It's official: Chris Christie lawyers exonerate Chris Christie re Bridgegate


Sure, it's true that this was a report conducted by a firm hired by Christie. And sure, it's true that they didn't talk to any of the individuals it said were involved in ordering the lane closures. And it's also true that the firm had no legal authority for its investigation, and therefore was unable to place anybody under oath. But they didn't find any evidence that Christie was behind the lane closures, so therefore he must surely be innocent, right?

The report said that Mr. Christie did not recall any such conversation and finds no evidence that he was involved in the scheme, which snarled traffic for thousands of commuters in Fort Lee, N.J., from Sept. 9 through the morning of Sept. 12.

But they did find that he was an emotional basket case...
It suggests that Mr. Christie became highly emotional at a meeting in the State House in January when he learned that Ms. Kelly and Mr. Stepien were involved in the scheme, even “welling up with tears.”
...because as every good Christie fan knows, he's the real victim here. Not the people who were enforced to endure days of gridlock thanks to the actions of his administration.

The results are now in from the internal investigation conducted by the law firm hired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie into the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal and in a shocking entirely predictable turn of events.

There's zero chance this review was ever going to put Christie in hot water. Sure, taxpayers paid for it, but even though Christie wasn't footing the $650 hourly bill:

It will be viewed with intense skepticism, not only because it was commissioned by the governor but also because the firm conducting it, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, has close ties to the Christie administration and the firm’s lawyers were unable to interview three principal players in the shutdowns, including Bridget Anne Kelly, the governor’s former deputy chief of staff.

This report carries all the credibility of a Kremlin report ...............

Christie Blew $300k on Food and Booze

The vast majority of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s expense account budget went to food and alcohol, according to an analysis of his ledger records by monitoring group New Jersey Watchdog. Records show shopping sprees averaging nearly $1,500 at Wegmans supermarkets, and $82,594 paid to the operator of a concession stand at MetLife Stadium. Christie gets $95,000 annually for expenses, on top of a $175,000 salary. He’s spent roughly $360,000 from that expense budget, with $300,000 going to food, drinks, and desserts.

Christie has a 35 percent approval rating among registered voters in New Jersey. Earlier this month, Port Authority executive David Wildstein, a Christie confidant and apointee, pled guilty to his role in Bridgegate , where local access lanes were closed in Fort Lee, N.J. as a means of political retribution. Christie still denies his role in closing off parts of the George Washington Bridge.

In February, a state judge ruled that Christie broke the law by cutting pension payments previously promised to public employees.
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funny guy
Just days after referring to New Jersey's newspapers as "rags," Gov. Chris Christie said Sunday people should "just stop reading newspapers" when it comes to any investigations stemming from the George Washington Bridge lanes closure controversy.

The governor and Republican presidential canddiate, speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," lashed out at host Chuck Todd when the newsman questioned Christie's judgment on picking senior officials in his administration. Todd referenced three people facing federal charges for their alleged roles in the bridge scandal, as well as the pending federal investigation into a top ally and friend, David Samson.

"First of all, you have absolutely no idea, you have no idea as you sit here today that he did anything wrong — nor does anybody else," said Christie, in defense of Samson.

"And so, let's stop just reading the newspapers," he said. "Let's just stop reading the newspapers and just blathering back what that is. OK?"

Last week, United Airlines officials stepped down following an internal investigation at the company into the airline's dealings with the Port Authority. Jeff Smisek, 61, resigned as chairman, president and CEO of Untied Airlines. The company said its executive vice president of communications and government affairs and its senior vice president of corporate and government affairs were leaving as well.

Company officials would not disclose what specifically sparked the ouster, other than to say "the departures announced today are in connection with the company's previously disclosed internal investigation related to the federal investigation associated with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey."


