Federal Prosecutors and Witnesses Contradict Christie Account In Federal Bridgegate Trial

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) recently said that it was Bridgegate that kept him out of the Vice Presidential spot on the GOP ticket with Donald Trump. This week it became clear why that belief may have been well founded. Federal prosecutors not only contradicted Christie’s account but said that they will present evidence that Christie was told about the move to shut down the George Washington bridge to punish the local Democratic mayor. Fox News and other outlets have raised the contradictions with statements by Christie during earlier investigations.  Earlier, we discussed how a former aide said that Christie “flat out lied” to the public at a press conference on his knowledge and role.

George_Washington_Bridge_from_New_Jersey-editChristie aides originally said that the lanes on the bridge were shutdown due a traffic study. That proved to be false. Now however the prosecutors insist that staffers discussed the effort to shutdown the bridge to hurt Democratic Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich by forcing traffic to a standstill without warning.

David Wildstein ― a former Port Authority official and Christie ally ― will testify that he told Christie about the scheme to close the lanes as it unfolded. Prosecutors told the jury that “they bragged about the fact that there were traffic problems in Fort Lee and that Mayor [Mark] Sokolich was not getting his calls returned.” Not only did Christie’s top aide Bill Baroni reportedly know about the scheme but Baroni and Wildstein had bragged to the governor about the closures and their effort to “mess” with Sokolich.

Trump has come out in the wake of the disclosure to reaffirm his support for Christie.  The trial could present issues for Christie if he does, as predicted by some, become the Attorney General nominee for a Trump Administration.  Yet, we have seem politicians weather such storms before in securing confirmations.  Notably, from what we know, these sources do not say that Christie directed the actions — only that he knew of them and did not stop them.  Moreover, a traffic jam on a bridge may not resonate with voters to the same degree as an allegation of “pay to play” or other classic form of corruption.

 

What do you think?

56 thoughts on “Federal Prosecutors and Witnesses Contradict Christie Account In Federal Bridgegate Trial”

  1. Since we have no rule of law, Christie will only go down if he has enemies who are more powerful than he is, want him to go down. Otherwise, he’s going to be just fine.

    There aren’t two parties, there’s an oligarchy– a mix of the military, military contractors, silicon valley, fossil fuel corps., other corporate power hitters, wall street and politicians. That’s the “government”. I don’t think we understand this as a society, but we need to very soon. Otherwise, people are distracted by “teams” and fail to understand it’s not “teams”, it’s TEAM Oligarchy.

    We need to direct peaceful protest at Team Oligarchy right now. The Water Protectors understand this. They are coming together in a large group to protect that which needs protection, stopping that which should not be tolerated.

  2. I’m still puzzled as to who originated this caper. Staffers, to please Da Boss? Or Da Boss himself?

  3. I think politicians need to be held to a high standard. They need to treat every penny they spend as if it’s dear Granny’s, and they must not abuse their power of office. That’s not why their butt is in the chair.

    What troubles me the most is that the Democrats have broken the law with complete and utter impunity – the IRS targeted conservatives and Lois Lerner pled the 5th, the IRS commissioner lied to Congress, Hillary defied laws governing classified information and got away with it, the VA falsified medical records in order to provide better performance figures, leading to the death of our treasured veterans…and nothing at all happened to them.

    Why does one side act like robber barons with impunity and the other side cannot jaywalk without a ticket? Either all our politicians should be allowed to live like pashas or NONE of them should.

    If Christie knew about this petty revenge bridge closing, which hurt his constituents far worse than his political rival, then he should be held accountable. Is it a crime to close a bridge? I don’t know. But it was wrong. What if it delayed ambulances, firefighters, or police? And it pissed off the people for him he was responsible.

    Hold ALL politicians to the same standard of law that the rest of us are held to. We must stop the rise of the government ruling class, or become a banana republic. If the trend continues, we’ll have a dictator with 80’s aviator sunglasses and a beret within the next 100 years.

    1. 100 years?? We have a dictator in waiting right now who has telegraphed clearly the intention to rule as a dictator in a police state. 50/50 so step right up and place your bets.

        1. Yup. The telegraphing of his intentions are as subtle as dynamite. Clinton is a lot of very troubling things, but she’s not a dictator. I liked bread and circuses better when it was mostly a metaphor.

