Friday, January 10, 2014

New Jersey Governor and potential GOP Presidential Candidate Chris Christie " Bridgegate " Scandal explodes ! Top lawmaker leading 'Bridgegate' probe blasts Christie's claims that he knew nothing of the scandal as 'not believable' and says the public has seen 'just the tip of the cover-up'

Karl Denninger " weighs "  in on Chris Christie ....... pun intended !









http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=227436















Did Christie Just Blow His Own Brains Out?

I think so.....



(Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said on Wednesday controversial traffic lane closings at the George Washington Bridge that escalated into a political scandal were done without his knowledge.
Controversial?  That's a lie.

Those lane-closures were pretty-clearly (and at this point irrefutably so) political payback for a mayor that did some things he didn't like:


Aug. 13. Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly to David Wildstein, Port Authority director of interstate capital projects: "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."
—Wildstein: "Got it."
....
—"Is it wrong that I am smiling?"
—"No."
—"I feel badly about the kids."
—"I guess."
—"They are the children of (Democratic candidate for governor Barbara) Buono voters."
—"Bottom line is he didn't say safety."
Uh, yeah.

So that pretty clearly was a punitive act, it was deliberate, and they got caught.

Now irrespective of whether you believe Christie ordered the closures or not the fact remains that he hired the people that work for him, and this ishis Administration.

His SENIOR STAFF MEMBERS.

The character of a person you hire is the single most-important attribute of that individual.  Vindictive bastards are exactly that, and the character signs that point to this sort of behavior are almost-always evident long before this sort of episode plays out.

This is a clear demonstration of exactly the sort of Adm
inistration you'd get from him as President of the United States.
Not just no, but **** NO.

















New York Post....






Feds to probe Christie over Bridgegate traffic nightmare
















http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2536880/EXCLUSIVE-Day-1-Bridgegate-just-tip-cover-says-lawmaker-leading-probe-blasting-Christies-claims-not-believable.html

( Key points )


EXCLUSIVE: Top lawmaker leading 'Bridgegate' probe blasts Christie's claims that he knew nothing of the scandal as 'not believable' and says the public has seen 'just the tip of the cover-up'



  • NJ Assembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski said Christie is either 'a governor who can’t manage his staff or one who isn’t telling the truth'

  • He trashed the governor's presumed presidential aspirations, saying he can't even be trusted to run the George Washington Bridge

  • It's inconceivable, he insisted, that a 'hands-on' leader like Christie might 'suddenly have a senior member of his administration go rogue'

  • A long-time NJ political operative said Thursday that Christie political aide Bill Stepien was likely the shot-caller behind the bridge scandal

  • The insider added that Christie's deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, was loyal to Stepien and may have taken orders from him

  • Kelly's childhood friend told MailOnline that she was 'scapegoated' and called it 'a disgrace ... that she's the only one with egg on her face'

  • Port Authority appointee David Wildstein refused to answer questions during a state assembly hearing, exercising his Fifth Amendment right

  • Wisniewski described Wildstein's silence as 'the tip of the cover-up'

  • A US Attorney has opened a criminal investigation after the punitive traffic snarl-ups caused by the bridge plot led to emergency vehicle delays




New Jersey Assembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski told MailOnline on Thursday evening that Republican Gov. Chris Christie is 'not believable,' and claimed a staffer who pleaded the Fifth during a 'Bridgegate' hearing represents 'just the tip of the cover-up.'

Christie, said the lawmaker leading the probe into New Jersey's most improbable scandal since the last New Jersey governor was caught up in one of the largest bankruptcies in U.S. history, is either 'a governor who can’t manage his staff or one who isn’t telling the truth.'

In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, the Democratic assemblyman said he was unimpressed with the governor's claim that he first learned Wednesday morning about a political payback plot involving his most trusted staffers and traffic entering the George Washington Bridge.

'It strains credibility,' he said, 'that a governor who is as hands-on as he is would suddenly have a senior member of his administration go rogue like this.'

Wisniewski chaired an unusual public hearing Thursday afternoon in the state's capital city of Trenton, which saw a former Christie transportation appointee invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination by refusing to answer questions.

