traffic study”, why are we to believe the motive behind the lane closures was “political retribution against the borough’s mayor”?  What was going on “behind the curtain” with Bergen County Prosecutor Molinelli and Governor Christie?

9.28.16

September 28, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “Who knew about Bridgegate? 6 and counting, Wildstein says.”

“Over three days of testimony in the Bridgegate trial, chief witness David Wildstein has widened the circle of people he contends knew more than they have publicly admitted about the plot to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge.

Wildstein did not explicitly say on the stand that Christie knew the lane closures were meant to punish Sokolich, but he hinted at it as he cited the governor’s apparently sarcastic response.

Philip Kwon worked as a top deputy in the state Attorney General’s Office before Christie nominated him to be a justice of the state Supreme Court. The nomination was derailed when lawmakers raised questions about his family’s business dealings.

Wildstein said he informed Kwon of the reason for the lane closures in the fall of 2013 and Kwon helped Baroni prepare for his appearance before a legislative committee investigating the lane closures. Baroni told lawmakers during the hearings the closures were part of a traffic study, a cover story swiftly determined to be false.” Read more HERE.

“Who’s telling the truth about Bridgegate? And where’s Stepien?” By WNYC. View more HERE.

September 26, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “David Wildstein, on the stand in federal court for the second day in the Bridgegate trial, testified Monday he had long viewed Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich as an opportunity.

A high-level political appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Wildstein was working on the efforts led by the Christie administration to seek Democratic endorsements for the governor as he ran for the second term.

Wildstein said he believed Sokolich could be convinced to come on board.” Read more HERE.

“The prosecution’s star witness in the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal trial said Monday that a Gov. Chris Christie Port Authority appointee to the board of commissioners had advance notice of the political revenge scheme.

David Wildstein, who pleaded guilty to his role in the Bridgegate scandal, testified he told William “Pat” Schuber, who Christie appointed to the authority’s board of commissioners in 2011, of the plan to shut down Fort Lee access lanes to the bridge.

“I told Commissioner Schuber that in a couple weeks there was going to be significant traffic,” Wildstein said, referring to the meeting he had with Schuber only weeks before the plan was put in motion.

He said he told Schuber that “the instructions come from the governor’s office.” and it was aimed at Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich.

“He said he understood,” Wildstein testified.

Wildstein told jurors that weeks before the September 2013 lane closures that he sent Schuber an email telling him he wanted to discuss, among other things, a “local Fort Lee/GWB issue.”

The next day, the two met at the Riveredge Diner, Wildstein said, where Schuber was told of the plans to retaliate against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Christie’s re-election bid.

Prosecutors allege the move was retribution because the mayor would not endorse the governor.

Wildstein “viewed Mr. Schuber as a loyal member of Gov. Christie’s team,” he said. “Mr. Schuber said he understood.”

However, the commissioner denied he was ever told. Read more HERE.

“Wildstein: Bridgegate email about ‘traffic problems’ in Fort Lee was not a joke.” In September 2013, when Sokolich ultimately said “no” to an endorsement, Wildstein said he decided to use that leverage, by shutting down some of those lanes. The move froze traffic for days and also sent a message to the mayor, he said. He said he put it into play after receiving an email a month earlier from Bridget Anne Kelly, an aide to Gov. Chris Christie. The email stated it was “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”

In August, he got the now famous “time for traffic problems in Fort Lee” from Kelly.

He said he did not know at the time what prompted her to send it.

“I remember thinking I was surprised this late that the leverage would be exercised,” he said. Read more HERE.

Wildstein testimony draws more people into Bridgegate web. Read more HERE.

“6 surprising revelations from Wildstein’s Bridgegate testimony”
Wildstein pulled back the curtain on Monday in the ongoing Bridgegate scandal criminal trial.

1. Stepien knew about the phony coverup
“Mr. Stepien asked about what story we were going to use,” Wildstein responded, “And I explained to Mr. Stepien that I was going to create the cover of a traffic study.”

2. Christie commissioner given heads up

3. Fort Lee mayor courted early

Shortly after the Bridgegate scandal came into public view, Christie said Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich “was not on my radar screen,” and insisted that he didn’t know what Sokolich looked like and that he had never heard the mayor’s name “until all this stuff happened.”

However, according to Wildstein, Sokolich was very much on the radar of Christie’s staff, not long after he first took office.

“In terms of the role the Port Authority would play in seeking Mayor Sokolich’s endorsement, … when did these efforts begin?” Cortes asked Wildstein.”They began in 2010,” Wildstein replied.

4. Complete shutdown

5. Joe D gets some “bank funds”

6. Baroni chose lane closure date to “maximize the impact”

Prosecutors say Gov. Christie knew about Bridgegate, view video HERE.

“Christie: I’ve told ‘the absolute truth’ about Bridgegate” Read more HERE.

Vox reports “Prosecutors say Chris Christie knew about Bridgegate. Why is he still running Trump’s transition?

“For years, New Jersey governor and Donald Trump transition chief Chris Christie has asserted that he had no idea some of his top aides were conspiring to cause a traffic jam in Fort Lee, New Jersey, in the Bridgegate scandal.

But in court on Monday, federal prosecutors asserted not only that Christie knew about the plan but that he knew exactly why it had been carried out — to punish Fort Lee’s mayor for refusing to endorse Christie’s reelection campaign.

So even if Christie had truly been unaware of his aides’ Bridgegate plan, the very fact that this scandal involved wrongdoing by top Christie appointees would have cast serious doubt on Christie’s suitability for staffing the federal government, if he hired people who were so willing to go rogue.

But if prosecutors are right, the behavior of Christie’s aides wasn’t a bug but rather a feature — because Christie apparently knew they tried to exert petty revenge on a town, and endangered its residents, simply because the town’s mayor wouldn’t play ball with Christie politically.

The scandal really is astonishingly petty — at the time, Christie’s reelection already looked reassured, and he didn’t even need this endorsement. So it’s deeply revealing about Chris Christie’s approach to politics and governing and the type of people he — and apparently Donald Trump — would like to put in positions of power.” Read more HERE.

The Observer reports “Weinberg on Bridgegate: ‘The Coverup Wasn’t Even a Good Coverup’
Co-chair of the legislative panel that investigated Bridgegate comments on witness testimony. Read more HERE.

New York Post reports “Ex-aide testifies Christie laughed as Bridgegate was happening.”

“Blowing the lid off Christie’s three years of denials that he was unaware of the plot, David Wildstein, the state’s former No. 2 man at the Port Authority, for the first time publicly stated that the governor knew what was going on — and heartily condoned it.” Read more HERE.

