Defenses press witnesses in Bridge-Gate trial

Bridge-Gate defense attorneys tried to show the dysfunction that surrounded the lane closings of the George Washington Bridge during Day 4 of the trial Thursday.

Bridge-Gate defense attorneys tried to show the dysfunction that surrounded the lane closings of the George Washington Bridge during Day 4 of the trial Thursday.

Bridge-Gate defense attorneys tried to show the dysfunction that surrounded the lane closings of the George Washington Bridge during Day 4 of the trial Thursday. (9/22/16)

NEWARK - Bridge-Gate defense attorneys tried to show the dysfunction that surrounded the lane closings of the George Washington Bridge during Day 4 of the trial Thursday.

The defense called into question multiple witnesses' credibility this week after the Port Authority's executive director took the stand. Pat Foye admitted to signing off on a false press statement calling the lane closures a traffic study and revealed dysfunction in the agency at the time.

Defense attorneys say it was a good day for the defendants, Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly.

Foye learned of the lane closings on the fourth day of Bridge-Gate. But his chief of staff, John Ma, testified that Foye didn't reopen the lanes right away, even though he could have done it earlier than Friday.

Foye also testified about Bridge-Gate defendant David Wildstein, Gov. Chris Christie’s appointee who pleaded guilty as the alleged mastermind of the lane closings. Foye says people at the agency hated Wildstein and they were even afraid he was wiretapping them via a switchboard at his desk. He also says that concern over wiretapping at the agency went on for months. Despite that, Foye was unable to fire Wildstein, saying Wildstein was "protected" by Gov. Christie.

The balance of power between New York and New Jersey with regard to the Port Authority has been repeatedly brought up by the defense. Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo are both on the U.S. attorney's witness list of more than 300 names, but not everyone on that list will be called to testify.

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