Legislative Panel On N.J. Bridge Scandal Wants Interview Transcripts From Report

Legislative Panel On N.J. Bridge Scandal Wants Interview Transcripts From Report

By John Reitmeyer, The Record

TRENTON, N.J. — The co-chairs of the legislative committee investigating the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge say they want to see transcripts of the interviews conducted by the lawyers Gov. Chris Christie hired to compile the report that cleared him of any role in the closures.

The panel could soon move to subpoena the interview transcripts and seek additional oral testimony, Senate Majority Loretta Weinberg and Assemblyman John Wisniewki said Monday. Both are Democrats.

“What I would want to see are all the interviews,” Wisniewski said. “If we don’t have them, we’ll subpoena them.”

A report issued last week by lawyers from the firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher said more than 70 witnesses were interviewed, including Christie himself, to help determine why two of the three lanes used by the motorists who come onto the bridge in Fort Lee were closed for several days last September.

The report found that Christie was innocent, instead casting blame largely on former Christie Port Authority appointee David Wildstein and the governor’s former deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly. The lawyers said the lane closures appeared to have been carried out to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, though it did not conclusively confirm suspicions that it was for not endorsing Christie’s re-election bid last year.

The legislative committee led by Weinberg and Wisniewski sent subpoenas to the governor’s office and several other individuals and organizations earlier this year seeking documents related to the lane closures.

The panel just recently received thousands of documents from the Christie administration. But both lawmakers said they don’t think transcripts from the interviews the lawyers conducted for their investigation have been turned over to the committee.

“The next step will be to update our committee and with the guidance of counsel to figure out how best to get the documents upon which Mr. Mastro based his ‘exhaustive inquiry,’” Weinberg said Monday.

She also said the team of lawyers led by Randy Mastro has not provided a list of the 70 witnesses it spoke to.

“We don’t even know who he interviewed,” Weinberg said.

AFP Photo/Jim Watson

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