Today’s Bridgegate scoop: Christie met with official responsible for bridge lane closings while they were happening

posted at 6:01 pm on January 14, 2014 by Allahpundit

And I use the term “met with” loosely. I’m skeptical that Christie’s innocent but this story’s getting way more hype today than it deserves.

Gov. Chris Christie was with the official who arranged the closure of local lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 11, 2013 — the third day of the closures, and well after they had triggered outrage from local officials beset by heavy traffic.

It isn’t known what, if anything, Mr. Christie discussed with David Wildstein that day, when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official was among the delegation of Mr. Christie’s representatives who welcomed him to the site of the World Trade Center for the commemoration of the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks there…

Mr. Christie addressed Mr. Wildstein in a news conference last week, saying he had not encountered him “in a long time.”

“I have had no contact with David Wildstein in a long time, a long time, well before the election,” which was held Nov. 5, Mr. Christie said last week. “You know, I could probably count on one hand the number of conversations I’ve had with David since he worked at the Port Authority. I did not interact with David.”

Wildstein is the guy at the Port Authority who replied “Got it” when Bridget Kelly sent him the now famous e-mail about it being time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee. And here’s the Journal with proof that Christie met with him while the lanes were closed on the bridge! Except … it doesn’t really prove that. It proves that they spoke in full view of several people at some point on 9/11, when both of them had good reasons unrelated to Bridgegate to be in proximity to each other. (The Port Authority built and owned the World Trade Center.) Did Wildstein mention the bridge closings to him that day? The Journal doesn’t know. Did the two men ever even speak privately? They don’t know that either. Had enough complaints from local officials about the lane closings reached Christie at that point to make it probable that he would have pulled Wildstein aside and asked for an explanation? Still no idea. How ’bout what Christie said later about not having encountered Wildstein in “a long time, well before the election”? That’s surely a lie, right? I don’t know: If 9/11 was the last time he saw Wildstein before November 5th, would that qualify as a “long time”? It’s subjective. Given how many people Christie probably chatted with at Ground Zero, should he be expected to have remembered the encounter with Wildstein at all? What kind of scoop is it if it can instantly be defeated by the two of them saying, “Yeah, no, we never talked about bridge stuff”?

All we know is that the governor of New Jersey chatted with Port Authority officials at Ground Zero on the anniversary of the attacks. Go figure. If you’re looking to pin Christie to the closings, you’d be better off looking at his daily schedule to see if there were any unusual meetings with Kelly and Bill Stepien either when the closings were first ordered or when they finally went into effect. That’d be weak circumstantial evidence too, but at least you’d start without an obvious innocent explanation.


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And on page 999,999, Obama, and/or top staff, meet with top IRS officials dozens of times while the IRS was being used to suppress the vote of conservatives.

VorDaj on January 14, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Just a local pissant political story…. unlike Fast & Furious, Benghazi, the IRS scandal, the NSA bs, squandering millions on luxury vacations during hard times, trillion $$$ deficits, terrible job & unemployment, underemployment, bald-faced lies, GITMO, destruction of due process, and the monumental lies & fiasco of Obamacare.

Oh, and $#@! Christie – he’s just another goddam piece of $#@! politician.

ModerateMan on January 14, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Just use an Obama Excuse.

Because Obama never met with Kathleen Sebelius over ObamaCare

Because Obama never met with Leon Penetta over Benghazi

portlandon on January 14, 2014 at 6:09 PM

And Boehner was meeting with Obama while his IRS was targeting the Tea Party. How does that implicate anyone?

Bensonofben on January 14, 2014 at 6:11 PM

I’m skeptical that Christie’s innocent but this story’s getting way more hype today than it deserves.

And yet you posted it anyway.

Bitter Clinger on January 14, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Christie should just chalk it up to a “glitch” and say the people responsible were fired. End of story. Mic drop.

Christien on January 14, 2014 at 6:16 PM

“I have had no contact with David Wildstein in a long time, a long time, well before the election,” which was held Nov. 5, Mr. Christie said last week. “You know, I could probably count on one hand the number of conversations I’ve had with David since he worked at the Port Authority. I did not interact with David.”

Put a fork in him, he is done.

Johnnyreb on January 14, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Remind me again, how many ambassadors Christie got killed because he needed his beauty rest before jetting off to Las Vegas for a campaign fundraiser?

rbj on January 14, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Christie should say something like, “sure, I think I met with them about as many times as Obama met with the IRS head in the whitehouse, reviewing how to target conservatives.”

Watch the heads explode.

Vanceone on January 14, 2014 at 6:19 PM

I guess I’ve been under a rock. Christie beat Obama in ’12?? Must have happened because this story is everywhere, every day, all the time now. It’s not like the press would give this kind of attention to a regional politician, a governor for instance. Because surely the press would realize no one except locals would give a shi*t after a day or two.

So congrats to President Christie! And when your current troubles are over, please do something that actually matters, like repeal Obamacare.

Erich66 on January 14, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Sorry, Dems. Dave’s not here.