That one-time official, David Wildstein, was implicated in a plot to snarl traffic in Fort Lee, N.J. in retaliation for the refusal of the town's mayor, Mark Sokolich, to endorse Christie's 2013 re-election bid.


Garden State circus: Chris Christie fended off questions about his management on Thursday, taking responsibility for the bridgegate episode but blaming specific staffers who have now been fired
Garden State circus: Chris Christie fended off questions about his management on Thursday, taking responsibility for the bridgegate episode but blaming specific staffers who have now been fired

Christie, a possible Republican White House contender, took responsibility for the bridge scandal on Thursday, while announcing that he had fired a top aide
Christie, a possible Republican White House contender, took responsibility for the bridge scandal on Thursday, while announcing that he had fired a top aide

New Jersey Democratic Assemblyman John Wisniewski told MailOnline that Republican Chris Christie is either 'a governor who can't manage his staff or one who isn't telling the truth'
New Jersey Democratic Assemblyman John Wisniewski told MailOnline that Republican Chris Christie is either 'a governor who can't manage his staff or one who isn't telling the truth'

Sokolich slammed Wildstein directly Wednesday on MSNBC.

'David Wildstein deserves an ass-kicking,' he exclaimed. 'Sorry, there, I said it.'

Wildstein resigned his post with the New York New Jersey Port Authority in December. 

In a raft of emails and text messages published by news outlets on Wednesday, he appeared to be orchestrating the plan along with Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly and top Republican political consultant Bill Stepien.

A day later Christie dismissed Bill Stepien, his former campaign manager, who earlier in the week seemed destined lead the state's Republican Party. Stepien also lost a lucrative consulting deal with the Republican Governors Association, which Christie leads.


The New Jersey governor also fired Kelly.

'I terminated her employment because she lied to me,' Christie said. 'I am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team.'

Wisniewski seemed to roll his eyes through the phone as he spoke to MailOnline.

'This is the takeaway,' he explained: 'Chris Christie can’t be trusted to run the George Washington Bridge. He certainly can’t be trusted to run a country.'

A long-time New Jersey political operative told MailOnline that Kelly first worked with Stepien, and was apprenticed to him, during Christie's re-election campaign. She took orders directly from him, said the insider, who requested anonymity, making her the tie between the Christie administration and the state's Republican political machine.

Grim: Christie's staff listen sullenly to his press conference hours after he fired a trusted co-worker
Grim: Christie's staff listen sullenly to his press conference hours after he fired a trusted co-worker

Betrayed: Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie said, lied when she was asked whether there was any truth in rumors the bridge closures were arranged
Betrayed: Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie said, lied when she was asked whether there was any truth in rumors the bridge closures were arranged

Contempt: David Wilstein faces the cameras before taking the Fifth at a state assembly hearing into the scandal
Contempt: David Wilstein faces the cameras before taking the Fifth at a state assembly hearing into the scandal

What me? Christie emerges from a personal meeting with the Fort Lee mayor where he apologized to him
What me? Christie emerges from a personal meeting with the Fort Lee mayor where he apologized to him

Stepien's job, the source said, 'was to keep the governor's fingerprints off of things,' and Kelly's 'was to put plans into action.'

'If she pulled the trigger on all of this, it was on Bill's urging. He really trusted her.'

Wisniewski, who chairs the New Jersey Assembly's transportation committee, subpoenaed thousands of pages of records from Wildstein, who refused to answer questions Thursday.

He predicted that his committee 'will be issuing subpoenas for Ms. Kelly, for Mr. Stepien, and probably for others as well.'
'We’ve never had a hearing where someone took the Fifth so much,' Wisniewski said of Wildstein's turn on the hot seat.
'I mean, some of the questions were just about figuring out who a text message was from, or who it was sent to. That's hardly the kind of thing that creates legal liability for anyone.'

'David Wildstein is just the tip of the cover-up,' he claimed, referring to Christie administration officials' early explanation for the September traffic backups as part of a study aimed at determining how many toll booths were needed in Fort Lee.

'It’s very clear when you look at the documents that he among others engaged in enormous efforts to come up with a cover story for all of it, and to delay responses to Mayor Sokolich about what was happening.'