          1. Hillary is the more effective evil. She will do more damage than Trump, by far, because she knows how to pull the levers of power. She is utterly ruthless, vindictive as hell and willing to take the country to war over a bruised ego.

            Trump may be a dictator in rhetorical style, but even if he had a ghost of a chance to get into the White House, and he doesn’t, he would barely get the chance to implement any form of dictatorship – even if he were so inclined and there is no credible evidence that he would be .

            Until he started surrounding himself with the same neocon military and neoliberal economic types as Hillary is surrounding herself with, he was actually putting down more enlightened planks than she. He still seems less inclined to play Russian Roulette with nukes than she is.

            1. the same neocon military and neoliberal economic types

              “neocon’ and ‘neoliberal’ are both nonsense terms.

                1. Brooklin Bridge – Milo used the phrase neo neocon the other day. Not even sure where to start with that one. 🙂

                  1. Neo neocon, eh? Can’t argue with you, Paul. As to the words proper, to claim any term widely used by both political scientists and economists is nonsense is fine. To do so without any explanation whatsoever, on the other hand, is pure puff – perhaps useful to protect those precious bodily fluids, but not much else.

    2. I agree with you and not just politicians, but everyone. Blind lady is sublime. That said, I doubt the problem between Killary and Christie is one of political affiliation as much as it is big fish, little fish, not that that makes it any more equitable.

      Trump is another story. He is being unfairly treated not just big time, but on a scale hard to even imagine, and not because he is a small fish, or even political party (Jeb Bush – like George in 2000- would not be treated badly), but rather because Trump is an outsider that wall street and the MIC (over simplification) don’t trust to consistently do their bidding.

      1. I’m with Mike Bloomberg. I’m from NY and I know a con when I see one. If he wins, he’ll shed his phony populism faster than you can say, “Make America Great Again.”

        1. The populism is indeed phony when one considers how he lives and treats his employees and the students at his fake university. Trump is a grifter with a white nationalist appeal. His son has become a white nationalist mouthpiece. Would rather have Crooked Christie than Trump as prez.

          1. What you and Coconuts say may be true, but that doesn’t justify the treatment Trump is getting from the main stream media when the same media gives Hillary pass after pass after pass.

            No matter how bad, a Trump win would put to rest the notion that any Democrat, no matter how vile and toxic, can be put in office as long as you find a Republican who can be made to look more scary. I object most to the fear mongering – the “I saw Putin and the devil dancing with Trump” fear mongering. When you vote out of fear you will get the devil you were afraid to see and that won’t be Trump.

            The problem with Trump is that there is no way at all to get any idea of the man because nothing that comes out of any so called news source has any relation to the truth whatsoever.

            Anyway, assuming that even a tenth of the scare mongering about Trump is substantive, the fact is we have two bad candidates; two terrible choices. If either is a lessor evil than the other, it would have to be Trump and the proof is that the media is somewhat consistent in saying the opposite of the truth – meaning Trump isn’t so bad and Hillary a veritable monster. And frankly, she wasn’t even chosen, Sanders was and so was Trump.

  4. Fatsos have no reason. No reason. No ooo reason to live.
    they got little bitty eyes and little bitty feet.
    etc

  5. Hillary skates.
    Christie won’t.

    The difference?
    Hint: DNC vs GOP.

    The Criminalization Of Being A Republican
    This is a political prosecution, the left’s favorite tool. (See: Walker, Perry, Palin, Bob McDonnell).

      1. One would hope.
        If Hillary has negated prosecutions for politicians and Obama voids laws whenever the mood strikes, then everyone should be free to violate our “laws.”

    1. Hint: DNC vs GOP

      Tibalistic hogwash. Both of them should be in the slammer. Christie will skate, or get a slight rap on the fingers, but it has nothing to do with the GOP or DNC scaffolding that supports his or her many tons of slime. It has to do purely with their importance to Wall Street, financieers, multinational corporations, and the IMC. Christie breaks knuckles. Hillary is big time. That’s all that counts.

  6. There’s a great add on to this story over at Redstate about how the Port Autority police had to sign off on the implementation of the lane blockage.
    Christie is truly the national poster child for the concept of bullying.

