The handpicked lawyer who just absolved Gov. Chris Christie of any wrongdoing in the Bridgegate scandal appeared on The Kelly File tonight. But while attorney Randy Mastro repeatedly told host Megyn Kelly Christie did not know of the scheme to shut down traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge “beforehand,” he never said when Christie did know. Even worse, Kelly never asked.
Mastro told Kelly, “There is not a shred of evidence that Governor Christie knew anything about this lane realignment decision before it happened. Not a shred.” Later, he said, “The hard evidence shows the governor had no role in this whatsoever and knew nothing about it beforehand.”
So when did Christie find out? It’s bad enough that the report apparently does not resolve that question but it’s even worse that Kelly never asked.
As Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert points out, it’s not just beside the point that Christie was not involved in the actual plot, Mastro mimics Christie’s own sleight-of-hand strategy to make that the issue.
What Christie does now when asked about his knowledge of the lane closings is to stress he wasn’t involved in the implementation of the plot.
This has probably been the most important strategic move Christie’s office has made since January: convince the press that the key question of the scandal is whether the governor planned the lane closures, not whether he knew about the wrongdoing in real time. Time and again this winter when asked, Christie has been very careful, and very emphatic, in insisting he was not involved in the plotting of the dirty tricks scheme; he had no advance knowledge.
Kelly did appropriately mention Mastro’s friendly ties to Christie but she sounded like an attorney for the attorney when she asked, “Did you go into this with an open mind?” As if Mastro would ever have said he didn’t.
Mastro did admit, after questioning from Kelly, that investigators were unable to interview some of the key people, including David Wildstein, the former Port Authority official who directed the shutdown of the bridge lanes. Mastro’s report found that Wildstein told Christie’s press secretary that he (Wildstein) had told Christie about the shutdown on September 11th. But Christie has denied that and, as the New York Times noted, the report suggested Wildstein’s claim should not be given any credence.
Kelly did cite Wildstein’s comment but her mention seemed more of an opening for Mastro to dispute it than a real challenge. She said Christie’s critics view Wildstein’s comments as “a smoking gun” and then gave Mastro time to respond. She never questioned why the report took Christie’s word – that he didn’t recall the comment – over Wildstein’s.
Masto called Wildstein’s allegation “questionable and not significant” because Wildstein said it “at a time when he realized he was going to have to resign. And Wildstein claiming he mentioned a traffic issue could not have been a meaningful event to the governor.”
Well, was it a “traffic issue” or a deliberate lane-closure issue that Wildstein mentioned? And should Christie’s memory-lapse really exculpate him of having knowledge? Kelly, of course, did not ask. Interestingly, Mastro moved on by going back again to the “Christie knew nothing beforehand” stance – and then, like a good defense attorney, made a deliberate effort to throw blame on to Christie aide, Bridget Kelly.
It’s the ulterior motive. Who knew about the ulterior motive for a traffic study? There’s no allegation that anyone ever said anything about ulterior motives to the governor. And the fact of the matter is, the governor didn’t know beforehand, the governor acted appropriately afterward and took appropriate steps and in fact, Bridget Kelly covered up with her colleagues. She asked another colleague to destroy one of her emails that would have shown her participation… keeping it from the governor and the chief of staff.
Christie is scheduled to appear on The Kelly File tonight.
Christie has been found innocent!! Can we now get back to investigating Benghazi!!!
“Innocent” is what Slanthead declared on the radio yesterday (Thurs). And he said he even had “problems” once with Christie, for “what he did to Romney” (the buddy stroll on the NJ beach with Obama, that surely made Hannity’s skin crawl).
Anyone with half a brain (that excludes Hannocchio and all the rest at FNC) can see that this “report” will set the new standard as the epitome of a whitewash. Political textbooks in future years will point to this report as a watershed.
Dawn Zimmer, the brave mayor of Hoboken — who was a target of Christie’s slimy shenanigans — wrote in an e-mail: “Randy Mastro could have written his report the day he was hired and saved the taxpayers the million dollars in fees he billed in generating this one-sided whitewash of serious misconduct by the Christie Administration,”
When the REAL investigators give immunity to Bridget Kelly and David Wildstein, the truth will spill out, like a burst dam. It’s only a matter a time.
And I’ve been saying the bridge closing is only the tip of iceberg.
Already today, great news as Christie buddy David Samson has up and quit as head of the Port Authority. There are numerous charges of dirty dealing hovering Samson, for the way he funnel contracts to his own law firm.
This whole thing is like one of those rocks in a wet forest; turn it over and look at all the maggots!