The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday tossed the federal government’s case in the infamous “Bridgegate” scandal, clearing the convictions of two allies of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Another partisan witch hunt against a Republican voice has been silenced in a resounding defeat for the US Government and Democrat Party.
Justice Elena Kagan said the kinds of decisions Kelly and Baroni made — and their less-than-candid explanations for them — could not be prosecuted as fraud under federal law.
“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 … ‘a sweeping expansion of federal criminal jurisdiction,’” Kagan wrote. “In effect, the Federal Government could use the criminal law to enforce (its view of) integrity in broad swaths of state and local policymaking. The property fraud statutes do not countenance that outcome.”
Kagan sought to make clear that the court was not blessing the conduct of the former officials, only declaring that it was beyond the reach of federal corruption laws.
“As Kelly’s own lawyer acknowledged, this case involves an ‘abuse of power,’ she wrote. “The evidence the jury heard no doubt shows wrongdoing—deception, corruption, abuse of power. But the federal fraud statutes at issue do not criminalize all such conduct.”
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had the following to say.
“The leadership of the Obama Justice Department is also culpable for permitting this misconduct to happen right under their noses, authorizing Paul Fishman to weaponize the office for political and partisan reasons,” Christie said.
You can read more from our friends at Politico.