**********
Commentary

Testimony, thus far, begs many questions…and “connects more dots.” Is the real motive behind the lane closures “retribution because the mayor would not endorse the governor”?

July 23, 2013 correspondence sent to Michael Horowitz, Inspector General, DOJ.

August 2013 Bridget Kelly sends e-mail.

September 2013 Wildstein put it into play his “scheme” after receiving an email a month earlier from Bridget Anne Kelly.

On Sept. 9, 2013, “traffic in the borough almost came to a standstill.”

September 19, 2013 a response was received from the OIG.

Prosecutor asks Wildstein “when did these efforts begin?” They began in 2010 replied Weinstein. Correspondence from Governor Christie, March 29, 2010.

If everything was fine and the perks were good, until the mayor made it clear he wouldn’t endorse Gov. Christie’s re-election bid when on Sept. 9, 2013 the administration learned he was not going to endorse the governor for re-election, why would this scheme have been suggested to others in March 2011? Bridgegate timeline: Aug. 12, 2013: Bridget Anne Kelly expresses disappointment to Wildstein that Fort Lee Mayor Mayor Sokolich is not likely to back Christie.

Also of interest is the fact that William “Pat” Schuber served as the Bergen County executive for 12 years and his attorney is a Mr. Alfano. (1:30)

Is the real reason behind the closure because the mayor refused to “play ball with Christie”? There are so many lies, contradictions, why wouldn’t the ‘mayor” motive not be true? Governor Christie “played ball” with (now former)Bergen County Prosecutor Molinelli. There is more behind the Bridgegate scheme than meets the eye…when will this investigation begin?

If Governor Christie is not held accountable in the Bridgegate scheme, he has clearly obstructed justice in covering up a criminal complaint since his tenure as N.J. U.S.A.G.

With the recent update reported “”Who knew about Bridgegate? 6 and counting, Wildstein says.”, and the “in the fall of 2013” timeframe, view e-mails to Governor Christie.

9.25.16

If the “traffic study” was a lie and there are two different accounts relative to this being a scheme due to the Mayor of Fort Lee not endorsing Christie – and contradictions to this reason – then what could be the motive behind this? Could the “scheme” generated have been to protect Prosecutor Molinelli in the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office for cover up of criminal activity involving Fort Lee? And the County Coroner’s failure to uphold N.J. state law? Afterall, Christie was running for the Presidency and if this evidence were to surface…his public service would be over! Is there more political maneuvering behind the scenes?

Week 1 in the Bridgegate Trial

Christie’s Agenda Above All, Star Bridgegate Witness Says
By NICK RUMMELL (Courthouse News Service – Friday, September 23, 2016)

“Since Day 1 of the Bridgegate trial, disgraced former Port Authority official David Wildstein has been called Christie’s enforcer and “ventriloquist doll.” He has been called a liar and a fraud.

Today, Wildstein told the U.S. District Court that he and his former boss at the Port Authority had only one mission at the supposedly nonpartisan transportation agency: to further the agenda of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Christie installed Wildstein at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and is even said to have fashioned the title, director of interstate capital projects, specifically for him.

Wildstein held this position in September 2013 when he admittedly caused a four-day shutdown of Fort Lee’s three exclusive lanes leading into the George Washington Bridge.

Christie has repeatedly denied involvement in the decision to shut down two heavily trafficked lanes leading onto the George Washington Bridge. Prosecutors noted Monday that Wildstein will testify that Christie did in fact know about the shutdown, and its targeting of Fort Lee, as it was happening.

Supporting the government’s case that Baroni and Wildstein were on the same page, Wildstein pointed to emails the men exchanged in December 2010.

Matt Mowers, who served on Christie’s reelection team and currently works for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, testified earlier that Christie staffers had kept a spreadsheet of potential Democratic lawmakers for whom Christie had done favors. That spreadsheet was to be used to court those Democratic lawmakers to endorse Christie, Mowers testified. Read more HERE.

“Lawmakers may move to subpoena Christie over new Bridgegate disclosures”

“Dormant for months in deference to the federal investigation into Bridgegate, the Legislature’s Joint Select Committee on Investigations may be reconvened in order to get answers directly from Gov. Chris Christie about what the governor knew and when he knew it.

Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) said Thursday he wanted to ask Christie under oath about when he was actually informed about George Washington Bridge lane closures federal prosecutors say were made to clog traffic in Fort Lee and punish its mayor for not endorsing the governor’s re-election.

“I’d want to ask him that question: ‘Did you know?'” said Wisniewski, who’d served as the co-chair of the joint investigations committee.

Wisniewski and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), the panel’s co-chair, said they have conferred about introducing a resolution to re-activate the investigative committee. Weinberg said Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) told her they were inclined to allow that.

Wisniewski said “we’re strongly leaning towards” introducing the resolution to bring back the panel.

Weinberg said “probably well more than half” of New Jersey residents would want to ask Christie, under oath, “when he found out about the lane closures.”

Read more HERE.

View video – Sen. Weinberg – The Mastro Bridgegate report was a whitewash, click here.

View video – Bridgegate prosecutor: Chris Christie knew of closures, click here.

Related: Christie’s ‘defense team’ long ago anticipated he’d need the Sgt. Schultz Defense | Mulshine, click here.

September 23, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “5 ways the Port Authority ‘stonewalled’ questions about Bridgegate.”

“Defense attorney Michael Critchley, who’s representing former Gov. Chris Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly, accused the head of the Port Authority, Executive Director Patrick Foye, of “stonewalling” the public Thursday.

Here are five ways the Port Authority pushed back against anyone who asked questions:

1. Issue erroneous press releases

Despite being credited as the person who reopened the access lanes at the George Washington Bridge and thus freeing Fort Lee of days-long gridlock, Foye admitted to giving his seal of approval on a statement he knew at the time was incorrect.

The statement claimed “the Port Authority has conducted a week of study” at the bridge and the agency would “review those results and determine the best traffic patterns at the GWB.”

“And you knew that was false, according to you?” Critchley asked, referring to the traffic study.

Foye responded: “I didn’t believe it was true, yes.”

2. Stop answering press questions or ignore the press altogether

Foye’s chief of staff, John Ma, testified on Thursday he tipped off a reporter to the lane closures even before his boss ordered them reopened. Ma said he did it because he wanted the media to continue asking questions.

And they did.

In return, Foye admitted on Thursday he stopped answering press questions.

3. Call for an internal investigation

The press inquirers didn’t stop, so the agency launched an investigation.

