Political News

The Latest: Christie office: Wildstein alone devised scheme

Posted July 12

— The Latest on the George Washington Bridge lane-closing trial (all times local):

1 p.m.

Gov. Chris Christie's spokesman says the mastermind of the George Washington Bridge scandal came up with the scheme by himself and created the culture that led to it.

Brian Murray said Wednesday after David Wildstein was sentenced to three years' probation that Wildstein himself established the culture at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey that resulted in the lane closures in Fort Lee timed to coincide with the start of the school year as political payback.

Wildstein said in court that he and the other defendants drank Christie's "Kool Aid" and gave him their trust without him earning it.

Christie, a Republican, wasn't charged and has denied knowledge of the plot.

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11:50 a.m.

The mastermind of the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal will not go to prison.

David Wildstein was sentenced to three years' probation by a federal judge in Newark on Wednesday.

The former political blogger pleaded guilty in 2015 to using his position at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to lead a scheme to close access lanes at the bridge to create traffic gridlock in the town of Fort Lee, whose Democratic mayor declined to endorse Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

Christie wasn't charged, but the scandal helped drag down his approval rating.

Wildstein's testimony last fall helped convict former Christie aide Bridget Kelly and former Port Authority executive Bill Baroni.

Wildstein faced 21 to 27 months in prison, but prosecutors asked the judge to allow him to avoid prison.

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1 a.m.

The mastermind of the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal faces sentencing.

David Wildstein is due in federal court in Newark on Wednesday.

The former political blogger pleaded guilty in 2015 to using his position at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to lead a scheme to close access lanes at the bridge to create traffic gridlock in the town of Fort Lee, whose Democratic mayor declined to endorse Republican Gov. Chris Christie's re-election.

Christie wasn't charged, but the scandal helped drag down his approval rating.

Wildstein's testimony last fall helped convict former Christie aide Bridget Kelly and former Port Authority executive Bill Baroni.

Wildstein faces 21 to 27 months in prison under his plea agreement, but prosecutors have asked the judge to allow him to avoid prison.

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