Nothing on me: Christie departs his press conference after insisting he knew nothing and telling a reporter who asked him if he had considered resigning: 'That's a crazy question'
Nothing on me: Christie departs his press conference after insisting he knew nothing and telling a reporter who asked him if he had considered resigning: 'That's a crazy question'


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie fired his deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly (right) as the controversy grew
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie fired his deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly (right) as the controversy grew


'Sad': Christie said he was disappointed in his staff's actions, but claimed it was a measure of leadership to act ruthlessly when you discover something had gone wrong
'Sad': Christie said he was disappointed in his staff's actions, but claimed it was a measure of leadership to act ruthlessly when you discover something had gone wrong
To support his theory that a cover-up likely reaches the top of the state's executive branch, he cited past hearings where Christie administration officials canceled their testimony at the last minute.

'We've had state officials tell us shortly before they were scheduled to testify in committee meetings that the governor's office told them not to participate. That happens with this governor,' Wisniewski recalled.

'So we know from our own experience as legislators that this governor reaches into his departments, tells commissioners what to do, what they can say. And now he expects us to believe that Bridget Kelly closed down three lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge on her own without his input? It’s just not believable.'

Christie said Thurdsay that he was 'heartbroken,' 'blindsided,' and 'embarrassed and humiliated' as the story broke. 'I had no knowledge or involvement in this issue, in its planning or its execution,' he said during his lengthy press briefing. 
Wisniewski was skeptical.

'While there’s no direct documentary evidence that he’s lying,' he said, 'it strains credibility.'

Fort Lee, New Jersey, Mayor Mark Sokolich (R) said former Christie aide David Wildstein 'needs and ass-kicking'
Fort Lee, New Jersey, Mayor Mark Sokolich (R) said former Christie aide David Wildstein 'needs and ass-kicking'
Bottleneck: The ambulance took nine minutes to reach Mrs Genova as traffic backed up to cross the double-deck George Washington Bridge which spans the Hudson river between New York City and Fort Lee, New Jersey
Bottleneck: The ambulance took nine minutes to reach Mrs Genova as traffic backed up to cross the double-deck George Washington Bridge which spans the Hudson river between New York City and Fort Lee, New Jersey


Bill Pascrell, a New Jersey Democratic member of Congress whose district includes Fort Lee, agreed in an interview with the Bergen County Record that Kelly was likely following an order to orchestrate the bridge traffic shutdown.

'I don't know who the person is that gave the ultimate order,' said Pascrell. 'This did not, the young lady did not just wake up one morning – when you see the emails – she didn't just wake up one morning and decide "let's screw up the traffic in Fort Lee.'
"
MailOnline spoke with a childhood friend of Kelly, who lamented her 'bad day at work.'

'It's a disgrace what's happening that she's the only one with egg on her face,' she said of the now-former Christie administration official.

'I believe this story is much more multifaceted than just Bridget Kelly. My friend has been scapegoated.'
Bridget Kelly kicked off the traffic shenanigans with a gleeful email to Port Authority official David Wildstein on August 13, subpoenaed documents show
Bridget Kelly kicked off the traffic shenanigans with a gleeful email to Port Authority official David Wildstein on August 13, subpoenaed documents show


New Jersey Assemblywoman Loretta Weinberg (R) said criminal charges could be coming in the Christie 'bridgegate' scandal
New Jersey Assemblywoman Loretta Weinberg (R) said criminal charges could be coming in the Christie 'bridgegate' scandal


Wisniewski also found unconvincing Christie's claim during his Thursday morning press conference that his team had no motive to target Sokolich for revenge.

The mayor, Christie told reporters, 'was never mentioned to me as somebody whose endorsement we were even pursuing. ... So part of this is, I never saw this as political retribution because I didn't think he did anything to us.'

But Wisniewski said there was 'clearly a political motive' in the bridge shenanigans.

'I’ve been told by people that there were political emissaries from the governor who did ask the mayor for an endorsement,' he told MailOnline, 'and he demurred.'

