The Bombshell: In the middle of a cross-examination at Tuesday's Bridgegate trial, defense attorney Michael Critchley made a startling suggestion. Critchley represents defendant Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff to the governor. Critchley asked the witness for the prosecution, former Port Authority deputy executive director Deborah Gramiccioni, if she knew that Kelly and Gov. Chris Christie "had discussions about the lane closures before they occurred." He added that Christie and Kelly had also talked about the lane closures while the lanes were closed.
Gramiccioni said she had no knowledge of the assertion. It was not backed up by evidence and may never come up again at trial. This was merely a question put to a witness.
But it could indicate that Kelly, when she testifies in her own defense, may blame the whole Bridgegate affair on the governor himself. Because Critchley wasn't done. He added one more question for Gramiccioni: Did you have lunch with Kelly and Christie on Aug. 13? Gramiccioni remembered the lunch, but not the exact date. That date is significant — it’s the very day that Kelly wrote the smoking gun "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email.
Christie, of course, has denied having any knowledge of the scheme until months afterward.
The Curses: As detailed in today’s Christie Tracker Podcast, the trial has featured a colorful array of curse words. Tuesday’s offerings:
The Lies: David Wildstein, the prosecution's star witness who pleaded guilty to the crime, has implicated a range of people in both the scheme and the cover-up. But the lies to the public through the press have perhaps been most eye-opening. Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich previously testified that he lied in a letter to the editor when he said there was nothing retaliatory about the lane closures. And Pat Foye, executive director of the Port Authority, testified that he agreed to put out a statement about the traffic study cover story that he knew to be false. On Tuesday, Nunziato said he, too, released a bogus press release in which the Port Authority police union described the traffic jam as the result of a poorly-communicated traffic study. He did it because he "didn’t want retaliation" from Baroni and Wildstein, he said, and wanted to "protect" his members. Nunziato also claimed that, at the time, he still believed that the "traffic study" defense was truthful.