Wednesday, October 19, 2016

BRIDGEGATE TRIAL–A wrong turn for the defense, laughter, and thuggery |

BRIDGEGATE TRIAL–A wrong turn for the defense, laughter, and thuggery |:

BRIDGEGATE TRIAL–A wrong turn for the defense, laughter, and thuggery

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Attorneys for Bridgegate defendant Bill Baroni rested Wednesday–and the case for the defense seemed to fall with a crash at the feet of the jury. Instead of the defense ending on a high note of chipper character witnesses or rebutting damaging cross examination, Baroni wandered  into a testimonial trap about a non-existent school in Jersey City.
And there, waiting for him, was assistant US Attorney Lee Cortes who, just as he had the day before, pounced on an apparent falsehood in Baroni’s testimony–and that, until closing arguments, will be the last thing the jurors will  remember from the Baroni defense.
The substance wasn’t that big of a deal. In February, 2013, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PA)–where Baroni was deputy executive director– announced it was giving $1.5 million for a construction job training program run by the Hudson County Urban League. It came up two weeks ago in testimony given by David Wildstein, a political operative and friend of Gov. Chris Christie who worked with Baroni.
Most of the attention given to the testimony about the grant centered on whether it was an effort by Christie to somehow buy off the candidacy of former Jersey City Mayor Sandra Cunningham as a favor to Steve Fulop who ran that year and won. Why the grant would take Cunnigham out of the race was never explained.
But, somewhere in Wildstein’s testimony, was also talk about one of hundreds of email and text exchanges. It had to do with when Jersey City would be opening its schools. Wildstein implied he and Baroni might have been thinking about doing BRIDGEGATE TRIAL–A wrong turn for the defense, laughter, and thuggery |:
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