“Now you have to come up with another strategy to deal with the media because they’re still asking questions and there’s only so many false statments you could put out, correct?” Critchely pressed Foye during cross-examination.

Foye disagreed with the assertion, but both men agreed as to what happened next: The Port Authority conducted an internal review.

“Now when the newspapers are asking questions, … you could say, ‘It’s under internal review, right?'” Critchley asked.

“That statement was made, yes, sir,” Foye responded.

Except, the review consisted of interviewing only three people — not including David Wildstein, who Foye testified he thought was the “culprit” of the lane closures — and then stopped after a few weeks.

But Foye and Port Authority officials continued to tell reporters a month after the internal review ended that they couldn’t comment on the closures because of the review.

“It was just a gimmick to say to the press,” Critchley asserted.

Foye disagreed.

But he also conceded, he was still telling the press a review was ongoing even after it ended.

4. Limit responses to official inquiries

Michael Baldassare, Bill Baroni’s defense attorney, pressed Foye during cross-examination on his limited responses he gave to the legislative committee convened to investigate the closures.

“Was your goal to answer, not just truthfully, but as fully and completely as possible?” Baldassare asked.

“My goal was to answer truthfully,” Foye said.

5. Threaten budget cuts

It wasn’t just the public who was stonewalled. Thursday’s testimony revealed Port Authority employees were bullied when they asked questions.

After fielding calls from Fort Lee officials in the midst of the lane closures, Christina Lado, the director of New Jersey Government and Community Relations, testified she made repeated attempts to reach out to Baroni to relay the concerns of Fort Lee officials.

At first, her calls were ignored.

Then, she received a “rather curt” phone call from Baroni, she said.

“He said to me that they had been looking at phone bills for (her group) and had found that we had high charges on our outgoing phone calls, so we needed to be careful and not to make any unnecessary calls outside, particularly to … New Jersey,” Lado said.

She conceded it was a odd message to receive because Baroni never concerned himself with her department’s budget in the past.

“What I took from that is he did not want me to call back Fort Lee,” she said.

Read more HERE.

“Wildstein testifies at Bridgegate trial.”

“David Wildstein, the admitted architect of the Bridgegate scandal cast by defense attorneys as an “evil mastermind,” spoke publicly for the first time Friday, talking about his role in the 2013 scheme to close toll lanes at the George Washington Bridge.

Taking the stand at the Bridgegate trial in the federal courthouse in Newark, Wildstein described his focus on supporting the agenda of Gov. Chris Christie while he worked as a top political appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

“My job was to advance Gov. Christie’s agenda. My expectation is that I would be tough,” Wildstein said.

He said he had a “one-constituent” rule: “The only person that mattered was Gov. Christie,” he explained.

Wildstein, 55, who has already pleaded guilty in his involvement in the scheme, is the government’s key witness in the high-profile corruption case that weighed down Christie’s ill-fated presidential run and may ultimately have doomed it.

Federal prosecutors have acknowledged that Wildstein was no angel and told the jury earlier this week that he was the one who came up with the idea to use the toll lanes to hurt the mayor— whose frantic calls abut the gridlock that had gripped his town over four days in September 2013 were allegedly ignored by Baroni.

But they said Kelly instructed Wildstein to take that action in an email a month earlier, telling him it was “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” and that Baroni blessed the plan.” Read more HERE.

“Matt Mowers Former Christie Aide Testfies At Bridgegate Trial About How Office Handed Out Favors”

Mowers worked under Kelly in the IGA from January 2011 to April 2013. At that time, Mowers left IGA to take a role on Christie’s re-election campaign.

After Christie’s 2013 win, Mowers left New Jersey to work for the New Hampshire Republican Party, where he stayed until joining Christie’s unsuccessful presidential bid. Read more HERE.

September 22, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “Gridlock, politics and 2 outright lies in Bridgegate trial.”

“On the third day of the criminal trial of two former Gov. Chris Christie allies charged with shutting down access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, two public officials admitted, to varying degrees, of having lied to the public.

The Port Authority executive director testifies on the fallout after discovering what was going on in Fort Lee, as its mayor conceded he lied when he denied the traffic tie-ups at the heart of the Bridgegate charges might have been politically motivated.

Defense attorney Michael Critchley, who’s representing former Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly, pointed them out Wednesday while cross examining two of the prosecution’s witnesses: Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich and Patrick Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority.

In November 2013, two months after the traffic jams that the mayor said ground his town to a complete halt, Sokolich had an op-ed published in The Star-Ledger, challenging a news story the paper had published.

The mayor had been consistently asked for weeks by reporters about what he thought the motive was for the lane closures. In the op-ed, he wrote that he did not believe the access lanes to the bridge were closed as result of punishment for refusing to endorse Christie’s re-election bid.

“This is simply not true, Sokolich wrote. “I have consistently and without deviation stated on the record that in no way do I believe that these lane closures are a result of my refusal to support the governor,” Sokolich wrote.

The mayor said he lied in the op-ed. Later, when given a chance to tell the court why he penned the false letter, Sokolich told jurors he wrote the letter because he was scared.

Foye, an appointee of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, had ordered the lanes reopened on the morning of Sept. 15, 2013, the fifth day of the lane closures. Foye testified he gave the order because he was mystified by the closures and suspected foul play at the time.

However, a statement was released to the press the same day that claimed “the Port Authority has conducted a week of study” at the bridge and the agency would “review those results and determine the best traffic patterns at the GWB.”

Foye had approved the statement, which was sent to him by Bill Baroni.

“And you knew that was false, according to you?” Critchley asked, referring to the traffic study.

Foye responded: “I didn’t believe it was true, yes.”

Read more HERE

“Tip to press about Bridgegate lane closures came from inside P.A.”

“The first thing Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye decided after learning of a scheme to cause major traffic jams in Fort Lee was to not reopen the toll lanes at the George Washington Bridge.

Instead, his chief of staff called a reporter, urging him to look into the issue, which later sparked an investigation.

Foye, testifying in federal court Thursday for a second day in the so-called Bridgegate trial, said he distrusted and disliked David Wildstein, who he believed had been the culprit behind the unprecedented lane closures at the bridge.

In fact, he told jurors he initially had taken to calling the scandal “Wildsteingate.”

Hated by perhaps “thousands” working at the bi-state agency, Wildstein was described by Foye as “abusive,” “an enforcer,” and someone who “terrorized people.” Some employees believed him to be monitoring their calls after he had a multiple-line attachment installed on the phone in his office, Foye said.

He had few friends — except for one that counted.

“He was protected by Chris Christie, correct?” asked Michael Critchley, the defense attorney for former Christie Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly.