And Fort Lee is an important Democratic stronghold, he added, with other political comings and goings beyond the gubernatorial race.

'Bergen County was an important spot for county races and statewide legislative races. This might have been about on of them,' he speculated.

Christie met with Sokolich in Fort Lee for 45 minutes on Thursday afternoon, offering the apology that he promised during his morning press event and later calling it 'a very warm and productive meeting between me and the mayor.'
Asked what he said, Christie added: 'I apologized. That’s what I came here to do.'

Texts between two Christie aides depict a callous attitude toward the traffic chaos they caused, including a swipe at children of voters who supported Christie's gubernatorial candidate, Barbara Buono
Texts between two Christie aides depict a callous attitude toward the traffic chaos they caused, including a swipe at children of voters who supported Christie's gubernatorial candidate, Barbara Buono


Not-so-EZ-Pass: When three toll lanes originating in Fort Lee were suddenly forced to merge into one in September, traffic snarled for a week until authorities in New York City reversed the New Jersey officials' order
Not-so-EZ-Pass: When three toll lanes originating in Fort Lee were suddenly forced to merge into one in September, traffic snarled for a week until authorities in New York City reversed the New Jersey officials' order

Sokolich accepted the apology and added that his 'biggest concern is that we make sure that this never, ever, ever happens again in the future.'

'We were unconditionally provided with that assurance,' the mayor said.

Assemblyman Wisniewski said his committee staff would begin releasing the full collections of subpoenaed documents – 'somewhere between 3000 and 5000 pages' – on Friday morning, beginning with the material provided by Wildstein.

GOP leaders at the national level watched the drama unfold with an eye toward the 2016 race, with the governor's supporters keenly aware that his performance will determine whether he is considered presidential material.
Christie is set to be inaugurated for a second term as governor on January 21.





http://politicker.com/2014/01/de-blasio-says-christies-bridge-scandal-raises-bigger-questions-about-his-leadership/




De Blasio Says Christie’s Bridge Scandal ‘Raises Bigger Questions’ About His Leadership











Chris Christie at a press conference apologizing for the scandal earlier today. (Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty)
Chris Christie at a press conference apologizing for the scandal earlier today. (Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty)
Bill de Blasio is taking New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to task over his ongoing George Washington Bridge scandal.
At a press conference today, New York’s newly-minted mayor ripped into Mr. Christie’s administration for the “absolutely immoral” behavior conducted by his top aides and appointees after evidence emerged indicating they forced massive traffic delays in a bizarre act of political retaliation.
“Look, it’s really troubling. What happened was absolutely inappropriate … this was a big problem. And this is not how we’re supposed to treat the people we represent,” Mr. de Blasio told Politicker, taking questions at an education event in the Bronx. ”As someone who’s concerned about all 8.4 million New Yorkers–a lot of New Yorkers got caught up in those traffic jams [and] our people were treated wrong by those bureaucrats.”
At a lengthy press conference this morning, Mr. Christie apologized for the behavior of his staffers responsible for the intentional lane closures, which had triggered the traffic chaos in a small New Jersey town across the Hudson River. But asked about Mr. Christie’s apology, Mr. de Blasio wasn’t in the mood for soothing words; he mostly continued blasting those involved. (Mr. Christie, a Republican, and Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, have publicly squabbled before.)
“I’m glad he came clean and said that he would take resolute action. But I think it obviously raises bigger questions about how something like that ever happened to begin with. And it’s unacceptable. And it’s not tolerable for anyone in government to play with the people’s needs that way. It’s just, it’s not professional. It’s not mature. It’s absolutely immoral,” he said.
As to whether such an incident could ever happen within his own administration, Mr. de Blasio argued it would not.
“We are not going to allow that to happen, obviously,” he told Politicker. “So I hope that’s the last we’ll see of anything like that.”


http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/09/22243241-christie-appointee-pleads-the-fifth-before-state-committee-in-bridge-fiasco?lite




