Chris Christie Accused of Lying About Bridge Scandal by Lawyer for Former Port Authority Official Who Demands Agency Cover His Legal Costs

not overChris Christie was
accused of lying
about what he did and didn’t know about the
politically-motivated lane closures at the George Washington Bridge
in a letter (pdf)
from the attorney for David Wildstein, the former Port Authority of
New York and New Jersey official, and childhood friend of
Christie’s, at the center of the scandal. Wildstein resigned from
his position when e-mails from Christie aides to him were revealed
that showed the lane closures were retribution for the Democrat
Fort Lee mayor’s refusal to endorse the Republican Christie.
Earlier this month, CNN
 that the position
Wildstein held, “director of Interstate Capital Projects” was
created specifically for the Christie crony friend. Wildstein

plead the Fifth
in a hearing at the state legislature about the

The attorney’s letter, addressed to the Port Authority’s general
counsel, firstly asks that the Port Authority reconsider its
decision not to pay for Wildstein’s legal defense costs. According
to the letter, the Port Authority had previously explained it was
“apparent” Wildstein wasn’t entitled to indemnification. The lawyer
then cited unspecified “reports” of improper land deals involving
Christie allies and the Port Authority, before moving on to a
similarly vague claim that Christie lied:

It has also come to light that a person within the
Christie administration communicated the Christie administration’s
order that certain lanes on the George Washington Bridge were to be
closed, and 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 he gave immediately before Mr. Wildstein
was scheduled to appear before the Transportation Committee. Mr.
Wildstein contests the accuracy of various statements that the
Governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of

There’s little actually new here. The involvement of people
within the Christie administration in relaying an order to close
lanes is the “it” of the scandal. The actual accusation is broad,
an vague. Christie must have known about the lane closures as they
were happening, after all, it was a huge local news story even
before it was a national political scandal. Coupled with
Wildstein’s attorney’s “demand” that ongoing, and future, legal
costs be covered by the Port Authority, the accusation of lyting
appears self-serving.

Nevertheless,  many columnists declared in their opinion on
the issue that if Christie knew about the political
the lane closures were meant to be, it would be
the end of his career. They’re probably right, but that’s probably
not what Wildstein’s attorney has evidence of. We’ll have to wait
and see until it’s no longer being used as leverage to get money
out of the Port Authority. New Jersey’s taxpayers, it should be
noted, are paying
$650 an hour
for the legal defense of the governor’s aides.

from Hit & Run

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