Foye paused momentarily. “Yes,” he finally responded.

John Ma, who serves as Foye’s chief of staff and was asked to sit in on a meeting with Baroni when Foye first confronted him over the lane closures.

“I had deep skepticism there was a study,” said Ma. “The reason I made the off-the-record call was to have to reporter ask more questions. I didn’t want my name used. It wasn’t for attribution. I wanted the reporter to keep digging.”

Not long after, a state legislative committee began a series of hearings, ultimately leading a federal investigation and charges against Wildstein, Baroni and Kelly.

Read more HERE.

September 21, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “On Sept. 9, 2013, after the administration learned he was not going to endorse the governor for re-election, traffic in the borough almost came to a standstill.”

Five notable quotes from the mayor and others during the first day of testimony:

1. “We were completely shut down.”
2. “I immediately knew that that was not going to be good.”
3. “It was the worst traffic we had to deal with, except for 9/11.”
4. “That’s a bucket list item for a small town mayor.”
5. “I cooked for him one afternoon.”
Sokolich described his close relationship with Matt Mowers, who in 2013 worked in Christie’s administration’s IGA office. Mowers, who worked on Christie’s presidential campaign and now works with Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Read more HERE.

“Mayor admits he changed story about Bridgegate motive.”

For days, Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich said he tried working behind the scenes to end the nightmare of gridlocked traffic that had crippled his town, blocking ambulances, delaying school buses and angering commuters.

He sent calls, letters, texts and emails to the man at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey who had held himself out as his friend — Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni.

“My frustration is now trying to figure out who is mad at me,” he told Baroni in one text.

He said he asked how they might resolve the problem “quietly, uneventfully and without public fanfare.”

But Sokolich testified he heard nothing back — what he later learned was a strategy of “radio silence” by those responsible for the traffic mess.

A week later, after the traffic finally lifted—when Port Authority higher-ups learned that several local access toll lanes at the George Washington Bridge had been blocked without warning—Sokolich finally heard from someone in Baroni’s office, offering to schedule a meeting.

“Initially I said yes,” he said “I then cancelled. After what we went through, forget the meeting.”

The frustrations he felt for four days in Sept. 2013, when political operatives tied to Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election campaign allegedly orchestrated a series of toll lane closures at the bridge for his refusal to endorse the governor, played out again Wednesday in federal court.

In his testimony Wednesday, Sokolich said he figured out early on that the lane closures were “punitive in nature,” but did not suggest that they were related to his decision not to join other Democrats who had endorsed Christie.

However, he was pressured in cross-examination by defense attorney Michael Critchley over a letter he wrote to The Star-Ledger after the 2013 election. In the letter, he publicly denied that he believed the lane closures were the result of his refusal to support the governor, objecting to a story in the newspaper on the motives of the bridge incident.

Sokolich testified he did reach out to the governor’s office in an effort to end the shutdowns when Baroni repeatedly ignored his entreaties. He told assistant U.S. attorney Vikas Khanna he did not hear back from the governor’s office.

It wasn’t until months later, he testified, that Christie contacted him after the first emails between Kelly and Wildstein leaked out about targeting Sokolich. Those emails included a message from Kelly sent a day after learning the mayor would not give an endorsement, telling Wildstein it was “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”

In cross-examination by defense attorney Michael Baldassare, who represents Barone, Sokolich said he agreed to see the governor. After first rebuffing a request by the governor’s office, which wanted to fly Christie to Fort Lee by helicopter, the mayor met him behind closed doors in his office in municipal hall.

“Was it just a photo op?” Baldassare asked.

“What his intention were, I don’t know,” he replied.

He said the governor apologized for what happened and then told him “let’s get together in a couple of weeks.”

Did he ever hear from the governor again?

“No,” he said.”

Read more HERE.

“P.A. director: Bridgegate lane closures were ‘abusive decision’

Patrick Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority, wanted a witness when he confronted his New Jersey counterpart about a series of inexplicable toll lane shutdowns at the George Washington Bridge.

“I thought what had happened was—in my experience at the Port Authority—unprecedented,” Foye testified Wednesday in federal court.

The hidden drama that played out in the days and weeks after the lane closings came to light Wednesday as federal prosecutors and defense attorneys focused on the inconsistent stories and outright lies that were told in the wake of the bizarre goings-on at the bridge — a scheme allegedly orchestrated by campaign operatives tied Gov. Chris Christie’s 2013 re-election effort in a game of political retribution.

Foye, an appointee of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said he was mystified by the lane closures, and, more significantly, distrustful of the orchestrator, David Wildstein, a political appointee to the Port Authority who he recalled as a man feared by many at the agency.

Yet after ordering the toll lanes reopened, Foye acknowledged that he agreed to put out a press release prepared by Baroni asserting it was all part of a legitimate traffic study—despite knowing full well that the claim was untrue.

Foye, in his testimony, said the Port Authority never conducted traffic studies by actually shutting down roads. Upon learning about the toll lane shutdowns, he said sent out an email calling the move to block the lanes an “abusive decision which violates everything this agency stands for.”

Foye put his order in writing, he said, because he “wanted to be clear about what had happened and about what I had been told. I wanted to have a record.”

When Baroni, a Christie appointee, quickly lobbied to have the lane closures be re-instated, Foye said the deputy executive director told him “it’s important to Trenton.” Read more HERE.

September 20, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “5 surprising things we learned from first day of Bridgegate trial.”

1. Christie was told
2. Baroni was an FBI informant
“Baroni’s attorney, Michael Baldasarre, revealed during the trial that the former Republican state lawmaker was an FBI informant between 2006 and 2010. In essence, Baroni was an informant at the same time Christie served as U.S. attorney in New Jersey.

“The FBI wanted Bill, between 2006 and 2010, for leads on investigations that they were working on and for new investigations,” Baldasarre said.

“They wanted him to corroborate things that they had discovered and they wanted background on lobbyists and their interplay with legislators,” he told jurors. “That started in 2006 and went to 2010. Toward the end of that period, the FBI concluded that Bill had contributed significantly to the FBI’s Newark division.
3. Christie admin really didn’t like Tom Moran
4. Wildstein lied on job application
5. Presidential politics at play
Read more HERE.

“Police Chief Keith Bendul was introduced as the first witness in the Bridgegate trial Tuesday.” Read more HERE.

“Fort Lee mayor tells of wooing by Christie campaign.”

Despite assertions by Gov. Chris Christie in the aftermath of the Bridgegate scandal that the mayor “was not on my radar screen,” and that he had never heard Sokolich’s name “until all this stuff happened,” there had been a private lunch with the governor at Drumthwacket, the governor’s mansion in Princeton.

