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Bridgegate’ Defense Lawyers Ask for a Mistrial

Defense attorneys involved in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal, which has continually dogged New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, are calling for a mistrial in the middle of jury deliberations.

Image: Bridget Anne Kelly, Michael Critchley
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's former deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly, center, and her attorney Michael Critchley, second from left, leave Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Courthouse after a hearing on Sept. 26 in Newark. Mel Evans / AP

The motion was filed on Thursday. The exact reason was unclear: Most of the letter arguing for the mistrial was redacted. But it comes after a heated day on Wednesday when the two attorneys asked Judge Susan D. Wigenton to change her instruction to the jury that they didn't have to take into account whether the defendants were intentionally trying to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich as political retribution.

Christie's ex-deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, and his former top Port Authority official, Bill Baroni, have been charged on nine counts of conspiracy and fraud stemming from the 2013 plot in which the two allegedly conspired to close local access lanes and create massive traffic jams of the George Washington Bridge. Federal prosecutors argued it was part of an elaborate scheme to punish Sokolich for not endorsing Christie's re-election bid.

The judge has not yet ruled on the motion.