Christie: 'Just stop reading newspapers' on Samson investigation (VIDEO) |

United CEO resigns over corruption, but walks away with $21 million and free flights for life

The resignation of United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek is all kinds of juicy. There's corruption—United established a money-losing route to curry favor with the then-chair of the Port Authority by getting him more conveniently to his vacation home. There's political intrigue—said then-chair of the Port Authority was Gov. Chris Christie's appointee, and one of the few people Christie refused to throw under the bus during Bridgegate. And there's plain old bloated CEO pay and raging economic inequality, because check out Smisek's severance package:

He will receive at least $21 million in cash and stock, fly free for the rest of his life and keep his company car.

Then there is the parking.

He can park free in downtown Chicago and at airports in Houston and Chicago — for the rest of his life.

Resigning because of a federal investigation into what sure looks like blatant corruption, and he's getting $21 million, free flights for life, and more. Somehow I don't think a rank and file United employee would get that kind of consideration for far smaller offenses. It's not unusual, though. CEO severance is a great example of the accountability gap—gulf, really—between those at the top and the rest of us. As in, we're held accountable and they're not.

“The way that CEO employment agreements are written, you really have to commit a felony before they can fire you and not pay you anything,” said Paul Hodgson, a partner at BHJ Partners, a compensation research firm. “Just being bad at your job or immoral or unethical or whatever is not enough usually.”

Let's just repeat that. "Just being bad at your job or immoral or unethical or whatever is not enough usually" to have your tens of millions of dollars in severance (and possibly your free flights and company car and free parking) taken away from you. If you're a CEO.

Christie picks the wrong day to complain about 'lawlessness' | MSNBC
Christie finally gets a break. That poor mans been through hell. Hardly had time to eat, he's fading away to nothing, I understand he's had to be fed with a drip bag on numerous occasions, he just can't drag himself away from working for his people. Dear god when will we stop
attacking this servant of wholesomness?
This Fox guy looks like such a nebbish - it's not hard to picture him rolling on Christie..........

And then there was one.

Four years ago, seven people sat down to dinner at Novita Italian restaurant. A federal probe is now examining whether that meal was the start of a bribery plot by United Airlines.

The dinner included seven allies of Gov. Chris Christie including former CEO of United Airlines, Jeff Smisek, and the former Chairman of the Port Authority, David Samson. Also there: Jamie Fox, then United's lobbyist.

At 5:03 p.m. on Friday, barely a year after he had been appointed by Christie as New Jersey Transportation Commissioner, Fox abruptly resigned. The stated reason was a "planned transition to the private sector." When Samson and former PAD Executive Director Bill Baroni resigned from the Port Authority in the wake of the Bridgegate scandal, Christie also said those resignations had been planned.

The resignation came just hours after Christie had assured reporters Fox was fully involved in preparations for Hurricane Joaquin.

And it came at the end of a week of news reports buffeting Fox, including reports on WNYC that he tried to halt the Bridgegate investigation and that records of meetings with him were hidden from documents released by the Port Authority. The AP had also reported that Fox didn't properly recuse himself from United Airlines business while transportation commissioner.

Fox said in a statement Friday that he plans to return to the private sector. His departure, a little more than a year after his appointment, also comes as New Jersey lawmakers struggle to find a clear path forward on funding road work next fiscal year.

"I returned to government understanding it would entail a personal sacrifice and that it would not be a lengthy stay," Fox said in a statement. "I had hoped that we could secure a credible long-term solution for the Transportation Trust Fund within a year. I deeply regret we were unable to do so, and with a year behind me, it is time for me to return to the private sector and pursue new opportunities."

A message left with Fox's spokesman was not immediately returned.

Federal prosecutors are looking at whether Samson, the former Port Authority chair, pressed United Airlines to set up a special flight route for him, known as "the chairman's flight," to Columbia, S.C., near his weekend home. Around this time, United was lobbying for improvements to its facilities at Newark Airport, and over the next three years would enter a complex series of negotiations involving other benefits to the airline, including massive reductions in flight fees and a PATH train direct to Newark Airport.

