“Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.”
Like a crossing guard shuffling traffic away from a pileup, Chris Christie responded to explosive allegations by former Port Authority official David Wildstein that ++the governor knew of the closure of toll lanes on the George Washington Bridge by saying that the allegations merely supported his position.
“Mr. Wildstein’s lawyer confirms what the governor has said all along—he had absolutely no prior knowledge of the lane closures before they happened and whatever Mr. Wildstein’s motivations were for closing them to begin with.”
In a letter to the Port Authority today, Wildstein lawyer Alan Zegas wrote that “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.”
In the rest of his statement, Christie spokesman Colin Reed doubled down on the governor’s previous claims of innocence.
“As the governor said in a December 13th press conference, he only first learned lanes were closed when it was reported by the press and as he said in his January 9th press conference, had no indication that this was anything other than a traffic study until he read otherwise the morning of January 8th. The governor denies Mr. Wildstein’s lawyer’s other assertions.”
The letter from Wildstein’s lawyer—alleging that “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”—set off shock waves in New Jersey politics during what was supposed to be a triumphant moment for the governor.
The Super Bowl will be played in the Garden State on Sunday, and on Friday evening Christie was set to appear at a livestreamed birthday party for radio shock jock Howard Stern.
As of press time, Christie’s appearance at the party at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan is still on.