U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman is leaning on former Port Authority officials David Samson, Bill Baroni and David Wildstein and Charles McKenna, Governor Chris Christie’s former Chief Counsel, to”filp” on Christie, according to a report published on Esquire today.
Esquire’s two anonymous sources “with intimate knowledge” of Fishman’s investigation into “Bridgegate” said that Samson, Baroni and Wildstein each face “near-certain” indictment.
Esquire says that Baroni and Wildstein have implicated Samson and that “if Sampson doesn’t give Fishman Christie, Sampson is toast.”
The former prosecutors that the Christie Administration hired to perform an internal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closures and allegations made by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer that Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno told Zimmer that Sandy aid for Hoboken was contingent upon a development approval will release the findings of their investigation on Thursday morning at 11:30.
A New York Timesarticle about the report published on Sunday says it will address what and when Mr. Christie and his aides knew about the lane closings; analyze the structure, practices and culture of the Christie administration that contributed to the scandal; and issue pointed recommendations to prevent such conduct in the future.
Randy Mastro, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and a Deputy to former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani, lead the team of lawyers from Gibson Dunn in conducting the investigation. Over 70 interviews were conducted and thousands of documents reviewed in the probe that cost New Jersey taxpayers over $1 million.
Three key players in the Bridgegate scandal, Christie former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Ann Kelly, Christie’s former political strategist Bill Stepien and David Wildstein, Christie’s former #2 at the Port Authority of NY/NJ, did not submit to interviews with Mastro’s team.
A joint legislative committee lead by Assemblyman John Wisniewski and Senator Loretta Weinberg continues to investigate the Bridgegate matters. U. S Attorney Paul Fishman’s office is also investigating.
Christie told NJ 101.5’s Eric Scott during his Ask the Governor radio show on Wednesday evening that if Mastro’s report implicates members of his staff, that punitive measures will be taken.
MMM will livestream Mastro’s press conference on Thursday at 11:30 AM
TRENTON — New e-mails released today by the legislative panel investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closings link Gov. Chris Christie’s chief political strategist, Mike DuHaime, to discussions about the scandal and show more intimate involvement…
On Aug. 5, 2011, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey issued a jaw-dropping proposal to immediately raise bridge and tunnel tolls by $4 for E-ZPass subscribers and $7 for cash customers, followed by another increase in 2014. The proposed hikes…
Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich did not endorse Governor Chris Christie’s reelection. Many think that decision led Christie staffers and Port Authority appointees to shut down his town’s access to the George Washington Bridge. The controversy over the GWB lane closures has enthralled the national and local media for the last month and put the governor’s presidential prospects in jeopardy.
Christie said he knew nothing about the lane closures until he heard about them in the media. David Wildstien, the former Port Authority official who order the lane closure says that “evidence exists” that Christie knew about the lane closures “while they were happening.”
The Democratic mayor believes Christie and not Wildstein, according to a report at Bloomberg.com.
“I’m the guy giving the governor the benefit of the doubt, and I take him at his word,” Sokolich said today in an interview. “I’ve said it 100 times, I’m not rooting for the highest elected official in the state of New Jersey to be involved in this. I’m not. But I don’t know, it seems like all sorts of things are happening.”
“I’m not a Wildstein fan, I’ve made no secret of that,” Sokolich said. “Anything that emanates from his camp has to be taken with a grain of salt.”
Governor Chris Christie’s office went on the offensive today, attacking The New York Times and David Wildstein, in an email to friends and allies, according to a report at Politico.
The email reads as follows:
5 Things You Should Know About The Bombshell That’s Not A Bombshell
1. New York Times Bombshell Not A Bombshell. A media firestorm was set off by sloppy reporting from the New York Times and their suggestion that there was actually “evidence” when it was a letter alleging that “evidence exists.” Forced to change the lead almost immediately, the Times was roundly criticized, and its editor was forced to issue this extraordinary statement to the Huffington Post:
Most people who are paying attention to ‘Bridgegate’ now realize that the letter from David Wildstein’s attorney, Alan Zegas, released to the press yesterday afternoon is not the smoking gun that many in the media have been hoping for that would put an end to Governor Chris Christie’s presidential ambitions or possibly lead to his resignation or impeachment.
The letter, part of a negotiation with Port Authority over Wildstein’s legal fees, is not evidence that Christie lied in his January 9, 2013 press conference. The letter raises many questions and answers few if any. Some of those questions could complicate Wildstein’s legal problems. Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the co-chair of the state legislative committee investigating Bridgegate, wants to know why Wildstein did not include the evidence referred to in the letter with all the other documents he provided to the Assembly Transportation Committee, including the now infamous email exchange between Wildstein and Bridget Ann Kelly that blew the Bridgegate story open on January 8.
If any of the news outlets that reported on the letter revealed who released it, I missed it.
The release of the letter reignited the media frenzy over Bridgegate just as Christie was generating non-scandal related publicity associated with the Super Bowl and Howard Stern’s birthday. That was obviously the intent of releasing the letter. By protecting the identity of the leaker, the media is complicit with that agenda.
TRENTON — If true, the claims in former Port Authority official David Wildstein’s letter are explosive and potentially deadly to Gov. Chris Christie’s political future, New Jersey politicians agreed today. But they also conceded the letter raised…
Governor Chris Christie’s office released the following statement addressing the allegations made in The New York Times today:
“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. 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.”
David Wildstein, the former Port Authority Official who ordered the September 2013 lane closures on the George Washington Bridge that have come to be know as Bridgegate, claims that he has evidence exists that Governor Chris Christie knew about the lane closures as they were happening, according to a report in the New York Times.
In a letter released by his lawyer, the 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.
“Mr. Wildstein contests the accuracy of various statements that the governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some,” the letter added.
The letter from Wildstein’s attorney, Alan L. Zegas, can be read here.
Christie’s two hour press conference wherein he denied any prior knowledge of the lane closures and announced the termination of his Deputy Chief of Staff, Bridget Ann Kelly, and his top political adviser, Bill Stepien, can be viewed by clicking here.
Christie press spokesman, Michael Drewniak, has not responded to a phone call and an email requesting comment on Wildstein’s allegations.