Fort Lee, N.J. Mayor Mark Sokolich said Friday he’s not sure what to make of the latest explosive allegations against Gov. Chris Christie (R) but that the man making them has some credibility issues.
Sokolich spoke to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer following revelations that one of Christie’s old allies had claimed the governor knew about lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in September while the they were taking place. Those closures caused days of traffic gridlock in Fort Lee, and some Democrats have speculated they were ordered as retaliation for the mayor refusing to endorse Christie’s re-election bid.
The claims, which appeared in a letter from an attorney who represents former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official David Wildstein, appeared to contradict Christie’s earlier statements that he knew nothing about the closures.
But Sokolich said the letter amounted to something less than a smoking gun.
“We lawyers, you know, we’re trained to write very carefully written letters. I mean, if you really peel back this onion, I mean, it specifically says that, you know, there was no prior knowledge,” Sokolich said, adding alter: “Look, from my perspective, from Fort Lee’s perspective, there’s obviously credibility issues with Mr. Wildstein and he certainly is bucking for immunity.”
Earlier this month, Wildstein asserted his Fifth Amendment rights and refused to answer questions at a legislative hearing on the closures, but his attorney said he would be interested in immunity.
Nick Martin is an associate editor at TPM in New York City. He came to the site in 2011 as a reporter for TPMMuckraker. Previously, he worked in Arizona, first as a staff reporter for a local newspaper and later as a freelance journalist. He also ran the news blog Heat City. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org