Scandal Probes Claim Another Christie Appointee - WNYC

Fox was part of a tangled web surrounding an aborted United Airlines effort to fly to Atlantic City's airport. The public agency headed by Fox, a former United lobbyist, did not require the airline to repay $104,000 despite a contract calling for it.
After Bridgegate threatened to harm New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's ambitions of getting into the White House, he took the initiative of hiring, at taxpayer expense, a top-notch law firm to look into all these charges against Chris Christie and whether they had merit. After billing the taxpayers over ten million dollars, Christie's appointed lawyer declared that Chris Christie was innocent of the accusations that he knew what his own staff was doing as they rejiggered traffic on the George Washington Bridge in order to create massive, and potentially dangerous, traffic jams in the town of Fort Lee as retribution against the town's Democratic mayor for, apparently, not liking Chris Christie more. And that was supposed to be the end of it, according to Chris Christie.

As it turns out, however, you can't "exonerate" yourself by hiring ten million dollars worth of non-government lawyer on the taxpayer dime without people suspecting that you're not telling them the whole story, and various groups—most notably, Christie's own accused staffers—have been asking for the notes and other papers compiled by Christie's law firm while they were conducting that taxpayer-funded "investigation." Tough luck, says the law firm, we didn't take any notes. We were winging it! That's how ten million dollar investigations roll, baby!

Got all that? Great, you're back up to speed. And all of that's just preamble to the law firm's new explanation of why it is that a ten million dollar, taxpayer-funded "investigation" compiled absolutely no intermediate information before writing their final ten million dollar report saying golly, it doesn't seem like Chris Christie did anything wrong. According to them, it's because they knew Christie's enemies might come looking for them and so they deliberately didn't write things down .

Nothing like explaining that your taxpayer-funded investigation into your dealings as governor didn't take any notes because you were worried the taxpayers might ask to see them. Don't you feel better about Christie's crack legal team now?
In other lead-related news;

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie pocket-vetoed a bill to send $10 million to the state’s Lead Hazard Control Assistance Fund, a fund designed to pursue lead abatement in homes painted with lead and also to assist in relocation and other services for people affected by lead. The bill sailed through both houses of the New Jersey State Legislature but was defeated by Christie’s decision to “pocket” the bill, or offer no signature for veto or approval.

The $10 million requested by the bill comes from a lead paint tax instituted specifically to be allocated to the fund. However, yearly tax revenues have been diverted to the general state budget every year since 2004, and Christie’s administration has never allocated the funds to the lead abatement program. New Brunswick Today reports :
Curious Cdn
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Just I time for his smashing string of victories in the GOP primaries!

I think I'll make popcorn!
Fresh off Chris Christie's debate claim that Bridgegate is squarely behind him comes news from the AP that “thousands” more pages of communications in his office are potentially in the offing.

Not so privileged after all. Baroni and Kelly, Christie's former colleagues, have been indicted and you can be assured their lawyers will go after those documents in advance of their trial, which is currently set for May.

U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton on Friday said attorneys for Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly can subpoena the Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher law firm for what they contend are thousands of pages of relevant documents, particularly communications between people in Christie's office and the bridge's operator during the September 2013 closures.
In its response to a grand jury subpoena by the U.S. attorney's office when it was assembling the indictment, the firm provided a list of documents — some thousands of pages long, defense lawyers say — it said were privileged communications by Christie staffers that couldn't be released.

During last Thursday's GOP debate, Christie effectively claimed he had been cleared of all wrongdoing.
"There's been three different investigations that have proven that I knew nothing."
Wishful thinking. There have been three investigations, but the only one that has cleared him is the one he launched using his own law firm. If the defense’s subpoena is successful, the current investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office could get a lot more interesting.

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Good. He's just in time to retire from the race, after he gets pummeled in New Hampshire.
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Bridgegate bombshell: Christie knew all along

Since the heady days after his landslide re-election in 2013, Gov. Chris Christie has absorbed one blow after another, falling from grace in such epic fashion that it would be painful to watch if he didn't so richly deserve it.

But Monday was special, among the darkest days of all.

The governor has been lying about Bridgegate all along, federal prosecutors charged at the opening of the trial in Newark, where two of the governor's senior aides are charged.

