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In the discussion thread: Christie Crime Digest Volume III [View all]

Response to Laxman (Original post)

Mon May 4, 2015, 09:18 PM

14. Too bad Christie and Wildstein aren't friends anymore

Last edited Sun Aug 30, 2015, 07:05 PM - Edit history (5)

Otherwise David could clue Chris in about the diet he's on.

[CENTER][/CENTER]

If it weren't for Bridge(t)gate, you'd think he was terminally ill -- unless that's his strategy against a heavy sentence.

Seems like only yesterday when the man on the left was smirking in court while his lawyer promised that he'd tell all as soon as he got total immunity from prosecution -- federal as well as state. Instead, he got what barely qualifies as a plea deal. Directly from the court documents:

Specifically, this (federal prosecutor's) Office will accept a guilty plea from David Wildstein to a two-count Information charging in Count 1 that David Wildstein conspired to intentionally misapply property of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey...and in Count 2 that David Wildstein conspired to violate a right secured by the Constitution of the United States.

If David Wildstein enters a guilty plea and is sentenced on these charges, and otherwise fully complies with all of the terms of this agreement, this Office will not initiate any further criminal charges against him for violations related to the "Bridge Scheme" or arising out of other information that he has provided to this Office...


And what of Wildstein's boss, and the woman who put the "Bridge(t)" in Bridge(t)-Gate? No snitching accomplished -- at least not yet.

NJ.com: Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly were each indicted on nine counts...(They) conspired with Wildstein to claim the lane closures were part of a Port Authority traffic study. But no study existed. They also allegedly conspired to ignore the Fort Lee mayor's questions as he tried to get to the bottom of the sudden traffic problems in the borough.

Wildstein, Kelly and Baroni allegedly delayed the closure of the lanes until Sept. 9, 2013, to maximize the impact of the traffic problems. They knew waiting until the first day of school for children in Fort Lee "would intensify Mayor Sokolich's punishment," the indictment said.

Baroni and Kelly's charges include conspiracy against civil rights, deprivation of civil rights, wire fraud, conspiring to "intentionally misapply property of an organization receiving federal benefits" and related charges...(which) carry a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison, the U.S. Attorney's office said...

Baroni's attorney...said Baroni did nothing wrong. "David Wildstein is a criminal and a liar," Michael Baldasarre said...Kelly appeared at a press conference at her attorney's office in Roseland. She also called Wildstein "a liar" (and said)..."I will fight relentlessly to clear myself of these charges..."


That's pretty tough talk considering that they were looking for immunity themselves. So what's their defense strategy -- that Wildstein made the whole thing up? That he engineered Bridge(t)-Gate all by himself? Or that everyone was just following (Christie's) orders?

And I'm sure you're not surprised that Christie is heralding his own not being indicted as a moral victory:

NJ.com: About 15 minutes after federal prosecutors finished describing the psychotic and criminal behavior of his senior staff, the governor issued a statement saying the Bridgegate scandal is basically over.

To prove it, his office e-blasted this quote from U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman across the digital universe: "Based on the evidence that is currently available to us, we're not going to charge anybody else in this scheme."

The message was that the storm has passed, it's time to move on. Go ahead and write those checks to his presidential campaign.

But did Fishman really say this scandal is winding down?...Note how carefully he parsed his words...He's working to make more evidence available by squeezing Baroni and Kelly...Another potential problem for Christie: Fishman said nothing about the investigation of David Samson...


I'm sure Fishman is hoping that Kelly and/or Baroni will squeal in exchange for lighter charges and punishments, but the real point is that he doesn't need them because he has such a strong case for getting to Christie via Samson. It all comes down to whether he offered anyone immunity in the first place: I don't believe that he did, and I don't think he will now.


rocktivity

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