David Wildstein – Bridgegate cases rest heavily on his credibility
When the Bridgegate trial begins this summer, federal prosecutors will rely on the testimony of former Port Authority operative David Wildstein to convince a jury that two fellow ex-associates of Gov. Chris Christie were key players in the lane closing scheme at the George Washington Bridge in September 2013.
Lawyers for Bill Baroni, former deputy executive director of the Port Authority, and Bridget Kelly, former deputy chief of staff to Christie, are expected to attack Wildstein's credibility, arguing he has a checkered past and can't be trusted.
Wildstein grew up in Livingston with Christie and attended high school with him, but the governor has insisted he did not spend time with Wildstein, and doesn't remember him.
Several months after Bridgegate broke, lawyers for Christie suggested Wildstein is an oddball, saying he had "50 crazy ideas a week."
"No one disputes that David Wildstein is a criminal and a liar," said Michael Baldassare, attorney for Baroni.
Baldassare said over the past few years, Wildstein has lied to numerous individuals involved with the Port Authority, as well as members of the Christie administration, people within the governor's inner circle, and various lawyers.
"Habitual liar David Wildstein lied under oath to a federal judge about his client," Baldassare said. "No one should be surprised at his eagerness to concoct any story that he thinks will help him stay out of federal prison. We're confident everyone will see this desperate ploy for exactly what it is."
Kelly said the bottom line is simple: "David Wildstein is a liar."
Her attorney, Michael Critchley, said everyone needs to remember Wildstein is a questionable character who has been described by many as peculiar.
"What David Wildstein has done is cherry-pick some facts, taken other facts out of context, and omitted other facts," Critchley said. "You're going to say at the end of this case, 'Why did they even bring it?'"
Critchley added, for those individuals who know David Wildstein and are familiar with his claims, "Many of these things don't make sense to you -- the whole theory of prosecution, retribution, when you examine it, doesn't make sense to you."
The trial is scheduled to begin July 7.