Two of Chris Christie’s former allies were convicted on federal charges Friday for their roles in the Bridgegate scandal, a plot which created intentional traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge to punish one of Christie’s political rivals.
Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, and a former Port Authority official, Bill Baroni, were both convicted by a 12-person jury Friday and could face up to 20 years in prison. Another former Christie adviser, Port Authority official David Wildstein, pleaded guilty in 2015.
The plot was intended to punish Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich, a democrat who declined to support Christie’s re-election efforts, by throttling his town with traffic created by lane closures on the GWB, the highly-trafficked bridge which connects New York and New Jersey. Both Kelly and Baroni blamed the incident on Wildstein, who spent eight days testifying against them in the six-week trial.
Much of the testimony touched on Christie, who multiple witnesses testified was aware of the plot “before, during and after” the lane closures. Christie, Wildstein testified, wielded his power over the Port Authority as political currency and once “laughed” about the gridlock during an event at the 9/11 memorial
And although Christie wasn’t on trial, the conviction of two of his former hires doesn’t bode well for his role as the leader of Trump’s hypothetical transition team, which would give him a major role in hiring Trump’s staff should the orange megalomaniac win the election. Then again, maybe not—he’s still on the schedule to campaign for Trump tomorrow in New Hampshire.