David Wildstein, the Former Port Authority Director of Interstate Capital Projects and an ally of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, said Friday that the Governor knew about the closure of access lanes on the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee, N.J., as they were happening in September.
Wildstein’s lawyer, Alan Zegas, released a letter to The New York Times, in which he said: “Evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference.”
Messages from Wildstein were among those included in newly released documents earlier this month as part of state lawmakers’ investigation into the closure of lanes onto the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee last September. Christie’s opponents have accused his administration of closing the lanes out of political retribution for Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich (D) refusing to endorse him for re-election.
Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, sent an Aug. 13 email to Wildstein that read: “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
“Got it,” he replied.
Wildstein also mocked the concerns about school buses getting stuck in the gridlock that ensued from the lane closures.
“They are the children of Buono voters,” he texted to Kelly, a reference to Barbara Buono, Christie’s Democratic opponent in last year’s gubernatorial election.
Wildstein also called Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich a “little Serbian.”
In a press conference the day after the release of the documents, Christie apologized, saying he had been “humiliated” by some members of his staff.
“I had no knowledge or involvement in this issue, in its planning or execution,” Christie said. He said that until the release of the documents, he was still convinced that the lane closures were part of a traffic study.
Earlier this month, Wildstein pleaded the Fifth Amendment in testimony before the New Jersey Assembly Transportation Committee on his role in the scandal. The panel of New Jersey lawmakers subsequently voted to hold Wildstein in contempt for refusing to answer questions.
Here’s the full letter from Wildstein’s lawyer:
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