What does New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have to say for himself now that two if his closest staffers have been convicted?
Christie sat down with CBS new reporter Charlie Rose where he once again denied that he knew anything about the plot to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich.
“If they would have told me that, ‘Hey, we’re creating traffic in the George Washington Bridge in order to punish the mayor for not endorsing you’ I would have remembered that. And they never said that,” Christie said.
“By the way, Charlie, I think this is a really important point: In the whole trial no one, not even Bridget Kelly, Bill Baroni or David Wildstein, ever testified that anyone ever said to me that this was an act of political retribution,” he went on.
Former deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly and former deputy director of the Port Authority Bill Baroni, both of whom were convicted, both testified that Christie knew about Bridgegate. Former Port Authority executive David Wildstein also testified that Christie knew about it.
It’s particularly remarkable for Christie to say that Wildstein did not testify to that effect because Wildstein was very specific and explicit. Wildstein testified that he and Christie laughed about the Bridgegate plot on the 12th anniversary of 9/11. Photos of Wildstein and Christie laughing it up on that day were even presented as evidence during the trial.
Kelly, Baroni, and Wildstein each testified that they were promised future jobs and positions in Christie’s inner circle if they took the fall for Bridgegate. Presumably, this would have included positions in a hypothetical Christie presidential administration. Kelly and Baroni’s defense claimed Christie threw their clients under the bus to safeguard his presidential ambitions during their closing arguments.
There can’t be very many people left in the world, even among Republicans, who genuinely believe Christie is innocent.