Tags: Christie Bridge Controversy | Exclusive Interviews | Steve Malzberg Show | Christie | investigation | report | bridge

Star-Ledger's Mulshine: Christie Probe 'More Like a Press Release'

Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 05:37 PM

Questions continue to swirl about a report released Thursday exonerating New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie of responsibility for a plot to create gridlock near the entrance to the George Washington Bridge as part of a political retribution scheme.

The report was commissioned by Christie and conducted by a law firm with close ties to the Republican governor. It cost taxpayers $1 million to produce.

New Jersey Star Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV that the report lacked credibility.

"The whole thing reads like a press release, it doesn't read like … an honest report into what happened here," Mulshine said.

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The report indicates that a Port Authority official who oversaw the commuter lane closings approaching the George Washington Bridge that exacerbated rush-hour traffic around Fort Lee, N.J., from Sept. 9-12 told Christie about the situation when the two saw each other during an unrelated event during the closings, according to the New York Times.

The report said Christie didn't recall the meeting, and the law firm that wrote the report apparently accepted the governor's explanation that he would not have remembered details of a conversation about a seemingly mundane traffic situation.

The report failed to disclose a motive behind the closures. Previous reports said they were made as an unspecified political payback against Democratic Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich. Mulshine said he believes Christie didn't order the closures, but that he knew about them shortly afterward.

"Christie was in this coverup right until the end and he almost pulled it off," Mulshine said. "The spin that this was somehow benefiting Fort Lee just was absolute nonsense and it was a negative for Fort Lee and obviously they were trying to punish Fort Lee and here was Christie pushing this ridiculous line that he kept pushing right up until the end that this could have been a legitimate traffic study."

The investigators who issued today's report were unable to interview David Wildstein, the Port Authority official who supposedly told Christie about the lane closures, and Bridget Anne Kelly, the governor's former deputy chief of staff, who Christie fired in January over the scandal.

Mulshine said he thinks those two could have information critical to solving the mystery of why the lane closures were ordered, and that they could also have evidence implicating Christie.

"As a betting man, if I was a betting man, I'd say yes. There's some really great stuff out there and this scandal's going to be super great," Mulshine said.

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