New York, NY, United States (4E) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie went on the offensive Saturday against the port executive accusing him of knowledge in the Washington Bridge scandal.
Christie’s camp circulated an e-mail to friends and allies saying David Wildstein, a former high-ranking official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, oversaw the four-day closure of two lanes of the bridge that outraged motorists in September and was trying to exonerate himself by passing the blame to the governor.
The e-mail also said that Wildstein was asking for immunity from prosecution, was held in contempt by the New Jersey legislature for refusing to testify, failed to provide ‘evidence’ to the NJ Legislature, and asked the Port Authority to pay his legal bills.
The e-mail was released a day after the New York Times reported that Wildstein said there is evidence that Christie knew about the bridge closure. In January, Christie denied knowing the lanes closure and ordering it in retaliation to the Fort Lee mayor’s refusal to endorse his re-election.
The lanes closure was reported in the newspaper on Sept. 13, when the lanes were reopened. Wildstein instructed bridge workers to close the lanes as part of a traffic study. In response to the subpoena from the NJ legislature, he showed last month personal e-mails sent to him in August by a deputy chief of staff to Christie, Bridget Anne Kelly, calling for “some traffic problems in Fort Lee.
The executive director at the Port Authority and bridge officials testified in December that there had been no traffic study. Christie fired Kelly later.