David Wildstein, a former top Port Authority official turned star witness in the Bridgegate trial, suggested in Tuesday testimony that Gov. Andrew Cuomo discussed with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie issuing false report on the nightmarish lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in 2013, according to reports.
Multiple outlets reported that Wildstein, who has pleaded guilty to his role in the lane closures, heard there were conversations between the two governors within a month after the incident and they agreed that Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye would approve a false report that blamed the closures on a communication breakdown and push blame onto the New Jersey side of the bi-state agency.
Such a report never was issued, though it was reported Tuesday that it was used for testimony before a legislative committee by former Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni.
Cuomo’s office did not immediately comment.
More details from the Daily News:
Gov. Cuomo directed the head of the Port Authority to "lay off" of an inquiry into the Bridgegate scandal until after the 2013 election following conversations with N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, a former PA official testified Tuesday.
David Wildstein, who has already pleaded guilty for his role in the September 2013 gridlock, said he had heard there had been "conversations" between the two governors after the Port Authority's executive director, Pat Foye, vowed to get to the bottom of the lane closures from Fort Lee to the George Washington Bridge.
Cuomo and Christie had agreed in October 2013 that Foye would sign off on a bogus report on the closures in which the Port Authority would admit a communication breakdown resulted in Fort Lee being caught by surprise by an agency traffic study, Wildstein said.
Wildstein recalled saying it would be a "heavy lift" to get Foye to approve the report, but that he believed it could be done thanks to Cuomo.
"My understanding was Gov. Christie and Gov. Cuomo had discussed this, if the New Jersey side (of the PA) accepted responsibility, Foye would sign off on this and that would put an end to this issue," Wildstein said.
This report would be issued, there would be an explanation to the public, the Port Authority would take responsibility for the failure in communication ... and the question of lane closures would go away."
Under cross examination by Kelly's attorney Michael Critchley, Wildstein agreed that Cuomo's order that Foye "stand down" and "lay off" was only in effect to Election Day in November 2013.
The day after the election, Wildstein said he was contacted by a reporter who identified him as the architect of the Bridgegate plan.
Wildstein told the court today that he believed Foye was behind that leak to the reporter.
Cuomo so far has not commented on this allegation, but if it's true, then Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic governor of New York, helped Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, to cover up the closure of the George Washington Bridge by knowingly sanctioning a false report about the reason for the closures.
Why would Cuomo do this?
Well, he was running for re-election next year, Christie was head of the Republican Governors Association, so by helping Christie out when he was running for re-election, Cuomo could expect to get help back from Christie in return when he was running the next year.
And that's exactly what happened - Christie mocked the Republican candidate for governor (Rob Astorino), withheld money and resources from the campaign and basically did all he could to help Cuomo win re-election.
At the time, many of us suspected that Cuomo and Christie had a non-aggression pact despite being in different parties.
We now have what appears to be definitive proof of that.
So, would be great to hear what Cuomo's excuse for helping Christie cover up Bridgegate would be, but the governor is whereabouts unknown and apparently his flying attack monkeys haven't come up with a good excuse yet to go public with.
We'll see how long we have to wait until they finally conjure up some bullshit excuse for Cuomo's helping Christie cover up Bridgegate.
UPDATE 2:15 PM: Didn't have to wait long:
Cuomo spox on #Bridgegate "Anyone can say anything, especially a convicted felon spinning a tale, but it’s just false and delusional.”— Joseph Spector (@GannettAlbany) October 4, 2016
Same old song - Deny, Deny, Deny.
Cuomo's on the witness list for the trial, so there's an outside chance he could be called to testify and put under oath where this kind of denial becomes perjury if proven false.
But best bet here is, he won't be called to testify, the NY legislature will do nothing about these allegations, Democratic and Republican politicians around the state will continue to defend/enable him and he'll get away with his crimes, as he has since 2010.