He knew about this caper when it was going on, they said, when gridlock traffic in Fort Lee was blocking ambulances and school buses, and when he had a chance to end the madness with a few words.

Remarkable. The excuse the governor has been hiding behind for three years, prosecutors now say, is pure bunk.

Remember the governor's big mea culpa? In a two-hour press conference after this scandal broke , Christie apologized and said this was the work of rogue staffers who "blindsided" him, and left him, "sad" and "heartbroken."

"I had no knowledge of this – of the planning, the execution or anything about it," he said. "I first found out about it after it was over."

The truth, prosecutors say, is that the governor learned about the lane closures during a ceremony at Ground Zero marking the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, when David Wildstein and Bill Baroni, his two top aides at the Port Authority, discussed the plot with him.

Bridgegate bombshell: Christie knew all along. Say good-night | Moran |

Christie should be impeached if he lied about Bridgegate

Remember, when Wildstein first cut his deal with the prosecution, he claimed "evidence exists" that proves that Christie knew. Thus far, that evidence has not emerged. But even without physical evidence, the accounts of events may be damning enough.

If, in fact, Christie was alerted to the lane closures while they were still ongoing it would make the governor complicit in the fraud, and potentially subject to the federal charges that Baroni and Kelly now face, including conspiracy against civil rights, deprivation of civil rights, wire fraud, and conspiring to "intentionally misapply property of an organization receiving federal benefits." The most serious of those charges — wire fraud — carries a maximum 20-year sentence.

But even if the federal government cannot or will not make a case against Christie, impeachment can hold Christie accountable for his alleged misdeeds. According to the state constitution, the decision to impeach Christie belongs solely to the New Jersey Assembly, and that decision must be voted on by a majority of members. Democrats currently hold 52 seats in the 80-member chamber.

The state constitution is vague in terms of the requirements, saying only that "The Governor and all other State officers, while in office and for two years thereafter, shall be liable to impeachment for misdemeanor committed during their respective continuance in office."

Christie should be impeached if he lied about Bridgegate | Opinion |
A jury on Friday found two former allies of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) guilty on all federal charges in the high-profile Bridgegate case.

Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie's former deputy chief of staff, and Bill Baroni, a former senior official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, faced seven counts each of conspiracy and wire fraud for their alleged roles in orchestrating lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in September 2013 meant to create mass gridlock in the town of Fort Lee.

Prosecutors and former Port Authority official David Wildstein, the admitted mastermind of the scheme, said the days-long traffic jam was meant to punish the town’s Democratic mayor for declining to back Christie’s re-election bid. Wildstein struck a plea deal for his own involvement in the plot.

Bergen Record reporter Paul Berger said that Baroni kept a smile on his face as the verdict was read, while Kelly broke into tears.
While the most serious charges in the indictment carry a maximum punishment of up to 20 years in prison, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said before the trial that there was “no way” his office would recommend that the defendants serve such a long term, according to the New York Times .

Baroni and Kelly are set to be sentenced on February 21, 2017.

The seven-week trial refocused New Jersey’s attention on a scandal that rocked the state for years and tainted Christie’s political reputation. Both the prosecution and defense agreed that Christie knew about the scheme as it unfolded, although the New Jersey governor has long maintained that he was unaware of the lane closures on the bridge until reading about them in the press “well after the whole thing was over.”

Christie said in a statement that the jury's decision held Baroni and Kelly accountable "for their own conduct" and that the trial turned up no "believeable evidence" that he either knew about or had a role in authorizing the lane closures.

In his Friday statement, Christie pledged to “set the record straight in the coming days regarding the lies that were told by the media and in the courtroom.”

Jury Finds BridgeGate Defendants Guilty On All Counts
This big guy likes to play God hey!~! For a supposed smart man, this was a really dumb move. Risking your well paying job, your reputation, and not to mention letting Trump down, WTF!
His reputation, is a mater of record, he's apiece of shjtand should make next years radishes./

he should be convicteed and sentanced to gow radishhes, as long as his mouldering ruins persist

What wasthe question ?