Taking aim at her former boss, Bridget Anne Kelly lashed out at Gov.
46-year-old divorced mother of four will remain free while her appeal goes on
Speaking out for the first time since her conviction in the ill-fated scheme of political retribution, Kelly furiously turned her fury on the governor and members of his administration, which she had long maintained knew about the scheme of political retribution and did nothing to stop it.
"The fact that I am on these steps in the place of others from the Christie administration, and the governor himself, does not prove my guilt. It only proves that justice is not blind, "she said, speaking from a prepared statement and at times choking back tears. "It has favorites. It misses the mark. It misses the truth. "
Kelly said during her seven-week trial, the names of many of the governor's closest associates were repeatedly heard, as was the governor himself. did they all escape justice? "she asked. "Chris Christie was allowed, without rebuttal from anyone, to say out of one side of his mouth that I was a low level staffer. A woman only good enough to plan menus and invite people to events. And then say out of the other side that I was somewhat powerful enough to shut down George Washington Bridge. "
She said there was only one person strong enough to approve that, and that was the governor himself.
"Mr Christie, you are a bully, and the days of you calling me a liar and destroying my life are over," she said. She said she was silent and intimidated, but would not stay quiet anymore. "The truth will be heard, and for the former governor, that truth will be unescapable, regardless of lucrative television deals or even future campaigns.
Kelly's re-sentencing before the US District Judge Susan Wigenton in Newark came after a federal appeal court last year threw out a portion of the corruption case against Kelly. She was originally sentenced to 1
Wigenton denied a request from Kelly's attorney for a sentence of home confinement, saying she had played a major role in the conspiracy. "The facts spoke through the text messages, through the evidence and through the evidence," the judge said. "So many people were affected by this.
At the trial, Kelly testified that she had told Christie in advance about the plan to close the toll lanes at the bridge, and said she had gotten her approval for what she thought was a legitimate traffic study. She claimed the "traffic problems" email to David Wildstein, the admitted mastermind who came up with the traffic gridlock plan, referring to the implementation of the traffic study. And she said that other high-ups in the governor's inner circle were all well-aware of what was going on in Fort Lee long before it was played out, and that no one seemed to be concerned about it
Christie was never charged with any wrongdoing and denied any knowledge of the plan, but the high-profile case helped sink his presidential aspirations in 2016.
Kelly was the author of the now-infamous 'time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee' email sent shortly before the orange cones went up to the local toll lanes at the bridge – a message that many saw as a smoking gun in the case and was a key piece of evidence used against her
Baroni and Kelly were finally found guilty of conspiring misuse public resources of the Port Authority, which owns George Washington Bridge, to pursue personal vendetta. Wildstein pleaded guilty and was a prosecution witness at the Bridgegate trial. He was sentenced to three years' probation and 500 hours of community service
In her petition for review before the Supreme Court, Kelly's attorneys have argued that the prosecution case has criminalized routine political behavior, "transforming the federal judiciary into a Ministry of Truth for all public officials in the nation. "
In their filing, they said the basis for her conviction was the concealment of political motives for an otherwise legitimate official act. Taken seriously, they say such a legal standard would allow any federal, state, or local official to be indicted based on nothing more than the allegation that someone lied in claiming to act in the public interest.
"There is no way that could be the law," they said. "I consider the cabinet secretary who appoints a friend to a public post, declaring him to be best-qualified. "
Earlier this month, Baroni reported to the Loretto Federal Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania to begin serving his 18-month prison sentence for his role in the Bridgegate case. He has joined Kelly in her Supreme Court appeal.
Ted Sherman may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow him on Twitter @TedShermanSL . Facebook: @ TedSherman.reporter . Find NJ.com on Facebook .
Matt Arco email@example.com . Followed on Twitter @MatthewArco or Facebook
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