'Bridgegate' jury sends judge note with conspiracy question

- The jury in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case asked the judge about an issue at the heart of the government's case.

Two former allies of Republican New Jersey Gov. Christie are charged with scheming to punish a Democratic mayor who didn't endorse Christie in 2013.

Jurors had their first full day of deliberations after a six-week trial.

Jurors sent several questions to the judge including whether the defendants can be convicted of conspiracy even if they didn't believe the lane closures were meant to punish the mayor.

Defense lawyers argued Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni can't be found guilty if a punishment plot wasn't proved.

The judge disagreed and said she would tell jurors the defendants can be found guilty of conspiracy regardless of their motive.

Another question posed by the jury had do with the legality of the government's meeting with defendant David Wildstein without defense counsel present.

An argument broke out between lawyers over the volume of speaking while debating the answer to the jury's question: "court tells me what to do - not you!" said one of the attorneys.

With the Associated Press

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