Defense files motion for a mistrial in Bridgegate

The Bridgegate scandal in 90 seconds
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Story highlights

  • Attorneys for Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni filed a motion for a mistrial in the federal case known as Bridgegate
  • The motion for a mistrial was entirely redacted

(CNN)Defense attorneys in the federal court trial of two former officials who worked closely with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie surrounding the 2013 lane closures on the George Washington Bridge filed a motion for a mistrial on Thursday.

The motion filed by the legal counsel for Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni, who are each charged with seven criminal counts including conspiracy and fraud, was nearly entirely redacted. Their attorneys and federal prosecutors in the case have convened inside a Newark, New Jersey, courtroom throughout the morning.
    Jurors wrapped Thursday on the fourth day of deliberations without reaching a verdict.
    Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Baroni, the former Port Authority deputy executive director, are facing charges for their alleged involvement in a scandal that came to be known as "Bridgegate."
    Prosecutors allege that the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge were part of a deliberate effort to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, who did not endorse the Republican incumbent Christie in his 2013 re-election bid.
    Emails and text messages released in January of 2014 form the basis of the charges. In one particularly damning email, Kelly told former Port Authority official David Wildstein, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."
    Kelly later said her messages contained "sarcasm and humor," and she claims that she had told Christie about traffic problems resulting from a study a day prior to sending the email.
    Baroni testified that he believed the closures were a part of a legitimate traffic study, an explanation that had been relayed to him by Wildstein, the professed mastermind of the incident who eschewed the trial by pleading guilty to once charge of conspiracy to commit fraud on federally funded property and one civil rights violation.
    Kelly and Baroni each face a maximum sentence of 86 years, according to Paul Fishman, the federal prosecutor in the case. But it is more likely that they would receive up to three years if convicted.
    This story has been updated.