In the summer of 2012, he said Matt Mowers, then an IGA staffer, began broaching the subject of endorsing the governor.

Finally, he told Mowers in August 2013 that he could not endorse.

According to federal prosecutors, it was about the same time that Wildstein behind the scenes had come up with the bizarre plan to shut down some of the local toll lanes at the George Washington Bridge to pressure Sokolich. Kelly, who was then working in the IGA office, learned from Mowers that the mayor had finally said no and she sent Wildstein the email that stands as the best evidence that the toll lane shutdowns were meant as punishment.

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” she told Wildstein.

On the morning of Sept. 9, 2013, Wildstein allegedly ordered Robert Durando, the general manager of the George Washington Bridge, to cut the number of toll lanes dedicated to Fort Lee traffic from three to one. He told Durando it was for a traffic study.

Sokolich said that morning, as he left his driveway, he could see that traffic in Fort Lee was at a standstill.

Police Chief Keith Bendul, in testimony earlier in the day, said he also could get no answers from the Port Authority. On the morning of Sept. 9, Bendul said he quickly learned of the traffic problems overtaking his town. “I reached out to everyone I could think of,” he said.

He finally connected with Durando, who agreed to meet him at a municipal lot, away from the Port Authority offices in Fort Lee.

“I thought it was very weird. I thought it was very cloak-and-dagger,” Bendul testified. “It just struck me as very, very odd.”

“Public safety was being compromised nobody called me on this. I couldn’t get any answers,” he testified. But he said Durando would not say much and seemed nervous, if not afraid. He told the police chief only to have the mayor call Baroni.

“He told me if anyone asked that this meeting occurred, he would deny it,” he testified.” Read more HERE.

September 19, 2016 NJ Advance Media reports “After three years, a legislative inquiry, a federal investigation and one guilty plea, the corruption trial of two former allies of Gov. Chris Christie in the George Washington Bridge scandal finally gets underway today with opening statements before a jury in Newark.

On trial are Bridget Anne Kelly, the governor’s former deputy chief of staff, and Bill Baroni, once a close associate and deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the bridge. They are charged with nine counts of conspiracy, fraud and related charges in connection with the September 2013 toll lane shutdowns at the bridge—an incident that caused massive traffic problems in Fort Lee in what prosecutors called an act of political retribution targeting Mayor Mark Sokolich for his refusal to endorse Christie for re-election.

Questions remain. Will there be new revelations and will the testimony show just who knew about the scheme? Who were the unindicted conspirators who were involved in the plan, but never charged? And will former Christie aide Christina Genovese Renna—who is expected to testify at the trial—drop any further bombshells like the text she sent a colleague during a December 2013 news conference claiming that the governor “flat out lied” when he said none of his senior staff had known about the plot.”
Read more HERE.

“In opening arguments in the criminal trial of the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal, federal prosecutors said Monday morning that David Wildstein would testify that he told Gov. Chris Christie about the scheme to close lanes at the bridge at the very moment traffic was at a standstill in Fort Lee.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna said Wildstein will testify that he and defendant Bill Baroni made Christie aware of the plan in September 2013.” Read more HERE.

“Assistant U.S. attorney Vikas Khanna told the jury “We’re here today because not only was that conduct vindictive and mean spirited, it was criminal.” He said that Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Bridget Anne Kelly, who served as Christie’s deputy chief of staff, put their ambitions over their duties as stewards for the public.

Khanna, describing the chaos of the traffic jams that paralyzed Fort Lee beginning on Sept. 9, 2013, said David Wildstein, a former Port Authority employee who plead guilty to federal charges last year, will admit he was the one who came up with that idea.

The prosecutor added that Wildstein will testify he and Baroni told Christie about the scheme at the very moment traffic was at a standstill in Fort Lee during a Sept. 11 commemoration Manhattan.

Defense attorneys, meanwhile, took direct aim at the government’s star witness in the case, Wildstein, portraying him as an opportunist who was put into a powerful position for the sole purpose of fortifying the governor’s then high-flying presidential aspirations.

From initial claims that it was all a traffic study, to a political corruption investigation that reached deep into the administration of Gov. Chris Christie, a recounting of the significant events that began with four days of backups at the George Washington Bridge in 2013.

“In 2013, Wildstein took political directions from Gov. Chris Christie’s office …” It all came to a head in August 2013.

In a surprise revelation otherwise aimed at buttressing the honesty of Baroni—who is also accused of lying to the legislature when he testified that the bridge lane shutdowns were part of a legitimate traffic study—Baldassare told jurors that the former state senator had secretly cooperated with the FBI back in 2006 as an informant, at a time that agents were working on an investigation into lobbyists and legislators.

“They found again and again what Baroni told them was corroborated by evidence,” said the attorney, who did not discuss the nature of the investigation. 

Wildstein also communicated with the governor when Christie was serving as U.S. Attorney, according to Baldassare. Read more HERE and HERE.

N.Y. Times reported “Christie knew about the bridge lane closings…the closings were intended to punish a local mayor and prosecutors made the assertion during opening statements in the trial of two former Christie administration officials charged with closing the lanes in 2013 and then covering it up.” Read more HERE.

Baldassare suggested Wildstein had close ties to Christie and said evidence would show the governor referred to Wildstein as “his fixer.”

“Let’s not forget, the governor knew full well who he was sending to the Port Authority,” Baldassare said.

In the immediate aftermath of the Bridgegate fallout, Christie described Wildstein as someone he barely knew. Despite going to the same high school, Christie said at the time he and Wildstein didn’t travel in the same circles and that he had nothing to do with Wildstein getting a top position at the Port Authority.

However, Baldassare suggested evidence would be presented that could contradict the governor’s public statements.” Read more HERE.

**********

Commentary 

Been following this trial – and the evidence, in hand, requesting an investigation into the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office/Fort Lee, some of the officials involved;  e-mails/Faxes to Christie, FBI  AgentWeyson Dun, the Legislative Investigative Committee, etc. –  is the “plot” given to the media a “made for tv movie”?  People realize that Christie was looking for a “higher” position. But is the story behind the Mayor of Fort Lee the reason for the closure of the lanes – a diversion – from the real reason the lanes were closed? Since the tenure of Christie as N.J. USAG, he has been protecting Bergen County Prosecutor Molinelli in the cover up of a suspicious, untimely and unattended death…….and the filing of a fraudulent Certificate of Death! And the County Coroner violated N.J. State Statues on “unattended deaths.” Taxpayers of N.J. are further being “bilked” due to the refusal/failure of government  officials to investigate the possible “motive” for the lane closures. A complaint to the DOJ/OIG in D.C. was forwarded to the Executive Office of US Attorneys by the Inspector General’s Office…….then dropped! Covered up!  Why? The media has consistently asked “what is the reason behind the closure”? Perhaps the real motive will surface when a full and fair investigation is conducted into the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office!  Is Mayor Mark Sokolich the “scapegoat” behind the closure?  God forbid, Christie could not be exposed for covering up criminal activity in the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office as he campaigned for the presidency!