Christien on January 14, 2014 at 6:22 PM

We can’t let Christie be crucified….so fast.

We need to assist his crucifixion so it is slow over the next 12 to 18 months so he can draw the fire from the Dem media/hate machine while the other BETTER condidates for the GOP in 2016 rise up.

Then and only then can he implode for good.

KirknBurker on January 14, 2014 at 6:22 PM

And Boehner was meeting with Obama while his IRS was targeting the Tea Party. How does that implicate anyone?

Bensonofben on January 14, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Boehner ain’t runnin for Prez in 2016.

KirknBurker on January 14, 2014 at 6:23 PM

How many times did IRS officials meet with White House staff from the time the targeting started until it ended?

It was well over 100.

Did they ever talk about taxing political nonprofits?

Did they ever mention the Tea Party in any way?

Obama was giving stump speeches accusing his opponents of getting foreign money, followed almost the next day by increased IRS targeting of Obama’s opponents. Did the White House staff and the IRS officials discuss this with each other?

Questions, questions.

Good Lt on January 14, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Today’s Bridgegate scoop: blah blah

.
Bridgeghazi…

ExpressoBold on January 14, 2014 at 6:35 PM

This is Journalistic Malpractice at it’s finest.

Rio Linda Refugee on January 14, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Just remember… if you went to that infamous The Who concert in Cinncinati you’re to blame.

viking01 on January 14, 2014 at 6:52 PM

I’m still wondering who ratted the Christie administration out. It’s also curious that Feds are investigating Christie for the tourism ads after the storm. No doubt Christie is crooked, but no more than any other politician from Jersey. The ads were a quid pro quo and all that money his sweetheart Obama gave him was skimmed for his reelection campaign. I think someone O’s circle or some Democrats in Jersey working for O set Christie up. Well, this is what you get for sleeping with dogs, fatboy. I find the schadenfreude absolutely hilarious. This is what ‘Bi-Partisanship’ in America looks like, folks.

Corporal Tunnel on January 14, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Gov. Chris Christie was with the official who arranged the closure of local lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 11, 2013 — the third day of the closures, and well after they had triggered outrage from local officials beset by heavy traffic.

It isn’t known what, if anything, Mr. Christie discussed with David Wildstein that day, when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official was among the delegation of Mr. Christie’s representatives who welcomed him to the site of the World Trade Center for the commemoration of the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks there…

Well, I was “with” Justice Sotomayor on New Year’s Eve.

Basilsbest on January 14, 2014 at 6:56 PM

If they met on 9/11 they probably discussed security measures for 9/11…. unlike Killary when she and Barky betrayed the Benghazi Four.

viking01 on January 14, 2014 at 7:07 PM

I’m skeptical that Christie’s innocent but this story’s getting way more hype today than it deserves.

So Allahpundit thinks a man with Christie’s background as a highly popular Governor and top notch prosecutor would risk his career and commit a possible criminal offense for the great payoff of … of … wait for it… embarrassing a Democrat Mayor for the unforgivable offense of not endorsing him (even though the said Mayor wasn’t asked to endorse and the non-endorsement had no possible impact on Christie’s re-election prospects).

Good grief. We need better pundits.

Basilsbest on January 14, 2014 at 7:09 PM

When will Obama return Christie’s favor and fly to New Jersey and pat Christie on the back and thank him for doing such a good job?

Oh wait, the Democrats play to win while rino Republicans play get along & go along with the Democrats.

RJL on January 14, 2014 at 7:15 PM

…were that the press were this diligent toward the bullshit the Jugearred administration has pulled!…people would be wearing a lot of stripes or orange jumpsuits right now!

KOOLAID2 on January 14, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Christie should say something like, “sure, I think I met with them about as many times as our beloved leader President Obama met with the IRS head in the whitehouse, reviewing how to target teabaggers, which is a policy I wholly agree with and support.”

Watch the heads explode agree.

Vanceone on January 14, 2014 at 6:19 PMVanceone on January 14, 2014 at 6:19 PM

I’ve added to your suggested Christie response to make it accurately reflect where Christie is coming from.

wraithby on January 14, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Christie is bad, Obama is bad. Stop defending either.

antisense on January 14, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Reaching. So. Hard.

rockmom on January 14, 2014 at 8:50 PM

Christie is bad, Obama is bad. Stop defending either.

antisense on January 14, 2014 at 8:11 PM

False equivalencies are the stock-in-trade of charlatans. Idiot.

Basilsbest on January 14, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Maybe we should be happy this is happening now. This could knock Christie out of the running sooner and it open a path to someone that is a little more, shall we say, palatable!

LeftCoastRight on January 14, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Oh, I think Christie would probably fit on a pallet./

S. D. on January 14, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Maybe we should be happy this is happening now. This could knock Christie out of the running sooner and it open a path to someone that is a little more, shall we say, palatable!
LeftCoastRight on January 14, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Sorry chum, you have it backwards. This smear job will make Christie stronger. His 2 hour press conference was a tour de force. He was strong, forthcoming, apologetic for the idiocies of his subordinates, and cool, calm and collected. Only the undiscerning or hopelessly biased think he is guilty after his press conference. The smear job is illogical nonsense and he removed any doubt about his innocence.

