Wildstein Sings

If you’re in Newark, that singing you hear coming from the U. S. Attorney’s office is David Wildstein trilling to prosecutors all about Bridgegate.

His tune is the swan song of Christie 2016.

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Surprise! Christie’s Investigation Clears Christie

So Chris Christie hired Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher at $650 an hour, paid for by New Jersey’s taxpayers, to investigate Bridgegate.

After spending about $1 million, but being unable to interview central figures Bridget Ann Kelly or David Wildstein or Bill Stepien, the investigation has cleared Christie of “plotting or directing” the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in September of 2012, according to the NYT*.

But what about “knowing” before it happened or while it was going on?  He didn’t have to plot or direct the ridiculous stunt — that’s why he has minions — but simple awareness should be damning.  If he knew and didn’t stop it, he should be in as much trouble as anybody else involved.

For their $1 million, the people of Jersey should find out, “What did he know and when did he know it?”

* “Inquiry Is Said to Clear Christie, but That’s His Lawyers’ Verdict,” Michael Barbaro

Christie Employees Loving Them Some Fifth Amendment Rights

Christie’s former Deputy Chief of Staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, has refused to respond to the New Jersey Legislature’s subpoena about Bridgegate, instead asserting her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.  She was the one who sent the “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email to David Wildstein, who replied, “Got it,” and has himself taken the Fifth in a live appearance before the New Jersey Assembly.

Bill Stepien, who ran both of Christie’s gubernatorial campaigns and served as a deputy Chief of Staff in between, has also pleaded the Fifth.  Stepien had been on track to become head of the New Jersey GOP and probably Christie’s 2016 campaign manager, because, you know, he did such a bang up job on President Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 campaign.  His rising star has now been sucked into the black hole that is Team Christie.

These folks are happy to tell what they know, they just want immunity from prosecution before they do it.  And when the fat lady sings, it will be all over for the fat boy.

Christie Got the “Enforcer” He Wanted

“In his office’s statement from last night and his subsequent email tonight, Governor Christie alleges that the lane closures were David Wildstein’s idea – tonight he called them ‘David Wildstein’s scheme.’

“That may be true. Perhaps David Wildstein is the guy who came up with the idea of closing lanes one day and then filed it away as an off-the-shelf plan to execute if and when necessary to accomplish a political end.

“Yet there’s a reason David Wildstein is seeking legal immunity and reimbursement for his legal bills: the order to close those lanes – the motive – seems to have come from Trenton.

“And here we get to the heart of the matter. David Wildstein was put in the Port Authority by Chris Christie, in a job Christie invented, to be the governor’s eyes and ears – his enforcer. Wildstein was put at the Port so Christie could more effectively use the Port as an extension of his political operation (as Steve [Kornacki from MSNBC] and I are documenting, more and more, with each passing week).

“So spare us the shock that Wildstein is ‘a political animal.’ Christie knew who Wildstein was before he appointed him to this job. There is no sense in distancing yourself from one of your own appointees who was given a job specifically because his skills matched what you were looking to accomplish with that appointment.”

Brian Murphy (who worked as a reporter for David Wildstein when he ran PoliticsNJ.com under the nom de plume Wally Edge), “Well, That Escalated Quickly,” TPM Cafe at Talking Points Memo

Quote of the Day

“One person said we should see the release of this email as a message to funders.  If so, the message seems to be ‘I’m desperate and losing my mind.’

“If I’m a Republican power player reading this to a get a read on what’s actually happening, what’s likely to happen next week or next month, I think I come away thinking things are considerably worse than I realized.”

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo on Chris Christie’s bizarre email attacking David Wildstein.

A Total Panic Move

“This is a total panic move. This is what defense counsel does to destroy the credibility of a witness at the criminal trial. To me the attention they are giving him and the rapidity and strength of the reaction signal desperation, fear that Wildstein is either credible or likely to be believed, and a concern that this scandal is approaching a point of being beyond salvage. I am shocked. When you are in the right, when you are comfortable with your facts, you can be quiet and composed. The official reaction is anything but calm.”

New York attorney Eric Dixon, speaking about Chris Christie’s attack on David Wildstein on Saturday, in an interview with Bob Jordan and Michael Symons of the Asbury Park Press.