If the “traffic study” was a lie and there are two different accounts relative to this being a scheme due to the Mayor of Fort Lee not endorsing Christie – and contradictions to this reason – then what could be the motive behind this?

The time frame of events, e-mails, etc. coincide with requests, e-mails for an investigation into Bergen County and Fort Lee. The current claim is many suspect this scheme was an act of political retaliation against the Mayor of Fort Lee. They were caught in lies…is the “retaliation” against the Mayor another “scheme” to cover up the real reason? It has been consistently reported by the media that “we want to know what the reason was?”

The convening of the legislature’s investigative committee is warranted…and e-mails to the committee is a good place to start!

Also view “Bridgegate bombshell: Christie knew all along. Say good-night | Moran”

Mr. Moran, your questions could be revealed during this trial.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Game day for Bridgegate trial: How did we get here?

“The orange traffic cones went up just before 6 a.m.

Three days earlier, David Wildstein—then one of the ranking New Jersey officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey—had ordered the general manager of the George Washington Bridge, with little explanation, to cut the number of toll lanes dedicated to traffic from Fort Lee from three to one.

It was supposedly part of a traffic study.

“I was told not to discuss this with anyone,” Robert Durando would later tell a legislative committee trying to get to the bottom of the unannounced lane closures at the world’s busiest bridge—causing massive traffic jams in Fort Lee in September 2013, in what many then already suspected was an act of political retaliation.

Nearly three years later, Durando is likely to be among the first Port Authority witnesses called to testify, as trial opens this week in the so-called Bridgegate scandal, charging two former members of Gov. Chris Christie’s inner circle with illegally using the Hudson River span to play a game of political hardball.

The trial, which opens in federal court in Newark on Monday, ostensibly is focused on William Baroni, who served as deputy executive director of the Port Authority, and Bridget Anne Kelly, who was the governor’s deputy chief of staff. Wildstein has already pleaded guilty and is expected to be a star prosecution witness.

But with a cast of characters that includes a string of higher-ups going all the way to the governor’s office, in a narrative that played out against the backdrop of Christie’s failed presidential race, it is as much political theater as courtroom drama. While not charged or accused of any wrongdoing, Christie remains at its center of the story, even now, long after his hopes for the presidency crashed and burned in New Hampshire.

‘Time for some traffic problems…’
The plan to shut the lanes at the George Washington Bridge, say prosecutors, was put in play after Kelly spoke to Matt Mowers, then a campaign staffer, and got the final word: Sokolich was not going to endorse. According to the indictment, she reached out the next day to Wildstein on Aug. 13, 2013, with a message that to many represents the clearest evidence the lane diversions at the bridge were an act of political retribution.

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” she wrote.

“Got it,” he replied.

A state legislative inquiry was soon launched over growing suspicions that the scheme had been politically motivated to cause havoc in Fort Lee, quickly sparking a separate federal probe.

Prosecutors, following a 16-month investigation, ultimately charged Baroni and Kelly with conspiracy and fraud. Wildstein pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the government.”

Read more HERE.

Bridgegate jury selection begins: A timeline of events. Read more HERE.

Related:
The Bridgegate scandal, Christie’s white whale, will smash his career to pieces By Tom Moran | Star-Ledger Editorial Board. Read HERE.

Commentary:

We will be keeping an eye on this case. The time frame of events, e-mails, etc. coincide with requests, e-mails for an investigation into Bergen County and Fort Lee, N.J. New Jersey officials’ original claim for the lane closures was due to a “traffic study” which later revealed there was no such study. Bill Baroni’s Bridgegate testimony: the traffic study story begins to fall apart. The current claim is many suspect this scheme was an act of political retaliation against the Mayor of Fort Lee. They were caught in lies…is the “retaliation” against the Mayor another “scheme” to cover up the real reason? It has been consistently reported that “we want to know what the reason was?” Well, maybe THE reason will be revealed.

During the tenure of New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch (D) and Kelly Ayotte’s (R) tenure as Attorney General, Kelly Ayotte and Lynch covered up official corruption. The corruption and cover up extended to New Jersey, involving Fort Lee and Bergen County Prosecutor’s office. Read more and view documents HERE.

We will update this post as the trial continues.

Published in: on September 18, 2016 at 7:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte….Remove The Mask!

The Union Leader reports “Today, the U.S. Senate is expected to deliver a bipartisan vote of final passage on the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), a 128-page bill Ayotte and three other sponsors have worked on for two years.

Ayotte said in the past two years she’s fought to get into federal spending bills a two-and-a-half time increase of dollars — up to $468 million in the coming year.

And the Democrat seeking to unseat Ayotte, Gov. Maggie Hassan, underlined this fiscal reality as well.

The best thing this law could do, Ayotte said, is to help remove the stigma of addiction. “My promise is not to allow any of these people to become just statistics.””  Read more HERE.

The “best” thing this law could do is to help remove the stigma of addiction?

Why wasn’t (now former N.H. A.G.) US Senator Kelly Ayotte interested in the “distribution” of drugs in Farmington N.H.?

Why did she choose to cover up, rather than fully investigate, drug activity in Farmington, involving the Farmington Police Department?

Why did officers of the Farmington Police Department resign/retire….of just plain leave?
FARMINGTON N.H. POLICE CHIEF SCOTT ROBERGE RETIRING

Governor Hassan “mocks” (now former AG) US Senator Kelly Ayotte’s “support” of Donald Trump, yet Hassan continues to shield the official corruption/cover ups left behind by Kelly Ayotte. Hassan follows in the same footsteps as former Governor John Lynch. A.G. Joseph Foster follows in the same footsteps as former AG Kelly Ayotte.
New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan’s Campaign For U.S. Senator Uses Stephen Colbert’s Mockery of Kelly Ayotte’s “Support” But Not Endorsement of Donald Trump.

This brings back deja vu with Senator Patrick Leahy’s (VT) Judiciary Committee Field Hearing in St. Albans, VT, chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy. re: “Community-based Solutions to Drug-Related Crime in Rural America.”

