NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A former ally of Gov. Chris Christie who pleaded guilty in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal testified Tuesday that he told the governor about the traffic jam while it was underway and that Christie appeared happy about it.
David Wildstein, a former executive at the agency that oversees New York-area bridges and tunnels, took the stand for the prosecution at the trial of two one-time Christie allies accused of engineering the four days of gridlock in 2013 to punish a Democratic mayor for not endorsing Christie.
Christie, whose Republican presidential ambitions were badly damaged by the scandal, has denied knowing about the plot at the time and has not been charged with a crime.
Wildstein testified he told Christie about the traffic in Fort Lee on the third of the plot's four days during a Sept. 11 memorial event. He said defendant Bill Baroni told Christie that Fort Lee's mayor, Mark Sokolich, was frustrated he wasn't getting his calls about the traffic jam returned and that Wildstein was monitoring the situation.
"Well, I'm sure Mr. Edge would never be involved in anything political," Christie responded sarcastically, and then laughed, according to Wildstein. "Wally Edge" was a pseudonym Wildstein used while publishing a New Jersey politics website.
Prosecutors showed jurors several pictures from the day showing Baroni, Wildstein and Christie talking.
Bridget Kelly, Christie's former deputy chief of staff, and Baroni, a former executive at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, are charged with conspiracy, fraud and civil rights deprivation.
Wildstein said he and Baroni had talked the night before about telling Christie at the 9/11 event because they were proud of what they had done. He said that during the planning of the scheme, Kelly had said the governor was "going to love it."