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Christie: 'Bridgegate' figure claim 'confirms' what governor has said

Jan. 31, 2014 at 7:00 PM   |   Comments

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TRENTON, N.J., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official has evidence Gov. Chris Christie lied about the so-called Bridgegate scandal, his attorney says.

However, Christie's office said the attorney "confirms what the governor has said all along."

Alan Zegas, an attorney for David Wildstein -- a former Christie appointee to the port authority -- said in a letter to the body Wildstein "contests the accuracy of various statements that the governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some," the (Newark) Star-Ledger reported Friday.

Wildstein, who ordered lane closures at the Fort Lee, N.J., side of the George Washington Bridge in September 2013, was among several Christie administration figures who either were fired or resigned after emails were released indicating the lane closures may have been politically motivated.

The closure caused traffic to back up for miles for several days. Christie said at a news conference last month he had no knowledge of the closure "in its planning or execution."

Zegas said in the letter to the port authority there is evidence "tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed."

The letter included a request to the authority to reconsider a decision not to cover Wildstein's legal bills.

"Mr. Wildstein's lawyer confirms what the governor has said all along -- he had absolutely no prior knowledge of the lane closures before they happened and whatever Mr. Wildstein's motivations were for closing them to begin with," Christie's office said in a statement. "As the governor said in a December 13th press conference, he only first learned lanes were closed when it was reported by the press and as he said in his January 9th press conference, had no indication that this was anything other than a traffic study until he read otherwise the morning of January 8th. The governor denies Mr. Wildstein's lawyer's other assertions."

The Port Authority declined to comment on the letter, the Star-Ledger said.

In a separate development Friday, an attorney for another former Christie official -- Bill Stepien -- wrote to New Jersey legislative investigators objecting to a subpoena of Stepien, saying Stepien will refuse to comply with a Monday deadline for turning over documents, the newspaper reported.

The letter from attorney Kevin Marion said "the very real possibility that his act of producing documents and things responsive to the subpoena might compel him to furnish a link in the chain of evidence that could be used to ensnare him in the ambiguous circumstances of a criminal prosecution -- and thus force him to become a witness against himself, in violation of his fundamental right against self-incrimination -- is a more than compelling reason to withdraw that instrument."

© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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