Chris Christie's personal Bridgegate inquiry has been released to the public and while the results were what we thought they would be since it was led by Randy Mastro, a partner with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, a law firm with close ties to the governor, there was an interesting nugget or two buried within. (h/t Atrios)
The Port Authority official who oversaw the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge said that he had informed Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey about it at a Sept. 11 memorial while the closings were occurring, according to results from an internal investigation released on Thursday by lawyers for the governor.
The official, David Wildstein, told Mr. Christie’s press secretary, Michael Drewniak, of the Sept. 11 conversation at a dinner in December just before his resignation from the Port Authority, according to the report.
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.
This tidbit right here is reason enough to throw this report in the garbage because Governor Christie has denied ever being told about the lane closing all along and if what Wildstein said is true then he knew from the very beginning what was happening but did nothing to stop it. That would end his political career permanently. We have virtually nothing from Wildstein on the record so far since he's not talking, but this contradicts Christie's version immeasurably.
TPM has more about this discrepancy:
The report, which concluded that Christie "did not know of the lane realignment beforehand and had no involvement in the decision to realign the lanes," indicates that as the scandal began to escalate in December, former Port Authority David Wildstein began "feeling vulnerable, knew he would have to resign, and then did." At the time Wildstein was still telling the Governor's Office that the lane had been closed as the result of a traffic study, an explanation that has since been abandoned by the Port Authority and the Christie administration.
The report then states that Wildstein told Christie about the "traffic issue in Fort Lee" at a public event that occurred while the lane closures were happening, but that Christie could not recall the interaction.
"[Wildstein] even suggested he mentioned the traffic issue in Fort Lee to the Governor at a public event during the lane realignment—a reference that the Governor does not recall and, even if actually made, would not have registered with the Governor in any event because he knew nothing about this decision in advance and would not have considered another traffic issue at one of the bridges or tunnels to be memorable," the report states.
And it's not surprising that the report threw his people under the bus, but now he's bringing up a supposed affair between Ms. Kelly and Bill Stepien:
The report puts much of the blame for the closings on Bridget Anne Kelly, who was Mr. Christie’s deputy chief of staff until he fired her in January, and on Mr. Wildstein, a longtime Christie ally.
It also claims that Ms. Kelly had become “personally involved” with Bill Stepien, Mr. Christie’s two-time campaign manager and the aide who had previously held Ms. Kelly’s position.
So the Christie story is now "I was told about it but I forgot." But he didn't, at the time, respond "no dude that's wrong don't do that."
Christie is sounding an awful lot like Sergeant Schultz: "I see nothing, I know nothing."