One of Governor Chris Christie’s key advisors, Mike DuHaime, has been cited as the common link between the different Christie officials and staff that are known to be involved in the illegal lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. DuHaime is cited in a recent report issued by Christie’s lawyers to have been in communication with Bridget Kelly, Bill Stepien, and David Wildstein.
DuHaime has deep connections to both Christie and his administration from his career running and advising campaigns in New Jersey. DuHaime was even the architect of Christie’s 2009 gubernatorial campaign. Despite not taking a position in the Christie Administration, DuHaime maintained ties with everyone and served as a messenger between the various people in the Christie Administration inside the Governor’s office and the Port Authority.
“At some point, Wildstein told DuHaime specifically that Kelly and Stepien knew about the traffic study beforehand. DuHaime does not recall when, but it was sometime between the coffee shop conversation and early December. Wildstein reiterated that he would take responsibility for what happened but remained frustrated that other people were not taking responsibility. Wildstein did not say the basis or source of Kelly’s or Stepien’s knowledge, and did not specify the extent or details of their knowledge.”
So Christie knew about the traffic study well before he made his official denial according to one of his closest advisors. Governor Christie also asked DuHaime to investigate the nature of the relationship between Kelly and Stepien, which he did.
It is unknown how much information DuHaime gleaned from serving as messenger though it seems likely he will be subpoenaed by the New Jersey Legislature’s Special Investigative Committee. It will be interesting to see if DuHaime invokes the Fifth Amendment given that he was not working at the Port Authority nor Christie Administration at the time of the lane closings. Other than a conspiracy charge it’s not clear what possible legal sanctions he could even face.
The chairman of the committee, Assemblyman John Wisniewski, has said more subpoenas are set to be issued. There might be one in the next batch with DuHaime’s name on it.