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‘Bridgegate’ jury in New Jersey to hear closing arguments

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Lawyers in New Jersey’s “Bridgegate” trial will begin delivering closing arguments on Thursday, seeking to sway jurors deliberating the fate of two former allies of Governor Chris Christie.

Jurors heard more than a month of testimony in the trial of Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, and Bill Baroni, former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, operator of the bridge.

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Closing arguments are scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, and are expected to last into Friday.

The two former officials are charged with abusing their government positions by scheming in 2013 to shut down lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge, said by the Port Authority to be the busiest bridge in the world.

The scandal damaged Christie’s political standing as he was beginning a campaign for the Republican nomination for president.

Christie is now a close ally of the nominee, New York real estate developer Donald Trump, and is leading Trump’s transition planning.

Federal prosecutors said during the trial that Christie knew about the lane closings ahead of time. Christie maintains that is not true. He has not been charged with wrongdoing.

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The lane closures caused several days of massive gridlock on the New Jersey side of the bridge and hurt local businesses.

Christie’s aides ordered the shutdown of the lanes as payback for the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, who would not support Christie’s re-election in 2013, prosecutors say.

Baroni and Kelly have pleaded not guilty to wire fraud, civil rights deprivation and conspiracy charges. If convicted, they face potential prison terms.

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Both defendants took the witness stand in their defense.

Kelly was asked about an email that set the scheme in motion in which she wrote, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” She said she was simply “parroting” the language another official used in describing the possible gridlock from a traffic study.

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(Reporting by David Ingram and Joseph Ax; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)


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Nicolle Wallace tells Colbert why she cursed at Fox News host Laura Ingraham — and that she left the GOP

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MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace appeared on Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" Wednesday after spending hours analyzing the impeachment hearings that began that morning.

One of the first things Colbert asked about was the recent smackdown from Wallace about Fox News host Laura Ingraham and her guests going after Col. Alexander Vindman. Ingraham proposed that because Vindman was born in Ukraine that he was somehow a traitor to the United States for coming forward about President Donald Trump's admitted crimes.

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‘It takes a small mind to want to out a whistleblower’: Rachel Maddow blasts Trump and GOP

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In an analysis of the first day of impeachment, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow explained to late-night comedian Jimmy Fallon why the impeachment hearings were a lot more rational than she anticipated.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) switched committees just to appear and ask questions and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) humiliated himself, but aside from that, Maddow said she was surprised there were reasonable questions, and everyone remained calm.

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Seth Meyers mocks Devin Nunes saying Dems wanted to find nude photos of Trump: ‘Literally no one wants that’

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"Late Night" host Seth Meyers ridiculed Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) for his absurd line of questioning that accused Democrats of the impeachment is the same as the Russia scandal.

Nunes said that Democrats want the world to forget about their efforts to obtain nude photos of Trump, something Meyers countered with actual sense.

"Hey man, I guarantee you no one wants nude pictures of Donald Trump," Meyers said. "I'm not crazy about clothed pictures of Donald Trump. Also, I have to believe that if there were nude pictures of Donald Trump, the first person to show them would be Donald Trump. He'd probably hold a press conference with a giant poster board."

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