Governor Chris Christie took a very unusual step Thursday after the New Jersey Assembled voted to investigate the Bridgeate scandal. He hired heavyweight attorney Randy M. Mastro, a good pal and associate of Rudy Giuliani and that has some people talking.
As the New Jersey Assembly voted unanimously on Thursday to authorize an investigation into abuses of power by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration, Mr. Christie seemed to be maneuvering against the inquiry, hiring a high-powered defense lawyer and resisting questions about whether he would cooperate with the Legislature’s efforts.
The investigative panel created by the Assembly issued subpoenas to 17 individuals and three organizations that members believe may be able to answer why Mr. Christie’s deputy chief of staff gave the signal to close lanes onto the George Washington Bridge in September in an act of political punishment.
Mr. Christie’s administration announced that it had hired Randy M. Mastro, a longtime associate of former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York City, to conduct an internal review and cooperate with the investigation...
Now here's an interesting quote.
But while the statement said that Mr. Mastro would also assist with “other appropriate inquiries,” it left unsaid whether Mr. Christie intended to cooperate with the Legislature. When asked directly whether the governor considered the legislative inquiries appropriate, a spokesman for the governor, Colin Reed, declined to answer.
Why wouldn't they answer this simple question? This move by him seems to signal that he feels very vulnerable at this time and well he should. Gov. Christie should also have looked at Bill Stepien's resume more closely because he had formerly worked on John McCain and Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaigns prior to joining his. I don't remember that ending too well for either of them.
Mr. Christie and Mr. Giuliani, both former United States attorneys, are longtime friends — Mr. Giuliani has been among Mr. Christie’s most aggressive defenders as the bridge scandal has unfolded — and they have shared staff members and advisers, including Bill Stepien, Mr. Christie’s two-time campaign manager. (The governor cut ties with Mr. Stepien last week after documents linked him to a cover-up of the lane closings.)↓ Story continues below ↓
Mr. Mastro, whom the statement characterized as an “outside, third-party perspective,” was an assistant United States attorney under Mr. Giuliani in New York, and later served as a deputy mayor. He now works for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which has long served as Mr. Christie’s private counsel.
If anyone believes that Mastro is there to be helpful to the investigation, then I have a bridge to sell you. (I couldn't help myself.)
Let the good times roll:
The State Senate on Thursday also authorized a committee to investigate the lane closings, and said that among the people it planned to subpoena would be David Samson, whom Mr. Christie appointed chairman at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the bridge, and Regina Egea, who oversaw the authority from Mr. Christie’s office, and was recently chosen to become the governor’s chief of staff. Those subpoenaed will most likely have 10 to 14 days to respond.