Christie appointee pleads the Fifth before state committee in bridge fiasco



The attorney for David Wildstein, a former Chris Christie appointee, tells members of a New Jersey State Assembly committee why his client is pleading the fifth. Later, the committee votes to place Wildstein in contempt.
An appointee of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the center of an apparent plan to engineer a monster traffic jam as an act of political payback was held in contempt Thursday after he refused to answer questions from state lawmakers.
The appointee, David Wildstein, invoked the Fifth Amendment, which offers protection against self-incrimination.
“On the advice of counsel, I assert my right to remain silent,” he said repeatedly at the hearing, convened by the transportation committee of the state Assembly.
The committee is investigating why lanes that funnel traffic from Fort Lee, N.J., to the George Washington Bridge were closed in September, resulting in days of gridlock. Emails published Wednesday by The Record newspaper and other news organizations show Wildstein mocking concerns that school buses were stuck in the mess.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the Democrat who chairs the committee, disputed that Wildstein had the right under state law to decline to answer questions. The committee voted to hold him in contempt, a misdemeanor.
The chairman asked Wildstein questions anyway — including about an email from Christie’s deputy chief of staff to Wildstein last August that said: “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
Wildstein declined to answer every time, saying either himself or through his lawyer that he had a constitutional right not to.
Wildstein, who went to high school with Christie, was director of interstate capital projects for the Port Authority, the agency that runs the bridge. He resigned in December, saying that growing questions about the traffic jam had become a distraction.
The mayor of Fort Lee, Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, had declined to endorse Christie, who is believed to be considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 and who has crafted an image of transcending partisan politics.
In one email published Wednesday, Wildstein refers to the mayor, who is of Croatian descent, as “this little Serbian.”
Christie, at a press conference Thursday morning, apologized to the people of New Jersey and said he was embarrassed by his staff. He fired a top aide, Bridget Kelly, and said that she had lied to him about the bridge fiasco.
He also played down his relationship with Wildstein and said that they were not friends in high school.
Earlier in the day, Wildstein lost a bid in court to avoid testifying before the state committee. His lawyers had argued that the committee was exceeding its authority, that Wisniewski had a conflict of interest, and that there were questions about the validity of Wisniewski’s signature on subpoena papers.
At the hearing, one assemblyman, Thomas Giblin, went out of his way to praise Wildstein’s reputation and encouraged him not to be a “fall guy.”
“You deserve better,” Giblin said. “You have a reputation that precedes you here today, and I think you want to build on that reputation by being candid with this committee. All we’re looking for is some type of solutions and answers.”


Links to follow....


GWB bridge scandal: Christie and staff could face subpoenas, N.J. lawmaker says

Chris Christie addresses Bridge scandal

By Ryan Hutchins/The Star-Ledger

January 09, 2014, 4:35PM
TRENTON — The state lawmaker leading an inquiry into the George Washington Bridge scandal said today his committee may subpoena current and former top officials in Gov. Chris Christie administration — and didn't rule out sending one to the governor himself. But state Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) said he and colleagues planned to move slowly and methodically as they seek... Full story »



Bridgegate: Six N.J. residents file lawsuit against Christie, Port Authority

Chris Christie visits Fort Lee to apologize

By The Associated Press

January 09, 2014, 6:53PM
Six New Jersey residents have filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. Chris Christie, the state of New Jersey, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and others over traffic jams in September Full story »





































5 head-scratchers from Chris Christie's Bridgegate apology: Opinion

Chris Christies holds bridge scandal press conference

By Jim Namiotka/The Star-Ledger

January 09, 2014, 2:11PM
Gov. Chris Christie offered a long and necessary apology this morning for his office's part in September's George Washington Bridge lane closures and the havoc it caused for commuters in Fort Lee. But his mea culpa still left lots of holes. Full story »



















Bridge scandal makes Daily Show again: Jon Stewart on Christie's epic press conference

daily-show2.jpg

By David Liss / Website staff

January 10, 2014, 12:29AM
If this isn't the tone Christie's set, then what is? Full story »














Chris Christie's bridge-scandal 'filibusters' are just starting: Mulshine

chrischristiespeaks.jpg

By Paul Mulshine/The Star Ledger

January 09, 2014, 6:53PM
How could Gov. Christie claim to be unaware of his administration’s role in the bridge closings when so many of his minions were in on those e-mail exchanges? Full story »