Panel: Christie Not Involved in Bridgegate Closures


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was not involved in the “Bridgegate” lane closures meant to punish a Democratic mayor who didn’t endorse his candidacy for a second term as governor, a new investigation has found.

The controversy continues despite the apparent exoneration, however, with legislative Republicans saying Democrats used the investigation to try to harm Christie’s nascent presidential candidacy, the New York Daily News reports.
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Chris Christie, Complaining of Leaks, Says “Bridgegate” Investigation Should End

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks with reporters at the National Governors Association convention Saturday, July 12, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo | Mark Humphrey)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks with reporters at the National Governors Association convention Saturday, July 12, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo | Mark Humphrey)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday it was time for a state legislative committee to end its investigation into the so-called “Bridgegate” controversy, saying the committee had leaked information designed to embarrass him without uncovering information he had committed wrongdoing.

“I’ve known all along that this has been a partisan pursuit,” Christie said, “and the leaking that’s being done by the legislative committee is just further evidence to the fact that this is a partisan pursuit.”
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Chris Christie Somehow Involved in Second Bridge Scandal

AP Photo | Mel Evans

AP Photo | Mel Evans

Chris Christie is being investigated in a second bridge scandal, according to a report from the New York Times. The investigation — which the Times sourced to “people briefed on the matter” — centers on renovations to the Pulaski Skyway.

The Skyway, which opened in 1932, is notoriously unreliable. (“Unpredictable traffic congestion and its functionally obsolete design makes the Skyway one of the most unreliable roads in the United States,” Wikipedia helpfully notes.) The bridge closed to Northbound traffic as part of a massive overhaul in April. In 2010 and 2011, Christie wanted to use Port Authority money for repairs on the obsolete bridge. The problem? The Port Authority doesn’t own the bridge, the state does, and so it couldn’t.

But Christie persisted, and the authority justified the use of the money by calling the Skyway an access route to the Lincoln Tunnel. The Skyway actually connects to the Holland Tunnel, which is not eligible for Port Authority funds. The money for Skyway repairs was coming from the $3 billion in Port Authority money freed up when Christie killed the ARC trans-Hudson tunnel project in 2010.

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Christie Aide Denies Role in Bridgegate Closure

[Update 1:30 pm] The Inquirer reports:

Gov. Christie’s chief of staff testified today before the legislative panel probing the George Washington Bridge lane closures that he had nothing to do with the controversy.

Kevin O’Dowd said he wanted to start the hearing “by making very clear to the committee that I had no prior knowledge of, or played no role in, the decision to close the lanes at the bridge last September.”

[Original] The Wall Street Journal reports that today could be a make-or-break day for the investigations into the Bridgegate scandal in New Jersey. Kevin O’Dowd, chief of staff to Gov. Chris Christie, has been subpoenaed to testify. His words may well decide where or how the investigations proceed from here.

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Bridgegate: Christie Chief of State Subpoenaed

“Gov. Chris Christie’s chief of staff has been ordered to appear before a legislative panel investigating lane closures at the George Washington Bridge,” AP reports. Kevin O’Dowd is expected to appear Monday, where he’ll be asked whether he and Christie spoke about the scandal last December.

Christie Legal Bill Climbs Over $3 Million

“Private lawyers hired by Gov. Chris Christie’s office after the George Washington Bridge scandal erupted are on pace to bill taxpayers roughly $3 million for their work, and it appears well over half that tab is being incurred for events unrelated to whatever led to the lane closures in Fort Lee,” the Daily Record repoorts.

“Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher was originally hired for an internal investigation of the bridge incident and cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office inquiry. But its work rapidly expanded to include a review of the allegations leveled by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer that federal Sandy aid was withheld by the state because of the city’s unwillingness to approve an unrelated development project.”

Gosh. Think how pricey this would be if Christie hadn’t been exonerated by his legal team?

You Don’t Get to Sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” Around Chris Christie These Days

Newsday reports: “A last-minute change avoided what could have been an uncomfortable moment in the Sept. 11 museum dedication ceremony: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie followed by ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water.’ The original program for the ceremony had Christie’s remarks followed by Idina Menzel‘s performance of the song. That sent social media aflutter with speculation that the scheduling was a jab at the governor over accusations that his staff intentionally clogged traffic near the George Washington Bridge to punish a political adversary.”

Menzel, however, called in sick — there was no performance, saving the governor an embarrassing juxtaposition.

Chris Christie: Culture Didn’t Lead to Bridgegate

New Jersey governor Chris Christie held a “town hall”-style meeting on Thursday in Brick, Ocean County, and got the usual questions about Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts. But then he got a question about Bridgegate! If you can believe it, the question was more of a statement about how innocent the governor is.

The Asbury Park Press’s Erik Larsen writes 71-year-old Leonard A. Ludovico described the situation as a “witch hunt” and told Christie he knew that “you would not risk your political career and your integrity on something as lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.”

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