  7. No corruption here. Rather, it’s abuse of power. The GW Bridge is one of just 10 arteries which allow commuters to travel from northern New Jersey (dense settlements with a population of 5.6 million) to Downstate New York (dense settlements with a population of 12.2 million) and vice versa. You’re not just messing with Fort Lee (population 35,000). There are over 300,000 trips across that bridge on a typical day. It’s stunning that the Governor’s camarilla would take a piece of flesh out of all those people in pursuit of some petty intramural vendetta against a municipal official. The maraschino on top was throwing his deputy chief of staff (a woman with four children) under the bus. Little doubt Christie’s responsible. Even on the off chance he isn’t, he appointed these people per his selection criteria. The fish rots from the head down.

    1. Actually the toll lanes that were blocked off were not taking traffic coming from Rt.46, Rt. 4, Palisades Pkwy or Interstate 95. The blocked toll lanes handled traffic specifically from local Ft. Lee streets. So yes, Christie and his minions was specifically messing with Ft. Lee.

      btw – some democratic mayors that supported Christie received WTC artifacts for their communities. Another part of the Port Authority that corrupt Christie compromised

      1. I stand corrected.

        Maybe someone will explain why the Port Authority in the allodial holder of a seven-digit square-foot bloc of commercial real estate, owns the airports of two small cities not a part of the metropolitan glob; has in its portfolio both facilities meant to move passengers and cargo within the metropolis and facilities meant to move passengers and cargo between the metropolis and other cities, even though it’s difficult to imagine you need much co-ordination between these functions; has in its portfolio both the ports and the airports, even though the one specializes in transporting cargo and the other in transporting passengers (96% of the tonnage goes through the port and 99% of the passengers go through the airports).

        1. While reform is talked about constantly by politicians of both parties (mostly the one not in power), the behemoth that is The Port Authority is a political bonanza for the governors of both NJ and NY. The idea of states working together on projects supposedly without political interference sounds good. the reality is that the governors pack the Post Authority with political operatives like Wildstein. And with billions that can be manipulated, crooks like Christie can use Port Authority funds to repair NJ highways that are not part of the PA’s supposed charter. How he wasn’t charged for that one is shocking. But a misapplication of funds, see Hurricane Sandy, is a Christie trademark. Christie shouldn’t still be in office.

          1. Giuliani tried to persuade the legislatures to detatch LaGuardia and JFK and place them under a separate authority. Christie has also floated some trial balloons about breaking the Authority up. Gov. Pataki had tentative plans in 1995 to sell the WTC complex. For some esoteric reason, this was not implemented and instead they auctioned off a 99 year lease to manage it. So, there have been some ideas from time to time to break it up, but nothing seems to be accomplished in Albany or Trenton.

            1. any plans to split up the authority were likely red herrings or because an opposing politician had better ties. And Christie’s talk of reforming the PA only resulted in him hiring more overpaid (seem to remember a number of sizeable raises) for Christie “operatives”.

              The best PA con was when Cuomo and Christie ganged up to raise the tolls for Hudson River tolls from $6 to $16 (other PA properties had similar proposed increases). Then they both came to the rescue and negotiated the toll hike to only $12. two corrupt governors!

              1. Were the tolls covering costs or not? Is compensation per worker at the PA higher or lower than regional averages?

                1. Yes the tolls cover the very high salaries for his politically motivated hatchet men that Christie stacked in PA with.

          2. crooks like Christie can use Port Authority funds to repair NJ highways that are not part of the PA’s supposed charter.

            That may be a misappropriation, but it’s not of personal benefit to Christie, and it would have to be agreed to by Gov. Cuomo.

            1. actually, believe the use of those funds violated PA bonding covenants and thus was criminal. And the benefit for any politician running for reelection or with continuing aspirations (yea to sniff trump’s orange backside) should not be dismissed

              1. Bill, by that standard, anything a politician does that increases his appeal is ‘corrupt’.

                You’re going to need a citation to the statute to demonstrate they did anything criminal.

                You have an attitude problem

                1. LMAO – Breaking bonding covenants aren’t just about moving money around. Christie use of those funds were in violation of the PA charter and thus against the law. You can make as many excuses for your corrupt hero – but Christie was lucky that with emergency vehicles also getting stuck in his 100% politically motivated lane closings that no one actually died and that he is not in jail. Talk about abuse of office!

                  btw – you seemingly have an excuse problem by blaming others for being to lazy to research the matter yourself. Just as you were clueless on the actual GW Bridge lane closings you are clueless here,

  8. Who has a better enemy list is what matters. Hillary had those 900 FBI files.
    One man gathers what another man spills. Christie is on the enemy list of Hillary.

