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Witness says Christie aides prepped bridge case testimony

Bill Baroni arrives at the Federal Courthouse in Newark, N.J., on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. Baroni, a former executive at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Bridget Kelly, New Jersey Gov. Christie's former deputy chief of staff, are on trial, charged with conspiracy, fraud and civil rights deprivation in an alleged political revenge plot. (Danielle Parhizkaran/The Record via AP)
September 29, 2016 - 3:53 PM

NEWARK, N.J. - The government's key witness in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal says people close to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gathered on a conference call to prep a cover story for the gridlock prosecutors contend was political revenge against a Democratic mayor.

NJ.com reports (http://bit.ly/2devOxJ ) David Wildstein testified on Thursday that Phil Kwon, Christie's former pick for the state Supreme Court, and Regina Egea, who eventually served as the Republican governor's aide, helped prepare testimony that the closures were for a traffic study.

He says the pair prepped former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive Bill Baroni on what to tell lawmakers probing the incident.

Baroni is now on trial for federal crimes related to the September 2013 lane closures.

Defence attorneys countered that Wildstein's story had shifted from previous grand jury testimony.

Kwon's attorney, Geoffrey Berman said his client did not "perpetuate a cover story," and that he was never told the closures were to punish the mayor of Fort Lee.

A message left on social media with Egea was not immediately returned.

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Information from: NJ.com, http://www.nj.com

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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