Bridgegate defense calls prosecution witness 'the Bernie Madoff of NJ politics'

- Jurors in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing trial in New Jersey are hearing from lawyers one more time.

A defense lawyer for Bridget Kelly, former aide to Republican Gov. Chris Christie, gave his closing argument on Monday. Michael Critchley called the star witness against her "the Bernie Madoff of New Jersey politics."
He used the term to describe David Wildstein, a former bridge authority official who pleaded guilty. Wildstein testified Kelly and Bill Baroni schemed to punish a Democratic mayor who didn't endorse Christie. Critchley said Wildstein concocted the scheme to impress Christie.
Madoff ran the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.
Kelly had written the infamous "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email a month before the September 2013 lane closures. She testified she deleted that email and others because she was scared others in Christie's administration who knew of the lane closures weren't being forthcoming.
Next, the prosecution will get a chance to present a rebuttal summation before jurors begin deliberating, probably Monday.
Friday, the jury heard closing arguments from the prosecution and the lawyer representing Baroni.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Cortes said Friday Kelly and Baroni used their political positions to create gridlock to punish a Democratic mayor who wouldn't endorse Christie's 2013 re-election campaign.
The most serious charge they face, wire fraud conspiracy, carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.
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