Brace yourselves, the tax-payer funded million dollar investigation into Governor Chris Christie’s conduct by Governor Chris Christie’s lawyers has found that Governor Chris Christie did nothing wrong. Case closed. Unless you think there might be a conflict of interest in having your own lawyers – paid to defend you – investigate your conduct.
You don’t, do you?
The report is written like a political document labeling opponents as “crazy” and disclosing a personal relationship between Bill Stepien and Bridget Kelly. But one part worth noting – that could end up having serious impact – is that at least one Port Authority official claimed outright to have told Governor Christie about the illegal lane closures during a 9/11 memorial service.
That official would be David Wildstein, Governor Christie’s special appointee to the Port Authority.
The Port Authority official who oversaw the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge said that he had informed Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey about it at a Sept. 11 memorial while the closings were occurring, according to results from an internal investigation released on Thursday by lawyers for the governor.
The official, David Wildstein, told Mr. Christie’s press secretary, Michael Drewniak, of the Sept. 11 conversation at a dinner in December just before his resignation from the Port Authority, according to the report.
So Wildstein did tell Christie about the closings when they met at the 9/11 memorial which would invalidate Christie’s previous statement that he had not heard about the closings until after the fact. If Governor Christie knew before the fact he lied during his press conference.
Governor Christie’s lawyer/independent investigator claimed Christie did not remember being told about the event by Wildstein, though he did remember meeting him.
“The governor recalled seeing Mr. Wildstein,” Mr. Mastro said. He recalled a brief interaction, he said, “but does not recall the specifics of that conversation or the mention of any traffic issue in Fort Lee.”
“The governor points out that the mention of traffic issue in Fort Lee would not have been memorable or meaningful,” Mr. Mastro said.
Notice that that is not a real denial that Wildstein informed Christie of the closings, only that Christie does not remember it happened.
If Wildstein is prepared to testify, under oath, that Christie was not only told about the illegal lane closings but ordered them impeachment proceedings might begin. We are a long way away from that outcome but this testimony takes us a step closer.
The saga of Bridgegate is far from over.
Photo by Bob Jagendorf under Creative Commons license.