Chris Christie Slams Obama DOJ After Supreme Court Overturns Bridgegate Convictions; Update: Trump Responds

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Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie slammed President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday, after the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out the convictions of two aides involved in “Bridgegate.”

The Bridgegate scandal emerged in early 2014 after Christie was re-elected overwhelmingly in November 2013, with bipartisan support. It was alleged that aides to Gov. Christie ordered lane closures on the road leading to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey, possibly as retribution for the mayor’s refusal to endorse Christie for re-election. Several were investigated and convicted by the Obama DOJ.

The scandal also dented Christie’s presidential prospects, which had looked bright after his re-election.

But on Thursday, the Court unanimously overturned the convictions of Bridget Ann Kelly and Bill Baroni. Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the Court in Kelly v. U.S., said that whatever the bad actions or motives the aides may have had, they could not be prosecuted under federal fraud statutes because they had not sought money or property. The law, Kagan explained, does not criminalize “all acts of dishonesty by state and local officials.” She added: If U. S. Attorneys could prosecute as property fraud every lie a state or local official tells in making such a decision, the result would be—as Cleveland recognized—“a sweeping expansion of federal criminal jurisdiction.”

In a statement, Christie ripped the prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, and the Obama DOJ:

What cannot be undone is the damage that was visited upon all the people dragged through the mud who had nothing to do with the prosecutorial conduct and personal vindictiveness of Paul Fishman. Despite being repeatedly told by numerous respected members of the bar during the investigation that he was inventing a federal crime, Paul Fishman proceeded, motivated by political partisanship and blind ambition that cost the taxpayers millions in legal fees and changed the course of history. Worst of all, Fishman allowed Bill Baroni to go to jail for crimes he [Fishman] invented.

The leadership of the Obama Justice Department is also culpable for permitting this misconduct to happen right under their noses …

This was a case driven by a U.S. Attorney and Justice Department in search of a predetermined and biased outcome. In recklessly pursuing that outcome, they violated the oath sworn by every member of the Department of Justice.

The U.S. Attorney General at the time was Eric Holder. Holder endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president on Wednesday.

The defeat at the Supreme Court is only the latest blow to the Obama DOJ, which is now widely seen as having abused its power in pursuing false claims of “Russia collusion” against President Donald Trump and his aides.

Update: President Donald Trump congratulated Christie:

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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