Guilty on all counts. That was the verdict delivered by a federal jury in the trial of two former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s allies in connection with the closure of lanes in 2013 on the George Washington Bridge in an act of alleged political retribution, known as Bridgegate.
Gov. Christie’s former deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly, and Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, both faced seven counts of various charges including conspiracy, fraud, and civil rights deprivation.
Prosecutors alleged that the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge were part of a deliberate effort to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, who did not endorse the Republican incumbent Christie in his 2013 re-election bid.
Kelly and Baroni each face a maximum sentence of 86 years, according to Paul Fishman, the federal prosecutor in the case.
The verdict is a major setback in Christie’s political career, following a controversy that spans nearly three years and put a significant dent in the Garden State Republican’s presidential ambitions. Christie is heading planning for Republican nominee Donald Trump’s transition if he wins the presidency. But now he’s facing the prospect of an indictment.