NEWARK — Over three days of testimony in the Bridgegate trial, chief witness David Wildstein has widened the circle of people he contends knew more than they have publicly admitted about the plot to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge.

Wildstein previously pleaded guilty to charges he orchestrated the plan to punish the mayor of Fort Lee for declining to endorse Gov. Chris Christie in his re-election effort. Wildstein is testifying on behalf of the federal government against Bridget Anne Kelly, the governor’s former deputy chief of staff, and Bill Baroni, deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New Jersey.

Prosecutors have not charged anyone beyond Baroni and Kelly in connection with the lane closures.

Gov. Chris Christie

Chris Christie (file photo)

Wildstein testified Tuesday that he and Baroni, while speaking with the governor at a Sept. 11 memorial event in 2013, boasted about the traffic jams and the difficulties the lane closures were causing for Mayor Mark Sokolich, who had declined to endorse Christie for re-election.

Wildstein said he also told the governor neither he nor Baroni were returning Sokolich’s phone calls, adding, “… you’ll be pleased to know Mayor Sokolich is very frustrated.”

Wildstein did not explicitly say on the stand that Christie knew the lane closures were meant to punish Sokolich, but he hinted at it as he cited the governor’s apparently sarcastic response.

“Well, I’m sure Mr. Edge would not be involved in anything political,” Wilstein said the governor told him, referring to Wildstein’s pseudonym as the political blogger Wally Edge.

Christie on Tuesday reiterated he did not know about the retaliation plan, saying he has told “the absolute truth.”

Bill Stepien

Stepien, who now advises Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, was Christie’s campaign manager leading up to the lane closures.

Bill Stepien (File photo)

Wildstein testified he informed Stepien ahead of the closures that they were planned as an act of political retaliation against Sokolich. The witness added, however, that he did not keep Stepien in the loop as the plan unfolded. Wildstein acknowledged Stepien also told him he did not want to be involved in Port Authority business.

In an email exchange with Wildstein after the closures, Stepien referred to Sokolich as an “idiot” and told him not to worry about early press coverage, authorities have previously revealed. Christie later dropped plans to name Stepien the state Republican Party chairman.

In a statement, a lawyer for Stepien reiterated his client “had no role in planning, approving, or concealing (Wildstein’s) ill-advised scheme to close access lanes to the GWB.”

Mike DuHaime

Mike DuHaime (File photo)

DuHaime was Christie’s top outside strategist in the governor’s re-election effort and in his failed bid for president. Wildstein testified Tuesday that he told DuHaime about the punitive aspects of the plan on Nov. 11, 2013, confirming early news stories suggesting the lane closures were political retaliation.

“I told Mr. DuHaime that others in the governor’s office were involved … (and that) I felt this story was going to go in a very bad direction,” Wildstein testified. “I told him that this was political … retaliation.”

DuHaime expressed dissatisfaction with the plot, calling it a “very bad idea,” and said he would have told Wildstein not to go through with it, the witness said.

When Wildstein told him he and Baroni had also informed Christie at the Sept. 11 memorial event, DuHaime responded the governor must have thought they were joking.

An attorney for DuHaime said Tuesday his client “has, at all times, told the truth when he has been questioned about this matter.”

David Samson

David Samson (File photo)

Samson, the Port Authority’s former chairman and a longtime Christie ally who once served as state attorney general, pleaded guilty to a bribery charge in July for using his considerable clout at the bistate agency to coerce United Airlines into providing a special flight to South Carolina, where Samson has a second home.

Wildstein testified he told Samson about the lane closures during the plot’s planning stage and explicitly stated the motivation behind them: to create difficulties for Sokolich for declining to back Christie.

Samson has denied advance knowledge of the plot. He is scheduled to be sentenced on the bribery charge in December.

He could get a sentence ranging from probation to up to 24 months in prison, although the crime to which he pleaded guilty has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, prosecutors said.

William “Pat” Schuber

William “Pat” Schuber (file photo)

Schuber, a former mayor, assemblyman and Bergen County executive, has served on the Port Authority’s board of commissioners since 2011, when Christie appointed him.

Wildstein testified he viewed Schuber as a trusted Christie associate and emailed him on Aug. 29, 2013, to set up a meeting to discuss a “local Fort Lee/GWB issue.”

The next morning, the two met at the River Edge Diner, where Wildstein told Schuber plans to create traffic in Fort Lee “come from the governor’s office” and were intended to punish Sokolich for declining to endorse Christie, the witness testified.

Schuber denies the conversation took place.

“It’s very surprising because I don’t recall that at all and wouldn’t have agreed to it,” he told NJ Advance Media Monday.

Philip Kwon

Philip Kwon (File photo)

Kwon worked as a top deputy in the state Attorney General’s Office before Christie nominated him to be a justice of the state Supreme Court. The nomination was derailed when lawmakers raised questions about his family’s business dealings.

He soon found a job as deputy general counsel at the Port Authority.

Wildstein said he informed Kwon of the reason for the lane closures in the fall of 2013, after they occurred.

Kwon helped Baroni prepare for his appearance before a legislative committee investigating the lane closures. Baroni told lawmakers during the hearings the closures were part of a traffic study, a cover story swiftly determined to be false.

Staff writer Mark Mueller contributed to this report.

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