"What Did He Know, and When Did He Know It?" Bridge-Gate Plot Thickens

David Wildstein, the former Port Authority official who resigned over the George Washington Bridge-Gate lane closures and has refused to answer investigators' questions, indicated in his lawyer's letter that N.J. Gov. Christie knew of the closures.
February 1, 2014, 7am PST | Irvin Dawid
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To those who have been following Bridge-Gate, the revelation that Gov. Chris Christie knew of the early September lane closures to Fort Lee N.J. conflcts with what the N.J. governor has stated publicly, blaming the closures on his "rogue staff" from whom he was careful to distance himself. 

"In a letter [PDF] released by his lawyer,...Wildstein...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," writes Kate Zernike in what was described as a "bombshell" report" by Salon's Elias Isquith.

During his news conference, Mr. Christie specifically said he had no knowledge that traffic lanes leading to the bridge had been closed until after they were reopened. “I had no knowledge of this — of the planning, the execution or anything about it — and that I first found out about it after it was over,” he said. “And even then, what I was told was that it was a traffic study.”

The letter did not specify what the evidence was. Gov. Christie's response came quickly, "insisting the letter supports Mr. Chrisitie’s contention that he did not know of the closings in advance." 

In USA Today, John Schoonejongen of Asbury Park Press writes that Wildstein attorney Alan "Zegas' letter sent shock waves through New Jersey's political community, with one veteran pundit saying the revelation was a 'bombshell'."

As with so many "gate" scandals, it's the denial or cover-up that gets the politician at the end. However, Bridge-gate has many more acts to play, so we'll try to limit our reports to the "bombshells."

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Published on Friday, January 31, 2014 in The New York Times
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