New Jersey taxpayers shelled out $1 million dollars to fund an internal review of the now infamous Bridgegate scandal. The review, conducted by Randy Mastro, an attorney hand-picked by Chris Christie, released its report Thursday. It said that the governor was absolutely innocent and knew nothing about the lane closings until he read it in the paper.
The review concluded the lanes were closed by incredibly stupid members of the governor’s staff. It laid the blame squarely on deputy chief-of-staff, Bridget Kelly, and Christie’s appointee to the Port Authority, David Wildstein.
The thing most interesting about this obviously pre-determined finding was that it implies that the whole thing was the result of Bridgett Kelly’s emotional state after she got dumped. It states she had been in a romantic relationship with Christie’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, and she was an emotional wreck after he dumped her. The report referred to the relationship or the dumping ten times. The attorney conducting the investigation, Randy Mastro, brought that point up several times in his news conference.
Both Kelly and Stepien, through their attorneys, have released statements blasting the report’s assertions. Kelly called the attack on her “sexist.” Others including the NY Times have asked what that had to do with anything.
The report reached its conclusion without interviewing any of the key figures in the scandal including the jilted Bridgett Kelly, her so-called lover, or co-conspirator David Wildstein. The attorney did not interview other key players either like Port Authority Chairman, David Sampson, who resigned suddenly the day after the report was released.
Christie’s attorney must have learned how to conduct an investigation in the Soviet Union. It makes one wonder if this is how former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie conducted investigations before he issued indictments.
Many questions remain unanswered. For a million dollars, one would expect that Randy Mastro would have determined some motive for the lane closures. Even if Ms. Kelly was emotionally distraught, how would closing the lanes punish the guy who allegedly dumped her? She has never publicly blamed him for the closures. Why would David Wildstein go along with this scheme if it were just the act of a scorned woman who had no authority to issue such an order on her own? Why would Wildstein not ask the governor about it when they talked on the first day of the lane closure? Or did he? The governor can’t recall, but Wildstein can.
If Mastro did not interview the key players who were implicated in e-mails including Kelly, Wildstein, Stepien, Baroni, or Sampson because they refused to cooperate, then how could his conclusion be so definitive? Mastro should have issued a disclaimer saying that since the people who had direct knowledge in the closing and the cover-up were never talked to, he is not able to issue any conclusive finding. And, why did David Sampson suddenly resign?
Furthermore, Mastro provided no evidence to support his charge about the Kelly-Stepien affair, Kelly’s emotional state, or her motive. In fact, despite nearly 1,500 footnotes in the report, he did not release the transcript of his interviews with Christie or other people on whose testimony he based his conclusion.
Yes, those animals spotted hopping all around Trenton, New Jersey appear to be Kangaroos.
Chris Christie has to be the most arrogant and narcissistic politician since Nixon. He really thinks the public is so stupid they will not see through this amateurish white-wash. It remains to be seen, however, if he can sell this box of garbage to the billionaires in Las Vegas this weekend, gathered to anoint their choice for the next president who they plan to buy the office for.