The trial against two former Christie administration officials began this morning and federal prosecutors certainly didn't hold anything back in their opening statement.
Prosecutors will attempt to prove that David Wildstein and Bill Baroni intentionally stifled traffic to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee who refused to endorse Governor Christie. To prove this, prosecutors are apparently going to present evidence that shows Wildstein and Baroni boasting to Christie as the traffic jam unfolded in real time.
Remarkably, Wildstein and Baroni's defense is going to say the same thing.
Defense lawyers have also said that Mr. Christie knew. But the statement on Monday was striking in that it was prosecutors confirming that assertion.
Prosecutors from the United States attorney’s office said that two of the alleged co-conspirators in the case, David Wildstein and Bill Baroni, had bragged to the governor about the lane closings, and that they had been done to “mess” with the mayor of Fort Lee because he had declined entreaties to endorse the governor’s re-election.
For the defense, Christie's knowledge of the event demonstrates that their clients have been scapegoated.
For the prosecution, Christie's knowledge of the event is evidence that Wildstein and Baroni intentionally punished a mayor with a traffic jam.
Christie has insisted for years that he had no idea what his staff and appointees were doing, but this may be as close as we come to a smoking gun proving that he knew all about it.
Christie is currently serving as a chief surrogate, transition team manager, and McDonald's fetcher for GOP nominee Donald Trump.