He wasn’t interested in where drugs were coming from…..he was looking for Federal Funding!
Senator Patrick Leahy (D.VT.) Assumes Position In Presidential Line Of Succession…Are You Kidding Me?

Why are the same players ignoring the documented evidence brought forth by Mike Gill?
Mike Gill – New Hampshire State of Corruption Fighting “The Head Of The Snake”

Does (now former USAG) Chris Christie and current Governor of New Jersey “have their back” also?

Is There More Behind New Hampshire Corruption?

To add fuel to the fire….The assistance of Senator Susan Collins was sought in obtaining a full investigation into this criminal activity. She did nothing!

On Mon, Sep 22, 2014 at 4:27 PM, Goodwin, Cathy (Collins) wrote:

After you came to the office last week, Ashley and I reviewed the materials you gave to her. It is clear that this is a criminal matter and our office cannot be involved in any way due to the separation of powers established by the United States Constitution. We appreciate having you inform us of this situation, but there is nothing more we can do in regards to this matter.

Sincerely—

Cathy Goodwin

Cathy Goodwin

State Office Representative

U.S. Senator Susan M. Collins

York County State Office

160 Main St. Suite 103

Biddeford, ME 04005

207-283-1101/fax 207-283-4054

Who is BSing whom?

Are the people awakened?

Related:

Talkshoe Radio With Guest Mike Gill – New Hampshire State of Corruption

Mike Gill – State of Corruption Radio Broadcasts and Video archives, click HERE.

Christie Is Just “More Of The Same”….Will This Be The End Of Donald Trump?

The Hill reports “Trump campaign vetting Chris Christie for VP. And an unnamed source told CNN the governor has received the official paperwork for the vetting process.  Read more HERE.

Both Trump and Christie have released tirades against each other and that neither were qualified for the presidendency.

Newsmax Wires reported “Christie Hits Trump: Country Needs ‘Grown Up’, Not ‘Carnival Barker, Entertainer-in-Chief’ with Christie describing him as a one of the “carnival barkers of today” and declaring “showtime is over.” “We are not electing an entertainer-in-chief. Showmanship is fun, but it is not the kind of leadership that will truly change America.”

States Donald Trump “It’s ridiculous to back Chris,” pointing out New Jersey’s “through the roof” tax rates, nine credit downgrades and the George Washington Bridge closure scandal. Christie can’t win because of his past.”

Christie should spend more time looking after things in his own backyard.

“You know, the people of New Jersey want to throw him out of office,” Trump said.

NJ Advance Media reported on Trumps’ “Bashing of Christie’s Economic Record.” “Trump said New Jersey is “a disaster” in terms of its economy.  He “told the crowd that the state’s taxes “are through the roof.”

CNBC reported “Christie: Trump would hurt presidential credibility.” “For Christie, it’s an example of Trump’s penchant for drawing attention with gaudy promises that can’t be fulfilled. Another one: Trump’s “great line” about building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border and somehow forcing Mexico to pay for it. When you do that, it hurts the credibility of the presidency.” Christie “went on to say that some of Trump’s money-making skills in business aren’t transferable to government, since presidents cannot simply roll over political adversaries by saying “You’re fired.” States Christie “I don’t think it would be in the best interests of our party to have someone I don’t think would be an effective president as the nominee.”

The economy and building “the wall” are just two of Donald’s Trumps platform issues…Christie and Trump are definitely NOT on the same page!

Is the circus coming to town? Has showtime just begun? Will this be a circus made in heaven?

Why would Donald Trump choose “more of the same?”

Related: Is There More Behind New Hampshire Corruption? Click here.

Mike Gill Sr. Exposes the Corruption Circle, click here.

New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan’s Campaign For U.S. Senator Uses Stephen Colbert’s Mockery of Kelly Ayotte’s “Support” But Not Endorsement of Donald Trump

Maggie Hassan’s Facebook page quote “ICYMI: The mockery of Ayotte’s “support, but not endorse” position on Trump is not getting any better” includes Stephen Colbert Open Mockery of Kelly Ayotte’s Position: “She’s in Some Sort of Political Quantum State. It’s like Schrodinger’s Cat.” Read more HERE.

Governor Hassan “mocks” (now former AG) US Senator Kelly Ayotte’s “support” of Donald Trump, yet Hassan continues to shield the official corruption/cover ups left behind by Kelly Ayotte.

Letter to Governor Maggie Hassan, click here.

Hassan DID NOTHING!

Neither can be trusted!

Letter to A.G. Joseph Foster, intercepted by Richard Head, click here.

Related: FARMINGTON N.H. POLICE CHIEF SCOTT ROBERGE RETIRING, click here.

Is There More Behind New Hampshire Corruption? Click here.

BEWARE OF WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING!

New Hampshire State of Corruption – Radio Broadcast Recording With Host Mike Gill – Week 15

Listen HERE. (aired 3-18-16)

State of Corruption with Host Mike Gill on NH’s 107.7 the Pulse

Live Fridays at 1:00-2:00 PM – Call in 866-823-1077
Replay Saturdays 10:00-11:00 AM

Archived programs: Click HERE.

Related

Lunch And Reception With U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (NH) and Candidate Charlie Summers…Corporate Contributions Accepted…Connect The Dots! Click here.

Farmington (NH) Police Chief Kevin Willey To Retire After Getting Offer Too Good To Refuse, click here.

Great Expose On New Hampshire Corruption, click here.

Is There More Behind New Hampshire Corruption? Click here.

The assistance of U.S. Senator Susan Collins was sought in obtaining a full investigation into this criminal activity. She did nothing! Her office clearly stated “that this is a criminal matter and our office cannot be involved in any way…”  Read more HERE.

Attorneys “climb the ladder” for their participation in crimes, ie, Strafford County (NH) Prosecutor Janice Rundles, shortly after brushing “Farmington PD under the rug”, landed a job in the AG’s Office…the pattern follows in Maine, ie., Atty. Michele Robert, in concert with Judge Robert E. Crowley/others, left her private practice and she landed a job in the Maine AG’s Office….

Great broadcast Michael Gill!

New Hampshire State of Corruption Week 5 Radio Broadcast Recording With Host Mike Gill

Listen HERE.

Fox25 News reports “Electronic billboard with obscene word creates controversy in NH. Mike Gill, a local activist and owner of a business called The Mortgage Specialists, erected the sign on his building along South Willow Street, along with two other billboards in other New Hampshire cities.

The message accuses Sen. Shaheen and Sen. Ayotte of corruption, and uses an obscenity when referring to them.

