NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say two former top aides to Gov. Chris Christie knew they were engaging in wrongdoing when they closed access lanes to the George Washington Bridge to punish a political rival.

The allegation was included in court papers the prosecutors filed late Friday in response to motions made by Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni to dismiss their criminal indictments. Prosecutors say the pair engaged in “lies and deceit” by creating a cover story that the lane reductions were part of a traffic study.

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Baroni is the former deputy executive director for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, while Kelly served as Christie’s deputy chief of staff. They say the charges are based on vague federal laws that were twisted to fit the facts of the case.

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Their lawyers have until April 4 to reply to the government’s brief.

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