The Slatest

Reminder: Trump Believes Own Transition Chairman Was Involved in Bridgegate, Which Is Now Officially a Felony Conspiracy

Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images.

Chris Christie aides Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly have been found guilty of conspiracy and fraud for their involvement in the scheme to create massive traffic jams on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge in 2013.

The closures were ordered to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, for not endorsing Chris Christie; Christie has not been formally accused of involvement in the conspiracy, but both the prosecution and the defense in Baroni/Kelly’s trial agreed that the governor knew much more about it than he has admitted to publicly. (Christie still denies this.)

Chris Christie is, currently, leading Donald Trump’s White House transition-prep team. Trump also said last December that he believes Christie “totally knew” about the planning of what is now officially a felony public-corruption conspiracy.

It all points out the absurdity of the common belief among voters that Donald Trump would “shake up” or in some way represent anything but “business as usual” in Washington, D.C. (Just today an ABC/Washington Post poll found that Trump has a nine-point lead among voters who say “corruption” is the issue they care about most.) Christie was the first major elected official to endorse Trump, and he was reportedly the person Trump actually wanted to be his running mate. He’s also now someone whose former top aides are felons—which gives them something in common with a lot of the people Trump has done business and associated with throughout his life. says that Baroni and Kelly “face a maximum of 20 years in prison, but are likely to serve far less under federal sentencing guidelines.”

This post has been updated with additional context.