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The Latest: Cuomo denies talking to Christie about coverup

October 04, 2016 - 11:13 AM

NEWARK, N.J. - The Latest on the trial of two former allies to Gov. Chris Christie charged with shutting down lanes to the George Washington Bridge as part of a political vendetta (all times local):

2:05 p.m.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is denying he ever spoke to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie about issuing a false report to cover up the political reason for the 2013 closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge.

Cuomo spokesman John Kelly said Tuesday that "no such conversation" between the Democratic governor and his Republican counterpart in New Jersey ever happened.

The claim came from David Wildstein, who pleaded guilty in the case and testified he was told of the conversation by a former top ally of Christie's at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Kelly says Wildstein's testimony had no basis in fact.

Wildstein is the prosecutors' key witness in the case against former Christie aides Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly, who isn't related to John Kelly.

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12:50 p.m.

The prosecution's key witness in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing trial says a onetime top ally of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told him the governor and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo discussed releasing a report to tamp down questions over the scandal.

David Wildstein said Tuesday that former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman David Samson told him the governors discussed the idea in October 2013.

That report was never published.

Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly are charged with orchestrating the September 2013 lane closures to punish a mayor who didn't endorse Christie's re-election bid.

Wildstein pleaded guilty to the scheme and is co-operating with the government.

Samson pleaded guilty to separate charges related to his tenure as chairman and is awaiting sentencing

Messages left with Christie and Cuomo's offices were not immediately returned

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6:30 a.m.

The prosecution's key witness is back on the stand at the George Washington Bridge lane-closing trial.

Former Port Authority executive David Wildstein, who pleaded guilty and is co-operating with prosecutors, faces cross-examination Tuesday.

Before the trial broke for the Jewish new year on Monday, an attorney for one of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's former aides raised questions about Wildstein's credibility. Michael Critchley, Bridget Kelly's defence attorney, called David Wildstein a liar.

Kelly, who was Christie's deputy chief of staff, and former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive Bill Baroni are facing civil rights and wire fraud charges.

Wildstein has testified Christie was told about the traffic jam while it was underway. Christie has repeatedly denied that and has not been charged with a crime.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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