Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Wildstein: Cuomo joined Christie in Bridgegate cover-up


Matt Katz and Andrea Bernstein report for WNYC:
The governors of New York and New Jersey were involved in covering up Bridgegate early on, star witness David Wildstein said in federal court in Newark Tuesday.
Wildstein testified last week that he and defendant Bill Baroni bragged to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie about the lane closures while they were going on.
In federal court Tuesday, Wildstein fingered New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as well, saying it was his "understanding that Gov. Christie and Gov. Cuomo discussed" putting together a false report as early as October 2013, shortly after the lane closures, saying "that the New Jersey side accepted responsibility."  
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The idea was that the New York appointees of the Port Authority would sign off on the cover story as a "traffic study" gone awry, and that would be that.
By that point in time, senior officials on both sides of the Hudson River knew there had been no "traffic study." High-ranking Christie and Cuomo staffers were in communication about the lane closures, Wildstein testified. Wildstein said he understood that Cuomo instructed his top appointee, Pat Foye, to "lay off" Christie.
According to Wildstein, this report became the basis for Bridgegate defendant Bill Baroni's subsequent false testimony to the legislature. The report was not otherwise released. The timing is key: the alleged collusion between the governors came months before Cuomo said he only knew "basically what has been in the newspapers."

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