Friday, March 28, 2014

All The Evidence-- That Hasn't Been Hidden-- Points To One Thing: Christie Should Go To Prison


Rachel Maddow's show last night-- another Chris Christie special-- was absolutely fantastic. I bet Christie wishes he could throw her in prison and throw away the key. She roasted him and his phony baloney high--priced "exoneration" slowly and meticulously over an open pit. There'sa 22 minute chunk of it below. No one does it better than Rachel.The L.A> Times pointed out the obvious-- the the report was merely a whitewash.
Well, as they say in Jersey, “Chris Christie didn’t do nuthin’!”

On Thursday, the New Jersey governor’s handpicked legal team cleared him of any wrongdoing in "Bridgegate"-- the four-day traffic tie-up in Fort Lee, N.J., in September.

The governor played no part in orchestrating the traffic nightmare, the report (which cost New Jersey taxpayers about $1 million) said. Instead, it faulted two Christie loyalists who basically, it found, went rogue.

…It’s all so neat, so clean, so tidy. Just like on The Sopranos.

It also still stinks.
The Star Ledger, which earlier says it wished it had never endorsed Christie, also called it a whitewash and demanded that Christie pay back the million dollars he ripped off from the taxpayers to pay his lawyer pals to write it: "The governor paid a lot of money to have his lawyers find nothing. Now he owes taxpayers a refund." Last night, the NY Times covered it as news rather than farce.
The Port Authority official who directed the shutdown of lanes to the George Washington Bridge said that he informed Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey about it at a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony while the lanes were closed, according to an internal review that lawyers for the governor released on Thursday.

The official, David Wildstein, who was a longtime political ally of the governor, told Mr. Christie’s press secretary, Michael Drewniak, of the conversation at a dinner in December, on the eve of his resignation from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, according to the inquiry.

But the report said that Mr. Christie did not recall Mr. Wildstein’s raising the topic during their interaction and, in a sweeping claim of vindication, found no evidence that he-- or any current members of his staff-- was involved in or aware of the scheme before it snarled traffic for thousands of commuters in Fort Lee, N.J., from Sept. 9 to the morning of Sept. 12.

The inquiry instead blamed, almost entirely, Mr. Wildstein and the governor’s deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, for the scandal, describing Ms. Kelly as scrambling to cover up her role.

Mr. Christie has said previously that he did not know of the lane closings before or while they were occurring, making the account of the purported Sept. 11 exchange between Mr. Wildstein and Mr. Christie perhaps the most provocative revelation in the report, commissioned by the governor at a cost to taxpayers of at least $1 million. Throughout its 360 pages, the document wove together panicked private emails, derisive text messages and descriptions of dramatic confrontations between the Republican governor and his staff as the controversy unfolded. Two parallel investigations, by the New Jersey Legislature and federal prosecutors, are not yet complete.

At a heated televised news conference, the former federal prosecutor who led the internal inquiry, Randy M. Mastro, frequently sounded like a defense lawyer making his case to a jury. He referred to Ms. Kelly as a liar, cast doubt on the credibility of the mayor of Hoboken, who accused the Christie administration of political intimidation, and slipped into lawyerly exhortations to the “ladies and gentlemen” sitting before him.

Mr. Mastro, and his report, went so far as to describe a romantic relationship between Ms. Kelly and a top adviser to Mr. Christie who has been caught up in the imbroglio, seemingly insinuating-- without providing specific evidence-- that its breakup may have colored her judgment.

The report seemed to anticipate a looming showdown between Mr. Christie and the person who may become the most menacing witness against him: Mr. Wildstein, who, Mr. Mastro said, harbored “bizarre personal and political animus.”

“It will apparently be Wildstein’s contention-- as he alleged in early December 2013 to Drewniak-- that he mentioned the traffic issue to the governor on that occasion,” the report said, referring to the memorial ceremony, which was held at ground zero. Then it suggested why Mr. Wildstein’s claim should not be given much weight:

“Whatever brief exchange they had occurred in a public setting where they were surrounded by many, including other Port Authority officials, the governor’s wife, and a steady stream of spectators requesting photographs and handshakes with the governor. Not surprisingly, the governor has no recollection of such an exchange.”

…“The idea that Bridget Kelly and David Wildstein by themselves concocted the lane closure is frankly hard to believe,” said State Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski, co-chairman of a the legislative committee investigating the case. “Lawyers hired and paid for by the Christie administration will not be the final word on this matter.”

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