Randy Mastro, the lead attorney conducting Chris Christie's personal investigation into the Bridgegate scandal appeared on ABC's "This Week" to defend his report and in his first few words, did nothing to belie the accusations of being a Christie apologist instead of a serious investigator bent on finding out the truth.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Randy Mastro, the head of that internal investigation, joins us now. You just heard Mr. Wisniewski says it's a rush to judgment.
RANDY MASTRO: Well, George, we looked at 250,000 pages of documents, interviewed more than 70 witnesses, and as Mr. Wisniewski just admitted, we haven't seen a shred of evidence that the governor knew anything about this lane realignment decision beforehand.
WTF is a "lane realignment?" The lane closings at Fort Lee have never been described in this light before, so Mastro's new terminology lends creedence to the "traffic study" claims as a justification for a callous political attack on the residents of the state of New Jersey when complaints first surfaced about all the traffic problems the lane closings were causing.
Later in the interview, the silver-haired attorney claims that he had no motive in whitewashing the investigation and that he got everything right in the report.
STEPHANOPOULOS: How do you respond to the charge of conflict of interest. Your own law firm was also working for the Port Authority. Isn't that a conflict of interest on its face?
MASTRO: No, it isn't, George. The representation of the Port Authority, which has been cleared by the Port Authority, was something where both governors offices agreed that my firm should represent the Port Authority. We had access to Port Authority documents as well.
Let me be clear. We have no incentive at our law firm to do anything other than get to the truth. We will be judged at the end of the day by whether we got it right, and, George, we believe we got it right. We had to work even harder to get it right.
This report cost the taxpayers at least one million dollars, so I'd say he'd have at least that many reasons why he would whitewash Gov. Christie's involvement. And there is plenty of money and more work coming up in the next two years for Mastro's firm to gobble up if he plays ball. And let's not forget all the fees he collected prior to the Bridgegate scandal also.
How can he proclaim he got the entire story correct when he didn't interview key players in the scandal like Bridget Kelly, Christie’s ousted deputy chief of staff; David Samson, chairman at the Port Authority and a Christie adviser; David Wildstein, former Port Authority Director of Interstate Capital Projects; or Bill Stepian, Christie’s two-time campaign manager.
I imagine Christie was smart enough not to email around his wishes for political retribution to his allies, but instead issued verbal orders to those parties involved and that is why Christie came out with this whitewash so quickly. He needed something he could fight back with.
On Meet The Press, State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-NJ, Majority Leader/Co-Chair, Legislative Select Committee on Investigation) made these astute comments this morning about Mastro's report:
TODD: So what are you missing? Let's go through. Tell me what you're missing.
SEN. WEINBERG: Well, first of all, we're missing the list of 70 people that were interviewed in this so-called report. We're missing all the transcripts; not only of this interview with the governor, but his interview with all 70 of the so-called witnesses. And I'd like to know for a report-- first of all, I'm glad to hear that Mr. Giuliani said it wasn't conclusive. It's the governor who's saying it's conclusive. And for a report that was supposed to be so conclusive…
SEN. WEINBERG: …footnoted, et cetera-- how did they know who broke up a personal relationship? That gratuitous, sexist language…
SEN. WEINBERG: …in that report is infuriating, and anybody who put their name on that report should be ashamed of themselves.--
SEN. WEINBERG: Well, he mentions it in the report. So apparently, it's part of the file. But these are the kinds of omissions, even just calling what really happened as a lane realignment. That's how he refers to it. It's a choice of words that were meant to give a-- an impression that I think is inappropriate. And I would hope that we get a list of all 70 witnesses and all the transcripts, and present that to our committee.