Brian Sowa, a Manchester resident, said, “It’s not good, doesn’t put out a good image for the city, it definitely shouldn’t be there.”

But Gill told FOX25 his intention is to shock residents into listening to his message.

“I speak for thousands of victims,” Gill said. “I’m not offending children, I’m protecting the children in what I’m doing here.”

Gill runs a website called The State of Corruption, and has a radio segment where he discusses alleged misdeeds and extortion by top state officials.

Gill said anyone who is focused on the use of the curse word is missing the point of his protest.” View more HERE.

****************

Mike is spot on! Must people remain silent when corruption is rampant in their city because it “doesn’t put out a good image for the city”? Folks, the “image” is already out there!

Related:

New Hampshire – State of Corruption with Host Mike Gill – Week 2, click HERE.

SOC Week 4 Broadcast Recording, listen HERE.

Follow The Head: View HERE.

FAMILY COURT: TORN APART, view HERE.

Published in: on December 26, 2015 at 2:42 pm  Comments (1)  

New Hampshire Corruption Further Exposed On GrokTALK With Guest Mike Gill

“This is a very important radio show I was on that you really need to listen to. George Lambert was in attendance as well, and neither of us knew the other would be there. The Corrupt have been very busy since our video “Play For Pay”. I told you that video would have a dramatic impact, and it has. Please listen to this interview.” Mike Gill

Listen HERE.

Read more HERE.

Also view “Play For Pay”. HERE.
“Please don’t miss the opportunity this video comes with. It is Absolute proof of the corruption in the courts that are controlled by the law firms and Politicians that come from them, and the politicians that control the state agencies. This video will not only show corruption in New Hampshire, but also Massachusetts in their courts, and right into Pennsylvania, with evidence that there is an FBI cover up protecting the criminals from Penn National, and the politicians that they control.” Mike Gill

Mike gives “pieces” of the corrupt puzzle and talks about how the “corrupt” get state jobs.

Let’s add pieces to the official corruption “puzzle.”

Attorney John Kacavas was asked to defend Bill Miller in a false charge against him involving Farmington Police Chief Scott Roberge. Kacavas accepted a $5,000 retainer, but then changed his mind. Shortly thereafter, he landed a job in the U.S. Attorneys Office, replacing Thomas Collantuono who covered up a criminal complaint to his office regarding the cover up of criminal activity by law enforcement agencies/officials in New Hampshire. Read more HERE.

John P. Kacavas U.S. Attorney For New Hampshire resigns, click here.

Kelly Ayotte, during her tenure as Attorney General, covered up official corruption within the Farmington Police Department. Read more HERE.

Following the same pattern as John Kacavas, former N.H. U.S.A.G. Thomas Paul Colantuono “covered” for Kelly Ayotte. Read more HERE.

When Farmington Police Chief Scott Roberge retired in 2012, Officer Kevin Willey was appointed Police Chief. In April 2014, Willey retired “after getting offer too good to refuse.” Read more HERE.  Anyone know what “the offer” was?

Sgt. Scott Ferguson, deeply involved in the Farmington P.D. corruption and cover ups, resigned from the department and it’s reported that “Ferguson left to begin a career with the state Liquor Commission. ” Read more HERE.

The “players” in Mike Gill’s revelations are the same players in this case of official corruption in New Hampshire!

Does this ring a bell with Mainers?

John P. Kacavas U.S. Attorney For New Hampshire Is Resigning

NH_Kacavas2 (pic)

The Union Leader reports “John P. Kacavas, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Hampshire for the past six years, is stepping down as the state’s top federal prosecutor effective April 17.

“It is with no small measure of sadness that I resign as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Hampshire,” he said in a prepared statement. In the news release announcing his resignation, Kacavas did not indicate any future plans.”

Read more HERE.

Why the sudden departure?

Related:  

Great Expose On New Hampshire Corruption

New Hampshire Corruption Further Exposed On GrokTALK With Guest Mike Gill

Published in: on April 9, 2015 at 6:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s Aide Arrested In Prostitution Sting

PPH reports “David Wihby, state director for New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, has resigned after he was one of 10 men arrested last week in a prostitution sting in Nashua, officials said.

Ayotte released a statement late Saturday saying she was shocked at the arrest of a man she described as “a friend for many years.”

“David obviously cannot continue his duties, and I have accepted his resignation,” Ayotte said. “This is a very difficult time, and my thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved.”’ Read more HERE.

WMUR NEWS, click here.

David Wihby “cannot continue his duties” because he got caught. Senator Ayotte, former N.H. Attorney General, known for her political maneuvers, is not a sleeper when it comes to corruption. During her tenure as Attorney General, Kelly Ayotte brushed under the rug evidence of official corruption and cover up by Farmington Police Chief Scott Roberge and officers Scott Ferguson and Kevin Willey. When will she be held accountable? Is it likely with her friends in high places? Do you realize just how deep the corruption goes?

Is There More Behind New Hampshire Corruption? Click here.

The assistance of Senator Susan Collins was sought in obtaining a full investigation into this matter, as the players also involved Federal officials. Documents presented to Senator Collins on September 19, 2014, click here.

On Mon, Sep 22, 2014 at 4:27 PM, Goodwin, Cathy (Collins) <Cathy_Goodwin@collins.senate.gov> wrote:

After you came to the office last week, Ashley and I reviewed the materials you gave to her. It is clear that this is a criminal matter and our office cannot be involved in any way due to the  separation of powers established by the United States Constitution. We appreciate having you inform us of this situation, but there is nothing more we can do in regards to this matter.

Sincerely—

Cathy Goodwin

Cathy Goodwin

State Office Representative

U.S. Senator Susan M. Collins

York County State Office

160 Main St. Suite 103

Biddeford, ME 04005

207-283-1101/fax 207-283-4054

This is “whitewash”! Where does the buck stop? Is this…you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours?

When lawmakers become lawbreakers isn’t it time to speak up?

Is there an investigative journalist out there who has the guts to unmask the politicians who claim they are working for the people?

 

“Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“More Jersey Injustice”

““Beware of New Jersey,” warns Gordon VanGilder. The 72-year-old retired schoolteacher was the latest to fall victim to the Garden State’s gun laws — he was facing up to 10 years in prison before the Cumberland County prosecutor elected to drop the “unlawful possession of a weapon” charge against him. As this report shows, VanGilder was given the same felony charge for his unloaded mid-1700s flintlock as he would be for a loaded .44 Magnum.”

View video HERE.

Published in: on March 7, 2015 at 6:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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