The Latest: Christie spokesman says he believed bridge story

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

1:20 p.m.

A former press secretary for Republican Gov. Chris Christie has testified he believed early on that traffic jams at the George Washington Bridge in 2013 were part of a bridge authority traffic study.

Michael Drewniak also said he didn't ask Christie if he knew about them.

Drewniak testified Wednesday in the trial of two former Christie allies charged with causing gridlock at the bridge to punish a Democratic mayor who didn't endorse Christie. Christie hasn't been charged.

Drewniak said he first heard David Wildstein's account of the gridlock in Fort Lee a few days after it ended in mid-September 2013. Prosecutors say Wildstein's story was a lie to cover up the real reason for the scheme.

Wildstein pleaded guilty last year and testified earlier in the trial against former Christie staffer Bridget Kelly and former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive Bill Baroni.

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11:15 a.m.

Jurors have finished hearing testimony from a former ally of Republican Gov. Chris Christie who's a defendant in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case.

Bill Baroni's testimony spanned three days. He and former Christie staffer Bridget Kelly are charged with causing gridlock at the bridge linking New Jersey and New York to punish a Democratic mayor who didn't endorse Christie. Christie wasn't charged.

Kelly is also expected to testify.

On Wednesday, Baroni defended his 2013 testimony to legislators that the jams arose from a traffic study. He also testified that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has no written policies on how to conduct traffic studies. Baroni is a former executive there.

Baroni and Kelly face nine counts. The most serious carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.

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9:51 a.m.

A former ally of Republican Gov. Chris Christie is on the witness stand for a third day in the criminal trial stemming from lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in 2013.

Bill Baroni and former Christie staffer Bridget Kelly are charged with causing traffic jams at the bridge to punish a Democratic mayor who didn't endorse Christie. Kelly is also expected to testify.

Baroni testified this week he believed a former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey colleague who pleaded guilty that the lane realignment was part of a traffic study. Prosecutors contend that was a cover story to mask the plot's true intention.

Baroni and Kelly face nine counts each, and the most serious carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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