There is finally some good news for New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie. He is currently mired in the middle of a motley pack of GOP presidential hopefuls while being relentlessly hounded by the George Washington Bridge scandal. Today, NBC reports an internal review has cleared him of any and all wrong doing in the lane closing fiasco last fall. In fact the investigators paint Christie in such flattering terms you'd think he appointed them himself.
Well, okay, he actually did, but let's not dwell on details.
The review, commissioned by the Governor was conducted by members of the law firm, Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher. NBC noted the firm and it's founder have had close ties with Christie for a number of years. So when a sentence, in the final analysis reads, "Governor Christie's account of these events ring true," one might want to keep in mind who wrote it.
While finding Christie innocent of knowing anything about everything, his former Deputy Chief of Staff and a disgraced Port Authority employee he appointed were thrown so far under the bus they were run over by the back tires first. According to the report, David Wildstein, the Port Authority employee, cooked up the scheme and Kelly, the Governor's Deputy Chief of Staff went along with it, but absolutely no one else was involved.The evil intent was to punish Ft. Lee, NJ, Mayor Mark Sokolich for not supporting Christie's re-election bid. It isn't clear why Kelly and Wildstein became so enraged by the democratic Mayor's refusal. According to the investigation, the lane closings, which fouled traffic in Ft. Lee for days, went into effect about 48 hours after Kelly reconfirmed Sokolich was refusing to jump on the Christie bandwagon.
The day before the shit hit the fan, she sent a cold blooded email to Wildstein which read, "Time for some traffic problems in Ft.Lee." His terse response was, "Got it." According to the findings, when Kelly found out Sokolich was complaining about the traffic problems she emailed, "Good."
NBC pointed out critics of the review say, even though responsibility for the thuggery was dropped squarely in their laps, neither Kelly, or Wildstein were interviewed during the probe. The investigators also failed to question Port Authority Chairman, David Samson and Christie's former campaign manager, Bill Stepien.
Stepien and Port Authority honcho Bill Baroni were cleared of any wrong doing, because, even though they knew of the lane closings, they didn't know the real reason behind it.
In addition Kelly was accused of flat out lying to Christie during a December meeting when he questioned staffers about their possible involvement in the act. The report went so far as to say she made a frantic appeal to an aid to delete emails in order to hide her involvement.
In response to Wildstein's accusation he had told Christie of the lane closings at a September 11th memorial event, the panel wrote, "Indeed it seems unlikely such a brief mention, even if made by Wildstein to the Governor, would have registered with the Governor at all." It also said, while Christie recalls speaking to a number of people that day, including Wildstein, he couldn't remember what was said.
Randy Mastro, who is a spokesman for the firm, assured everyone, despite the connections with Christie, his people would have dished dirt on the Governor if they'd found any.
Investigators dismissed a separate scandal involving accusations by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. She has claimed Christie tried to force her city to accept a real estate deal which would profit some pals of his by hijacking Hurricane Sandy relief funds. The report basically says Her Honor is full of shit.
NBC finally tells us there are other investigations taking place which are not under the auspices of Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher. Those results are still pending.
Despite lingering questions of why the Governor would hire cretins such as Kelly and Wildstein, it appears he can head out to Iowa to face the immense and savage ego of Ted Cruz with his head held high--at least for now anyway.
Sometimes, all you can do is take what you can while you can and run with the wind. Hey--you might as well, because there is no telling who is lurking right around the corner with a cocked Louisville Slugger.
That is the state of politics in America and, as we've known for years, the way we deal with those other people .
sic vita est