Christie Pal Pleads The Fifth At Bridge Scandal Hearing

AP

David Wildstein, the former Director of Interstate Capital Projects for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, refused to answer questions Thursday at a state Assembly committee hearing concerning the George Washington Bridge lane closing scandal.

“I respectfully reserve my right to remain silent,” Wildstein said before a hearing of the New Jersey The Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee.

Wildstein had been subpoenaed to testify about the closing of lanes on the George Washington Bridge in September, which lead to a massive, multi-day traffic jam in the town of Fort Lee, N.J. Wildstein has previously maintained that the lanes were closed as a result of a traffic study, but Democrats in the state have suggested the closures were retaliation against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, who declined to endorse Christie’s re-election bid last year.

“On the advice of counsel, I assert my right to remain silent,” Wildstein repeatedly said, as Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D), the chairman of the committee, asked questions on Thursday.

Documents released on Wednesday revealed direct ties between the Christie administration and the discussion about the lane closures. Among other things, the documents included emails exchanged between Wildstein and former Christie Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Bridget Anne Kelly.

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Kelly wrote to Wildstein on Aug. 13.

“Got it,” Wildstein replied.

This post has been updated.

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Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com
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