Andrew McCarthy: Bridge-gate 'Not Great' for Christie

Thursday, 09 Jan 2014 06:00 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Bridge-gate will make New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie "uncomfortable" for some time to come because of his apparent cluelessness about his staff's wrongdoing, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy says.

"At best, he comes out of this not great because if he really didn't know anything, that means that the people who were closest to him, who he chose, pulled this off right under his nose," McCarthy told "The Steve Malzberg Show" Thursday on Newsmax TV.

"And if he's telling the truth about that he got a full briefing from them and presumably asked them all of the right questions two weeks ago and then this hit him like a bolt from the blue today, then he didn't ask the right questions and he didn't conduct a competent investigation."

Story continues below video.



After emails between Christie staffers were released showing they ordered traffic-clogging lane closings to the George Washington Bridge for political payback, Christie said he felt "betrayed" and knew nothing about it, despite earlier defending his staff.

"Over two weeks ago on a New Jersey radio town-hall style program, [Christie] was pointedly asked about this controversy and he said that he had had his staff look into it and he had gotten, these are his words, a full briefing on it from [them]," McCarthy said.

"I find I find that very difficult to square with what he's saying now … This could be uncomfortable for a while."

McCarthy says he is disturbed that certain names were blacked out on the emails, which indicated that Christie's staff closed the lanes in retribution for the mayor of Fort Lee refusing to endorse Christie's reelection."

"This is not exactly a national security case. Why they need to be blacking stuff out of emails, I don't know," said McCarthy, a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and author of "Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy."

"There seem to be a number of people who were copied on them or referred to in them from Christie's office. There's a lot of potential for putting people in the grand jury and asking for testimony. This could be uncomfortable for a while.

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