Key Witness In Bridgegate Trial Returns To The Stand

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The former Gov. Chris Christie staffer who texted that the governor “lied” about his staff’s involvement in the controversial George Washington Bridge lane closures is back on the stand.

Cross examination began Friday with former Christie aide Christina Renna, who reported directly to the governor’s former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported.


Testimony shows that the two staffers had an up and down relationship in and out of the office after Kelly did not promote Renna, Baker reported.

On Friday morning, Kelly walked into court with a smile on her face, but there were tears in the courtroom Thursday, when Renna recounted the day Kelly’s infamous email from before the closures came to light.

The email read, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”

It was sent to former Port Authority official David Wildstein and got out to the press.

WEB EXTRA: Timeline of key events in “Bridgegate” investigation

When Renna began testifying about the incident, Kelly started crying in court.

Kelly defense attorney Michael Critchley said that day was the worst of his client’s life.

“You know, that day, so you understand context, she actually thought she was having a nervous breakdown,” Critchley said. “Her children were being chased at school. Her mother was calling up. Everybody was crying; doesn’t know what is going on. And today when that was mentioned about that day, it just brought back all of those memories.”

On that same day, Renna said Kelly called her — nervous — saying “What was I supposed to do? Tell DW [David Wildstein] not to do something?”

Renna says Kelly went on to say, “If David says there was a traffic study I have no doubt there was a traffic study.”

Counter to Wildstein’s testimony, Renna said that Kelly was not “a decision maker.” Renna also recounted one of the last phone calls she had with Kelly, who told her, “You can’t trust anyone, Christina.”

Back on Dec. 13, 2013, Christie gave a lengthy news conference where he denied knowing anything about the closures and said his staff was not involved.

At the news conference, Christie said he had “made it very clear to everybody on my senior staff that if anyone had any knowledge about this that they needed to come forward to me and tell me about it, and they’ve all assured me that they don’t.”

During that news conference, Renna sent a text message to Peter Sheridan, who was working on Christie’s re-election campaign. The text read, “He just flat out lied.”

On Thursday, Renna corrected what she meant in the comment. She said she had no knowledge that Christie knew of the lane realignment, but she knew Kelly was aware of it.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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