On Eve of Bridge Trial, Motive Becomes Point of Dispute

NEWARK (AP) -

On the eve of the George Washington Bridge lane-closing trial Monday, the two sides are clashing over whether the government has changed its the case.

An attorney for Bill Baroni wrote in a court filing last week that prosecutors now claim his motive was to curry favor with Gov. Chris Christie by causing traffic jams to punish a mayor who didn’t endorse his 2013 re-election. But that allegation isn’t in the May 2015 indictment of Baroni and former Christie staffer Bridget Kelly.

Attorney Michael Baldassare argued prosecutors shouldn’t be able to present that motive to the jury.