For two consecutive Tuesdays now, the New Jersey legislative committee investigating the George Washington Bridge scandal has heard testimony from people connected to the administration of Gov. Chris Christie (R).
Christie said this week he thinks it’s been a waste of time.
Speaking during his monthly radio interview on Tuesday night, Christie argued that testimony heard earlier in the day, from his press secretary Michael Drewniak, and last week, from former aide Christina Renna, covered material that was already included in a report released in March by a legal team representing his office. That report, known as the Mastro report for the lawyer who led the legal team, cleared Christie of any role in the plan to close Fort Lee, N.J.’s access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in September.
“Everything is in the Mastro report, anybody who wants to read the Mastro report, it’s online, it’s been online,” Christie told host Eric Scott on WXKW’s “Ask The Governor.” “What I can tell you though is that the legislature has now had, what, 10, 11 hours of hearings? To have two witnesses from my administration, one who has since left and one who is still there, repeat in public exactly what was printed in the Mastro report. Absolutely nothing new has come out of this, and so [if] they want to continue to have people read the Mastro report in public I guess that’s what they’re going to do.”
While Christie is right that Drewniak and Renna’s testimony did not contain any major revelations, a different way to say that is that Drewniak and Renna did help answer any of the central questions that remain about why the lanes were closed and who was involved. And Renna, for one, also raised questions about the accuracy of the Mastro report itself during her testimony. (Asked about the Mastro report on Tuesday, Drewniak said he was happy with it.)
Several key figures in the scandal — including former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive David Wildstein, former Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly, and former Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien — have refused to testify before the lawmakers looking into the scandal. Port Authority officials William “Pat” Schuber and Patrick Foye, as well as Matt Mowers, who worked for Christie’s re-election campaign last year, have been subpoenaed to testify before the committee in the coming weeks.