Bridgegate Trial Opens: Feds Say Christie Knew about Lane Closings. Defense Calls Star Prosecution Witness Bad Names.

The New York Times reports, “Gov. Chris Christie . . . knew that three of his top officials were involved in a plan to shut down lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge as it was happening and that the closings were intended to punish a local mayor for declining to support him, federal prosecutors said on [September 19]. The assertion was an unexpected and startling beginning to the trial of two former Christie administration officials charged with closing the lanes in 2013 and then covering it up. And it was a surprising claim because of the side of the courtroom it came from, as lawyers made opening statements.”

NJ.com reports that former PANYNJ official Bill Baroni’s defense counsel argued that the government has “made a deal with the devil,” referring to its “star witness” David Wildstein, a former Baroni aide who has already entered a guilty plea in the case. Baroni’s lawyer spared nothing, describing Wildstein as “an enforcer” feared and hated by his co-workers, a “horrible person,” and a person described by his acquaintances as “a miserable prick” and “an asshole.”