October 26, 2020

US Supreme Court overturns ‘Bridgegate’ convictions

The US Supreme Court has overturned the convictions of two state officials who were jailed for their role in the Bridgegate political revenge plot.

The aides to then-New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had arranged a bridge traffic jam to target a mayor who did not endorse Mr Christie’s re-election.

But the court unanimously ruled that, as the scheme did not aim to obtain money or property, it was not fraud.

The traffic scandal helped derail Mr Christie’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Former aide Bridget Anne Kelly and former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey deputy executive director Bill Baroni were convicted on nine counts of conspiracy and fraud in 2016.

Prosecutors said the 2013 plan to shut down the George Washington Bridge was a way of exacting revenge on a local mayor who refused to back Mr Christie in his re-election bid.

The unannounced closures to 12 toll lanes on the bridge – an entry point to Manhattan – caused a monumental traffic jam for four days. Only one lane was available to commuters.

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