May 1, 2015 8:24 am -

[su_right_ad]May 1, 2012, 2:00pmEST — We predicted that David Wildstein’s guilty plea on two counts of conspiracy in l’affaire BridgeGhazi would be the first shoe to drop. We were right:

Two key figures in the Bridgegate scandal — Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly — were each indicted on nine counts, according to court documents unsealed Friday.

Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Kelly, a former deputy chief of staff of Gov. Chris Christie, allegedly conspired to close the local access lanes of the George Washington Bridge in 2013. …

“Public officials must use government resources for proper government purposes,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said. “The indictment alleges, and Wildstein admitted, that the three defendants used Port Authority resources to exact political retribution against a public official who would not endorse the Governor for re-election, and concocted and promoted a bogus cover story to execute their plan and to cover their tracks.”

Wildstein admitted that the bridge closings were political revenge:

Wildstein, 53, admitted in federal court to conspiring with former Port Authority Deputy Executive Director William Baroni and Gov. Chris Christie’s former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly to “punish” Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Christie’s re-election bid. … He was released on a $100,000 personal recognizance bond in return for his cooperation with the government and faces 21 to 27 months in federal prison when he is sentenced on Aug. 6.

May 1, 2015, 8:25amEST — Grab the popcorn, because The Doc smells a plea deal for David Wildstein:

A former Port Authority official and ally of Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is expected to plead guilty on Friday to the first charges stemming from the 16-month federal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closings scandal.

The United States attorney for New Jersey, Paul J. Fishman, announced early on Friday that there would be a “proceeding of interest in a criminal matter” related to the closings at 11 a.m. in front of Judge Susan D. Wigenton in United States District Court in Newark. Mr. Fishman will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. to discuss the investigation, breaking his long silence over the inquiry.

Now that’s no surprise, as news about the pending plea leaked earlier this week. Here’s the part that caught our eye:

Mr. Fishman is expected to announce other indictments in the case, but it was not clear who would be among those indictments.

A couple of names to keep an eye out for will be former Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly, former NY/NJ Port Authority grand high poobah David Samson (despite Times speculation that he is not likely to be indicted today), and, of course, the governor and would-be presidential candidate himself.

For those not familiar with the background, the Times provides a primer:

Documents released as part of a legislative inquiry into the closings indicated that the administration had been trying to freeze out the town’s mayor after he declined to endorse Mr. Christie’s re-election.

The lane-closing fiasco set off a decline of fortunes for Mr. Christie, who had emerged from his 2013 re-election as one of the Republican Party’s most promising hopes for the 2016 presidential contest.

An investigation into what started as political payback — shutting down access lanes to the world’s busiest bridge to punish a local official — has come to include questions about patronage at the Port Authority and the effort by Mr. Christie’s administration and re-election campaign to secure endorsements from a broad spectrum of local officials.

Interviews and subpoenas have indicated that investigators from the United States attorney’s office have gone beyond the lane closings to also look into the administration’s efforts to conceal them as a traffic study. In recent months, the investigation expanded further to look into allegations that David Samson, a longtime confidant to Mr. Christie and the chairman of the authority, pressured United Airlines to reinstate a flight to an airport near his weekend home in South Carolina.

Several sources close to the investigation said this week that they believed that the indictment would not include Mr. Samson, but that an indictment involving the so-called “chairman’s flight” would come at a later date.


D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

23 responses to UPDATED: BridgeGhazi Guilty Plea WAS First Shoe To Drop

  1. Pilotshark May 1st, 2015 at 8:49 am

    May Day, May Day!!! good day to start.

    Stand By!! Stand By!! this Maybe a Maybe!!

  2. Anomaly 100 May 1st, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Ruh roh .

  3. dave-dr-gonzo May 1st, 2015 at 8:58 am

    I have a feeling that the NJ prosecutors will also go after the “low hanging fruit” first: Bridget Kelly, NJ GOP “playa” Bill Stepian, and former Port Authority exec Bill Baroni.

    • Dwendt44 May 1st, 2015 at 11:32 am

      ‘Course, with a guilty plea, he no longer needs to implicate the higher ups. If the judge was smart, he’d hinge the sentence on how ‘cooperative’ this fool has been or will be toward any investigation.

    • dave-dr-gonzo May 1st, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      Okay, admit it, sports fans; I got 2 out of 3.

      • oldfart May 1st, 2015 at 2:56 pm

        easy does it meatloaf ! the fat lady hasn’t sung yet but so far so good…

        • dave-dr-gonzo May 1st, 2015 at 10:31 pm

          Give the fat lady a little time to warm up for the fat man…

          • oldfart May 2nd, 2015 at 12:43 am

            A little 2016 October surprise maybe ?
            the shriek heard ’round the world would be worth waiting for…

  4. Obewon May 1st, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Mobster Christie: ‘I don’t recall ANY meetings with David Wildstein. I may have met with him. I don’t remember.’-pathological Guber on hiring his longtime High School buddy that now he says he ‘barely knew.’

    The Koch bros went down hard on Christie, after anointing him as head of the Republican Gubers Association (RGA).

    • Bunya May 1st, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      Funny how lifelong friends suddenly become mere “acquaintances” once the sh*t hits the fan.

  5. William May 1st, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Thank goodness Christie is in the clear. He spent taxpayers money investigating himself, and found himself completely innocent of all wrong doing.

  6. oldfart May 1st, 2015 at 10:16 am

    lookin like Christies wife shoulda kept her day job…

  7. Hirightnow May 1st, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    “President Christie”….
    We were THIS close!

    • Judgeforyourself37 May 1st, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      Sounds like we dodged a bullet. President Christie? OMG, with that man’s temper we would be at war with every nation on this good Earth.

  8. Judgeforyourself37 May 1st, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    It would appear that Ms. Kelly was thrown under the bus.

    • Dwendt44 May 1st, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      She came out swinging. Denying everything, the Sgt. Schultz defense.

      • dave-dr-gonzo May 1st, 2015 at 10:31 pm

        If Sgt. Schultz and Samantha Bee had a baby, it would look and sound like “BreidgGhazi Bridget”.

        I especially loved the theatrical touch of Bridget packing the audience for her “public statement” with family and friends for the trumped-up applause at the end.

    • Obewon May 1st, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      BridgetGate Kelly: ‘I wasn’t the only one close to Christie who knew…’
      Wildstein: ‘I and others have proof Christie knew!’

      Bully Christie illegally abused his Guber Powers.
      Bully Palin Convicted of illegally abusing her Guber Powers.
      GOP is the Bully Party of Abuse.

  9. Gadea May 1st, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    Don’t look at Christie, he’s just the governor.

    • Frank Wahl May 2nd, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      Yeah, he probably read about it in the news, just like you and me.

      Guess that makes him fit to be president!

  10. Frank Wahl May 2nd, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Please Justice Department, save the republic from The Conspiracy to Close a Traffic Lane! For Political Revenge no less!

    Conspiracy to use the IRS for political revenge, not so interesting.

  11. Wee Mousie May 2nd, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    This is merely a request for information to keep myself up to date. Is “Ghazi” the new suffix to use at to the end of any scandal, as “Gate” has previously been used. Every time I blink, I seem to fall behind.

    Previously, I was under the impression that if someone used “Ghazi” as a suffix, it would tend to indicate a mountain of a scandal blown up from a molehill of mistaken extrapolation.

    • William May 2nd, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      If you frighten a dog it will whine, growl, bark. A cat might hiss and a bird might squawk…BUT, if you scare the ever-living-sh!t out of a republican, it will yell “BENGHAZI”, curl up in a fetal position and watch Fox news.