Christie’s office attacks former appointee’s claims

BY Elisabeth Ponsot  February 1, 2014 at 8:12 PM EST

In an e-mail to supporters Saturday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s office rebuked claims made by his former ally, David Wildstein.

The strongly-worded e-mail, written with the headline “5 Things You Should Know About The Bombshell That’s Not A Bombshell,” was obtained by and posted on the political news website, Politico.com. A spokesman for the governor confirmed the email’s authenticity to Reuters.

The e-mail challenged a New York Times report that said the former Port Authority executive claimed to have evidence proving Mr. Christie knew about the lane closings that ensnarled traffic on the George Washington Bridge over a four-day span in September.

“For the second time in 24 hours, the governor’s office has responded forcefully to the latest allegation by David Wildstein that the governor didn’t tell the whole truth in his Jan. 9 press conference,” NJTV Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron told PBS NewsHour in an e-mail. “They are sticking with the position that he knew about the GWB lane closures only after the fact and when press accounts appeared.”

“Of course, if it comes out that Christie knew about the lane closures ahead of time, or went along with a four-month cover-up for some period of weeks, he’s in grave trouble. But for now he is sticking to his position,” Aron added.

Last month, the governor said he was “blindsided”by the bridge scandal, when correspondence among his closest aides indicated the traffic jam had been purposefully orchestrated to to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J. for not endorsing the governor’s bid for reelection.

“I had no knowledge or involvement in this issue, in its planning or its execution,” Mr. Christie said.

Related:

A letter released yesterday on behalf of Port Authority official David Wildstein says evidence exists that proves New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew about the controversial George Washington Bridge lane closure while the situation was ongoing. How may this development affect the investigation? Hari Sreenivasan talks with the Michael Aron of NJTV News about the unfolding scandal.