NEWARK – Tuesday’s Bridgegate testimony dropped a bombshell from star witness to the prosecution David Wildstein: that both New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo knowingly signed off on a fake “traffic study” as the reason that three local access lanes into the George Washington Bridge were funneled into one for four days in September 2013. Wildstein said that the two discussed the alleged cover-up. Wildstein maintains that the real reason for that lane shift was punishment to Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Governor Christie for reelection.
However, Cuomo spokesperson John Kelly released the following statement regarding Wildstein’s testimony to WNYC: “No such conversation between the governors happened. In fact no report of any kind was ever done, and whatever the admitted Bridgegate architect thought or dreamt about New York’s involvement has no basis in fact. Anyone can say anything, especially a convicted felon spinning a tale, but it’s just false and delusional.”
Wildstein currently faces 15 years in prison for his involvement in the lane closures.
During cross examination by defense attorney Michael Critchley, Wildstein also claimed that the lie was propagated by Christie during a December 2013 press conference where Christie discussed the closures. According to Wildstein, though he and Christie had spoken about the real reason behind the lane closures at the September 11, 2013 memorial service in the midst of the closures, the governor knowingly lied to the press and public about the lane changes. According to Wildstein, he assumed Christie did not object to the lane closures because the governor never told him to reverse the change once informed during that September 11 conversation.
“He certainly seemed to like the idea,” Wildstein said of Christie. “He seemed pleased.”
Wildstein’s Tuesday testimony also touched upon conversations the once-prominent Port Authority employee had with high-ranking members of the governor’s office including chief public policy advisor Michael DuHaime. in the days before his December 12 resignation from the agency. He said that he expected a call on December 8 or 9 from Christie regarding his position moving forward with the governor’s team. It is unclear if that call ever came.
“I think that Governor Christie thought I was good at politics,” Wildstein said about why he thought he would remain close with Christie following the lane closure debacle.