Chris Christie and NY Gov. Cuomo could be called to testify in Bridge-Gate trial
The defense in the Bridge-Gate lane closing trial says they have not ruled out the possibility of calling Gov. Chris Christie or New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to testify.
Defendant Bridget Kelly's attorney Michael Critchley called a number of witnesses to describe alleged dysfunction surrounding the Port Authority. He has left open the possibility that either governor could be called to testify.
"I'm not looking to make this sensational...I'm just going to abide by the events and see what happens," Critchley says.
Defense witness Port Authority Commissioner Scott Rechler testified that during the time of the lane closures in Fort Lee, the Port Authority was rife with infighting and power struggles.
Rechler described top officials trying to get each other fired. He slammed Bridge-Gate mastermind David Wildstein and called him a manipulative political operative who was causing problems at the agency.
The commissioner also testified that Gov. Cuomo told him that he had discussed the lane realignment issues with Gov. Christie in October 2013, just weeks after the lane closures.
Christie allegedly mentioned that one of his appointees, former Port Authority Chairman David Samson, was complaining about Cuomo's appointee, Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. The chairman was complaining that Foye was interfering and getting involved in the lane closing issue. Foye was the one who ordered the lanes to be reopened several days into the closures.
Following Rechler's testimony, a spokesman for Gov. Cuomo's office released a statement that said in part, "Today's testimony confirms what we have said all along and further disproves Mr. Wildstein's false hearsay testimony from earlier this month. There were long time tensions between New York and New Jersey staff at the Port Authority before, during and after Bridgegate."
The statement continued, "There was no conversation between the governors concerning a 'plan' to have Pat Foye stand down or to have the issue 'whitewashed' through a report. Pat Foye was in fact a whistle-blower - he never stood down and no report was ever prepared or issued."
Gov. Christie's former political advisor Mike Duhaime also took the stand Thursday. Duhaime says Wildstein discussed Bridge-Gate with him after the 2013 election, and Wildstein was upset that the governor's office wasn't defending him from media scrutiny.
Wildstein later pleaded guilty to the scandal as part of a plea deal. He was the prosecution's star witness.
Kelly's attorney says he called these witnesses in part to discredit Wildstein, who implicated her in the scandal.
Kelly is expected to testify Friday. It would be the first time she has a chance to discuss her side of the story.