Basilsbest on January 14, 2014 at 9:24 PM

False equivalencies are the stock-in-trade of charlatans. Idiot.

Basilsbest on January 14, 2014 at 8:57 PM

I didnt say they were equal, pedestrian. Christie is a loudmouthed just all-around obnoxious guy. Obama is the first lady of the US.

antisense on January 14, 2014 at 9:53 PM

No one gets ahead by apologizing.

antisense on January 14, 2014 at 9:53 PM

I didnt say they were equal, pedestrian. Christie is a loudmouthed just all-around obnoxious guy. Obama is the first lady of the US.

antisense on January 14, 2014 at 9:53 PM

Christie is a Republican Governor, who balanced the budget in his liberal State without raising taxes, you well-named jerk. He also is the current frontrunner. I am not promoting him but defending him against what is obviously a moronic smear.

Whether I support him will depend on how he performs in the leadership campaign as well as his position on Amnesty which is the most important issue facing the nation. In the last Republican leadership battle I supported the candidate who had the strongest anti-Amnesty position – as well as being clearly the strongest candidate overall. Unfortunately the purists were as stupid then as they are now.

Basilsbest on January 14, 2014 at 10:04 PM

No one gets ahead by apologizing.

antisense on January 14, 2014 at 9:53 PM

We have a new moron on Hot Air. Someone who apparently never gets a head.

Basilsbest on January 14, 2014 at 10:07 PM

Sorry chum, you have it backwards. This smear job will make Christie stronger. His 2 hour press conference was a tour de force. He was strong, forthcoming, apologetic for the idiocies of his subordinates, and cool, calm and collected. Only the undiscerning or hopelessly biased think he is guilty after his press conference. The smear job is illogical nonsense and he removed any doubt about his innocence.

Basilsbest on January 14, 2014 at 9:24 PM

LOL, love it. And when fatso walked arm-in-arm with Obambi days before the election, every Republican across the nation said “that’s our guy”.

Marcus on January 14, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Christie should have gone to the Port Authority 158 times. Then the media would definitely have ignored it.

Hal_10000 on January 14, 2014 at 10:24 PM

No one was more upset than me Marcus. And yet … he is the frontrunner.

Basilsbest on January 14, 2014 at 10:31 PM

No one was more upset than me Marcus. And yet … he is the frontrunner.

Basilsbest on January 14, 2014 at 10:31 PM

Seriously, I was just reading about Jersey City. The governor’s office had a day long agenda of meetings of concerns to the city specifically. Transit, water, stuff. On the very day that the mayor of the city endorsed Christie’s opponent, every meeting upcoming was cancelled according to the mayor and this story is breaking today as of the open records thing.

You don’t see the same pattern of revenge against Mitt Romney for not having chosen him, a plan to destroy Romney at the end?

I don’t believe for one second that Christie was EVER ahead with Republicans nation wide.

Sorry, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’d vote Hillary first. (No I wouldn’t, I’d skip it and not care.)

Marcus on January 14, 2014 at 10:38 PM

PS – and NO, I don’t think he pre-planned Sandy.
But I remember being sick to my stomach when he was being interviewed about how nasty he was to Mitt Romney.

Marcus on January 14, 2014 at 10:41 PM

No one was more upset than me Marcus. And yet … he is the frontrunner.

Basilsbest on January 14, 2014 at 10:31 PM

And history will repeat itself in other ways, as well. Whoever the Republican nominee is in 2016, they WILL lose to the Democrat. It might as well be foreordained.

gryphon202 on January 14, 2014 at 10:47 PM

PS – and NO, I don’t think he pre-planned Sandy.
But I remember being sick to my stomach when he was being interviewed about how nasty he was to Mitt Romney.

Marcus on January 14, 2014 at 10:41 PM

I have no basis to accuse you of that. If we were to eliminate from consideration everyone who was nasty to Mitt, who would be left? Pro Amnesty Paul Ryan? These are indeed difficult times.

Basilsbest on January 14, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Another blustery day in Trenton, NJ.

Christie should watch that it doesn’t turn into a hurricane.

virgo on January 14, 2014 at 11:49 PM

Umm, there is a big problem in your state – a huge traffic jam that is getting media attention…you want to get to the bottom of the problem…so you talk to the individual who closes down the traffic lanes. And THIS is ‘unusual behavior to anyone?

Now if you tell me this guy is saying he TOLD Christie this was a ‘revenge’ act or that he knows Christie knew what was going on then you have a story.

Yeah, thought so…

easyt65 on January 15, 2014 at 8:32 AM

Hey, it’s not like terrorists attacked and killed 4 Americans. Christie should just run as a centrist Democrat, and the press will drop this like a hot frying pan.

“What does it matter?”

Keith_Indy on January 15, 2014 at 8:41 AM