  9. The conservative entertainment complex will yell and scream about how unfair they pick on poor Christie, the infotainment MSM will tell us all that “Both Sides Do It” and Trumpus Maximus will wave his word salad BS all over the TV and all will be well………….Coming up next, we will have a expert that doesn’t know what he’s talking about, to tell you what he doesn’t know………Stay Tuned.

    1. No, Christie’s not been a favorite of the vociferous starboard, bar when he verbally stomps on some special pleader. He’s a northeastern business Republican considered unreliable.

  10. If prosecutors elicit testimony that the defendants “bragged” directly to Christie about the scheme, then he’ll probably be forced to take the stand. That can open him up to a perjury charge. But it’s not clear that’s going to happen.

  11. Of Course Trump will stand by him. Christie is Trump’s kind of guy. If you don’t like someone, squash them. If you want something, sue, steal, lie, whatever it takes but get it. That’s the art of the deal. If Trump gets elected President the US will slide over the edge into complete corruption from its historically traditional perch of being corrupt but trying to look honest. The hallmark of a Trump Presidency will be that he will replace his endless lies with a shrug of the shoulders and a ‘so what’. He won’t need to lie. He is a terrible liar anyway. He will probably laugh at the press if he responds at all. But hey, he is the champion of almost half of Americans because Clinton is a sleaze bag. All politicians are sleaze bags. Trump is pathological. So, roll them dice and find out. Putin, the dictator, and President Trump will become fast friends and exchange tips on how to control the simple minded populace that voted them in. There will be more books.

    1. You’re a godawful bore.

      Canada has already slid over the edge into complete frivolity by putting Zoolander in office. That’s after a decade under PM Crooked Ward Healer (“Dats da Canadian values”) following 15 years of Trudeaupia.

  12. Political corruption is so common that it doesn’t really qualify as “news”. Ideally, wealthy criminals like this who attack thousands of people, should be arrested, indicted, and punished; but instead, only poverty stricken folks are arrested for petty crimes or perhaps a crime that impacts one other person because that is so much easier and cheaper. A just legal system would at least attempt to address that grossly unfair set of conditions.

      1. Douglas Kinan
        1, September 20, 2016 at 11:44 am

        Doglover:

        There’s not much anyone can do about it.

        In a rigged system, the perpetrators are the beneficiaries and now use the court to complete crime against those without a voice.

        That is not true Doug there is plenty that can be done if only there were the will.

        Once upon a time in America there was a can do attitude that permeated the American psyche. Today that can do attitude has been replaced with a condition of learned helplessness thus leaving many Americans sitting idly by as what remains of the once was republic fades out of sight before their very eyes.

        The first step is no-longer cooperating with the criminals infesting government nonviolent/noncooperation is the best response. Without citizens willingly allowing themselves to be exploited the criminal enterprise masquerading as the US government will cease to exist in its current abhorrent form.

        The speech below was given by Mario Savio University at the California Berkeley while speaking on the steps of Sproul Hall December 2, 1964, although taken out of it’s original context it provides an insightful example of how American citizens can cast off the repressive/criminal yoke of the US government without the use of violence. The US government is nothing without the tax slaves it exploits on a daily basis.

        Shut off the funding shut down the criminal enterprise.

        There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!” ~ Mario Savio

  13. Bridgegate was a result of a corrupt republican governor using “extortion” in an attempt to increase his bona fides in advance of his republican run for president. It wasn’t enough to win reelection – there was a need to pressure democratic mayors to make it a landslide. Anyone who bothered to question why 100+ democratic mayors would support a partisan republican governor should check their state funding allotments…….. and also how Hurricane Sandy funds were dispensed

  14. I am pleased to see that Assistant US Attorney Vikas Khanna has opened an investigation and appears to be performing his duty to the taxpayers but given that the fix is in and that the elites cling together tightly no matter who is in power, the chance of Christie or anyone at the top of the totem pole being held accountable is zero.

    He will soon discover that all of his effort and hard work will result in a tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars and court resources.

    dougkinan@yahoo.com
    Sworn & Commissioned Officer, Massachusetts Trial Court (Retired)

  15. Certainly he is just incompetent and did not do anything illegal. Use the Clinton defense.

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