The Latest: Aide: 'Traffic problems' email wasn't payback

AP News
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Posted: Oct 25, 2016 1:22 PM

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on the sixth week of testimony in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing trial (all times local):

1:20 p.m.

A former aide to Republican Gov. Chris Christie says an email she sent saying "time for some traffic problems" near the George Washington Bridge referred to a traffic study, not a political retaliation plot.

Former aide Bridget Kelly and former bridge authority official Bill Baroni are charged with closing bridge access lanes and causing gridlock to punish a Democratic mayor who didn't endorse Christie's re-election.

Facing cross-examination, Kelly repeated her testimony from Friday that she used a poor choice of words when she emailed former bridge authority official David Wildstein.

Wildstein has pleaded guilty and testified against Kelly and Baroni.

Kelly testified Tuesday the email referred to the traffic that would ensue once the lanes were closed. She said she believed it was a legitimate traffic study.

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11:50 a.m.

A former aide to Republican Gov. Chris Christie facing criminal charges in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal is being cross-examined on how his office deliberately ignored a Democratic mayor who wasn't going to endorse Christie's 2013 re-election.

Bridget Kelly and a former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive are charged with closing bridge access lanes to punish a different Democratic mayor who didn't endorse Christie.

Prosecutors are seeking to show Kelly and Bill Baroni "froze out" Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop after it became evident Fulop wouldn't endorse Christie. They contend similar treatment was given to Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich months later during the lane closures.

Kelly testified Tuesday the situations involving two mayors were different and there was no reason to retaliate against Sokolich.

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11:20 a.m.

A former aide to Republican Gov. Chris Christie testifies she felt uncomfortable when she was told by superiors to cancel meetings with a Democratic New Jersey mayor who was unlikely to endorse Christie's 2013 re-election.

Bridget Kelly is testifying Tuesday for the third day in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing trial. She and a co-defendant are charged with concocting a plot to use traffic jams near the bridge to punish a different mayor — Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich — for not endorsing Christie.

Prosecutors are seeking to demonstrate Kelly and former bridge authority executive Bill Baroni used a similar tactic in "freezing out" Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop earlier in the year.

Kelly and Baroni say they believed the lane closures were part of a traffic study.

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9:55 a.m.

Federal prosecutors are cross-examining a former aide to Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who is on trial in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal.

Bridget Kelly was back on the witness stand Tuesday for her third day of testimony.

Kelly testified Monday that she told Christie a Democratic mayor had expressed concern the resulting traffic jams in his city were political retribution. She said Christie lied three months later when he told reporters no one on his senior staff knew of the plot.

Kelly was Christie's deputy chief of staff. She's on trial with a former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive who prosecutors say launched the plot as revenge against the mayor because he wouldn't endorse Christie.

Christie hasn't been charged.

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12:20 a.m.

Federal prosecutors will resume their cross-examination of a former aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who is facing criminal charges in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal.

Bridget Kelly returns to the stand Tuesday.

Kelly testified Monday that she told the Republican governor a Democratic mayor had expressed concern the resulting traffic jams in his city were political retribution. She said Christie lied three months later when he said at a news conference no one on his senior staff knew of the plot.

Kelly was Christie's deputy chief of staff. She's on trial with a former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive who prosecutors say launched the plot as revenge against the mayor because he would not endorse Christie.

Christie has not been charged and denies any wrongdoing.