It’s shaping up to be a bad year for Cuomo. The proverbial apple fallen far from the tree recently saw corruption charges brought against two former aides. And over the last few months, he has slowly but surely become entwined with Bridgegate, which has all but ruined the political career of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Cuomo, an angry ball of nepotism, wasn’t initially suspected to be involved—in fact, he wasn’t even asked about it for three months. When he finally was asked about Bridgegate, Cuomo responded, “I don’t know anything more than basically what has been in the newspaper, because it was basically a New Jersey issue.”
But it’s become increasingly clear that his office knew more than Cuomo may have let on. In July, WNYC reported that Cuomo’s office consulted with Christie’s aides in the Port Authority about the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge as they were happening. And on Wednesday, a star prosecution witness, David Wildstein, implicated Cuomo in the cover-up when he testified that Cuomo’s administration told its officials at the bistate Port Authority to “lay off” Christie. According to Wildstein, Cuomo signed off on the plan to claim that the lane closures were the result of a “traffic study” and not political payback against a Fort Lee mayor who refused to endorse Christie.
Why Cuomo would stick his neck out for Christie remains a mystery, but it is in keeping with the vibe of Cuomo’s administration, which is one of general shadiness. Of course, Cuomo’s team has admitted no wrongdoing. They released a statement on Wednesday saying, “The only role New York played in this episode was a positive one: it was our executive director who blew the whistle and ordered the bridge reopened.”