Star-Ledger's Mulshine: Christie 'Too Smart' Not to Know

Thursday, 09 Jan 2014 07:11 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Paul Mulshine, a top columnist at the Newark Star Ledger, which broke the bridge-gate scandal wide open by baring incriminating emails between Chris Christie's staffers — says he doesn't believe the New Jersey governor's claim he knew nothing about the misdeeds.

"Christie today was maintaining that he didn't until he saw those emails conclude that there was retaliation … Until Wednesday he thought there was a legitimate traffic study," Mulshine told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"He's too smart for that."

Story continues below video.

Urgent: Do You Like Chris Christie? Vote Now

During a press conference Thursday, Christie said he was betrayed by staffers who had lanes in Fort Lee leading to the George Washington Bridge closed as political payback for the town's Democratic mayor not endorsing the top Garden State lawmaker's reelection campaign.

For weeks, Christie had defended the staffers, who said the closures were part of a traffic study. That defense ended Wednesday when emails between aides revealing their misdoings were exposed.

Mulshine was floored that the staffers — who have since resigned or been fired — thought they could get away with the closures without scrutiny.

"The Watergate burglars broke in in secret. These guys … [stopped] tens of thousands of drivers in traffic and then they were shocked when the newspapers called them and asked about it," he said.

"Tens of thousands of eyewitnesses and then from the emails, oh my God, the Wall Street Journal is calling about it and you're like, wait a minute, you seriously thought no one was going to ask you?"

But Christie was too silent for too long, Mulshine believes.

"The governor, when he knew this thing was getting fishy, he should've been making inquiries on his own … He had plenty of opportunity to find out on his own. He has access to all of those emails," he said.

Don't expect bridge-gate to fade anytime soon, either, according to Mulshine.

"It's just too funny of a story. It's going to be on 'The Tonight Show' and all of that stuff," he said.

Urgent: Do You Like Chris Christie? Vote Now

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