Christie Knew of Bridge Closures, Ex-Ally's Lawyer Says

Saturday, Feb 1, 2014  |  Updated 10:09 AM EDT
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A lawyer for former Port Authority official David Wildstein said in a letter Friday that the order to close the lanes was

A lawyer for former Port Authority official David Wildstein said in a letter Friday that the order to close the lanes was "the Christie administration's order" and said he had evidence tying the governor to it. He did not elaborate. Chris Glorioso reports.

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Gov. Chris Christie knew about the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge as they were happening, according to the lawyer for a former ally who oversaw the traffic changes.
 

A lawyer for former Port Authority official David Wildstein said in a letter Friday that the order to close the lanes was "the Christie administration's order" and said he had evidence tying the governor to it. He did not elaborate.
 
"Mr. Wildstein contests the accuracy of various statements that the governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some,” the letter added.
 
Lawyer Alan Zegas wrote to the Port Authority to argue that the agency should pay for his legal representation in connection with the case.
 
Christie's office said in a statement that he first learned of the lane closures when they were reported by the media and believed them to be part of a traffic study until just this month. Further, "the governor denies Mr. Wildstein's lawyer's other assertions," the statement said.
 
Assemblyman John Wisniewski, a Democratic co-chair of the joint Senate and Assembly committee investigating the lane closures, told CNBC Friday, "Mr. Wildstein's allegations today add more material for the committee to consider. No one should jump to any conclusions, but I think it's fair to say these are troubling allegations that need to be examined." 
 
Wisniewski added: "What my frustration is, now we have a letter saying Mr. Wildstein has documents that refute the governor's statements in his Jan. 8 press conference. My question simply is, why today? Why not when all of the other documents were submitted?"
 
Christie has repeatedly denied knowing about the lane closures, which caused traffic chaos last September and were apparently ordered as political retaliation. 
 
Emails and text messages were released in early January showing that about three weeks before the lanes were shut down, Bridget Anne Kelly, then a Christie deputy chief of staff, emailed Wildstein, then a Christie appointee at the Port Authority, which controls the bridge.
 
"Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," Kelly wrote.
 
A few weeks later, on the weekend before the lane closures, Wildstein wrote to her: "I will call you Monday AM to let you know how Fort Lee goes."
 
After those messages were made public, Christie insisted he was misled by his staff members and announced Kelly had been fired. Wildstein had already resigned in 2013.
 
"I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge," Christie said on Jan. 9. "...This behavior is not representative of me or my administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions."
 

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