Let me start with the two stories we are focusing on today: charges related to the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore and the indictment of a former Governor Chris Christie ally in the “Bridgegate” scandal.
First, what’s happening in Baltimore today. The Baltimore City State’s Attorney has decided there is probable cause to formally charge the six officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray last month. After reviewing the police report, Marilyn Mosby said the medical examiner ruled Gray’s death a homicide and charges will be pressed against the officers, including second-degree depraved heart murder, involuntary manslaughter, and misconduct. Mosby also said the knife Gray was carrying was not illegal…but his arrest was.
“[The officer] failed to establish probable cause for Mr. Gray’s arrest,” Mosby said.
Our other top story is the “Bridgegate” scandal development in New Jersey. David Wildstein, a former Port Authority official, plead guilty to two counts of conspiracy and agreed to a plea deal, according to WNBC. The charges come after a 16-month federal investigation into the Fort Lee, NJ, lane closings leading to the George Washington Bridge. WNBC reports that Wildstein admitted to intentionally causing the Fort Lee traffic jam and implicated Christie staffers Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni in the scheme. He said it was a conspiracy to punish the mayor Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie.
Governor Christie, meanwhile, is continuing to test the waters for a possible 2016 presidential campaign. While Wildstein was in court, Christie was delivering a speech in Virginia at the Northern Virginia Leadership Conference.
Christie acknowledged the legal proceedings in New Jersey by opening with a joke.
“Who am I to tell anyone not to go off script,” he said.
”People in my business don’t trust the American people enough to tell them the truth,” Christie continued later in his speech. “I absolutely believe that not only should we, but we must.”