- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2016

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - The Latest on closing arguments in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing trial (all times local):

10:40 a.m.

Closing arguments have been delayed in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing trial.

Jurors were to hear from attorneys Thursday in the sixth week of the trial of two former allies of Republican Gov. Chris Christie charged with a political retaliation plot.

But the judge sent jurors home, saying an issue had arisen. Prosecutors and defense attorneys didn’t comment on what the issue was. Jurors were told to return Friday.

Defense attorneys argued earlier this week that the judge should instruct jurors that if they felt the government didn’t prove Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni used the lane closures to retaliate against a mayor for not endorsing Christie, they could find them not guilty.

The judge disagreed and said the motive behind the alleged plot wasn’t part of the crimes charged.

___

12:31 a.m.

Jurors in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case are set to hear closing arguments Thursday after six weeks of testimony.

Two former allies of Republican Gov. Chris Christie are on trial on charges they closed access lanes for four days in September 2013 to punish a Democratic mayor who didn’t endorse Christie.

Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni both claim they thought it was part of a legitimate traffic study conceived by a bridge authority official who has since pleaded guilty.

The former official, David Wildstein, testified Baroni and Kelly knew the goal was to retaliate against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich.

Both defendants testified. Prosecutors focused on Baroni’s testimony to a legislative committee in 2013 and on Kelly’s emails. One of them read, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”


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