Saturday, February 1, 2014

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie May Learn the Hard Way – You Don’t Throw People Who Can Testify Against You Under the Bus

 Even if the Bus is Not Moving Because of Lane Closings on the GW Bridge

Update to the Update:  It is now clear that one goal of Mr. Wildstein is to obtain immunity.  That certainly colors his claims, and so everyone should just wait and see.

Chris Christies holds bridge scandal press conference[Update:  The Newark Star Ledger has an editorial in which it calls for Mr. Christie's resignation or impeachment if it turns out there is credible evidence that he knew about the bridge closure issues while it was happening, and not much later as he has claimed.

If this charge proves true, then the governor must resign or be impeached. Because that would leave him so drained of credibility that he could not possibly govern effectively. He would owe it to the people of New Jersey to stop the bleeding and quit. And if he should refuse, then the Legislature should open impeachment hearings.

Yes, this is the same Governor who won a huge re-election victory just months ago.]

New Jersey Gov. Christie has staked the rest of his life on the claim that he did not know anything about the plot to create a massive traffic jam on the approach to the GW Bridge in order to retaliate for the fact that a Democratic Mayor of Fort Lee did not endorse his re-election.  And in doing so he publicly disparaged a couple of aides and close advisors.  One of these was David Wildstein who was a friend (now denied by Christie), a close advisor (now denied by Wildstein) and one of the key persons involved in the scandal.

The problem Mr. Wildstein has right now is that he is the subject of massive investigations and his employer has cut him loose as far as legal bills are concerned.

The Port Authority has since refused to pay his legal costs associated with inquiries by the New Jersey Legislature and United States attorney into the lane closings. In his two-hour news conference earlier this month, Mr. Christie said his friendship with Mr. Wildstein had been overstated; that while the governor had been class president and an athlete, he did not recall Mr. Wildstein well from that period and had rarely seen him in recent months.

So Mr. Wildstein is using what little leverage he has, namely the accusation that Christie while maybe not involved in the planning of the incident, lied when he said he did not know about it when it was happening.

In a letter released by his lawyer, the former official, David Wildstein, a high school friend of Mr. Christie’s who was appointed with the governor’s blessing at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the bridge, described the order to close the lanes as “the Christie administration’s order” and said “evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference” three weeks ago.

Now this may well be a false claim, after all Mr. Wildstein is not exactly a very nice person. And Mr. Wildstein's attorney has a history of battling Gov. Christie and may be simply taking advantage of a situation that fell into his lap.   But that may not matter.  By simply raising the possibility that Mr. Christie was involved Mr. Wildstein may well be shoveling one of the last loads of dirt on Mr. Chritie's political coffin.  As a former federal prosecutor and as a powerful, bullying Governor Mr. Christie is used to having the stage to himself, to brooking no opposition.  In both his races for Governor he was on the offensive, not the defensive.  But that is an unnatural state of affairs, as Mr. Christie may well find out.  A person with nothing to lose may well delight in taking someone down with  him.

1 comment:

  1. Hard to believe Christie created an environment where this type of behavior was acceptable and knew nothing...nothing. Either he is too cluless to govern or he is guilty of malfeasance. Mr. Christie needs to go to timeout.