(To see previous testimony from Thursday, click here.)
NEWARK, N.J. (CN) — Gov. Chris Christie's indicted former staffer had daggers in her eyes Thursday as the court heard damning evidence from a witness she once counted as a friend.
Christina Renna took the stand Thursday afternoon to testify for federal prosecutors about a September 2013 traffic jam that mired New Jersey commuters, school buses and emergency vehicles in four days of gridlock.
The congestion began on Sept. 9, 2013, with the sudden closure of two lanes connecting Fort Lee, N.J., to New York City via the George Washington Bridge.
Prosecutors say three Christie allies engineered the lane closures to get back at Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich because the Democrat had withdrawn his support of Republican Christie for re-election.
Renna has been a highly anticipated witness in the trial since attorneys unearthed a text message she sent Christie staffer Peter Sheridan during Christie's Dec. 13, 2013, press conference.
Renna had texted that the governor "flat-out lied" about his senior staff not being involved in the lane closures.
Since Christie still maintains that he did not know at the time about the involvement of his staffers, Renna's message cast doubt there.
Today Renna said she really should not have been speculating about what Christie knew.
"That was a poor choice of words," she said.
With a guilty plea already from David Wildstein, a trial began last month against Christie's former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Ann Kelly, and Bill Baroni, a trusted Christie appointee. Baroni and Wildstein both worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a public agency that operated the bridge.
Like Kelly, Renna worked for Christie's now-defunct Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. The two had been close once but a falling out that went unexplained from the stand today cast a noticeable chill in the courtroom. Kelly's defense attorney Michael Critchley smiled throughout.
Renna told the court about emailing Kelly on Sept. 13, the day Fort Lee's lanes finally reopened under an executive order from the head of the Port Authority.
The message relayed that Sokolich had finally gotten hold of his liaison at Christie's office, a regional director named Evan Ridley. Sokolich had apparently told Ridley that Christie's office was making him look like a "fucking idiot."
Kelly had one word about it.
"Good," she replied to Renna at 11:44 p.m.
No one replied to Sokolich.
Prosecutors entered copies of the emails into evidence.
The scowl Kelly trained on Renna hardly wavered throughout the witness's testimony today. Renna said she was under the impression that Sokolich was in the mayor's "penalty box."
Previous testimony has established that the office had a more sinister application aside from its stated mission of connecting the governor to municipal officials. The Mr. Hyde face of the office allowed Christie's team to keep track of those who slighted Christie, and dished out punishments accordingly.
Interrupting hours of dirty looks and head shaking, Kelly shed tears for 20 seconds in court this afternoon when her family was mentioned.