Bridgegate, the lane-closure scandal that directly implicated New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in a political conspiracy to punish a local Democratic mayor who refused to endorse him, appears to be over.
Christie's life-long associate and former Port Authority director David Wildstein was sentenced yesterday, but he won't be going to jail.
He faced 21 to 27 months in prison under a plea agreement, but federal prosecutors asked that he only get probation after his testimony helped convict former Christie staffer Bridget Kelly and Wildstein's former supervisor, former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive Bill Baroni. [...]
"All three of us put our faith in a man who neither earned it nor deserved it," Wildstein said in court of the three charged and Christie. "I willingly drank the Kool-Aid of a man I'd known since I was 15 years old."
Wildstein, Kelly, and Baroni all testified that Chris Christie himself knew all about the bridge lane closures and Wildstein testified that he and Christie shared a big laugh about it on the 12th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. Attorneys for Kelly and Baroni even displayed pictures of Wildstein and Christie sharing a laugh about it in court. Kelly also testified that she told Christie about the lane closures beforehand.
But Kelly and Baroni are the only ones may serve jail time for it.
I wouldn't say I necessarily have sympathy for them and I wouldn't say they're innocent, but this doesn't feel like justice. Seemingly everyone in the proverbial room knows Chris Christie is guilty, but he's sunning himself on a private beach while ditching his official duties to audition for a sports radio hosting gig. Christie threw his entire inner circle including a life-long friend under the bus so he could run for president.
Christie's approval rating is currently 15 percent, the lowest approval rating of any governor in New Jersey history.
Kelly and Baroni are appealing their sentences.