New Jersey Assembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski (D), who has led the investigation into the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, on Wednesday said that while he has not seen Gov. Chris Christie directly implicated in the scandal, the governor needs to explain his role.
“I have not seen emails that have the governor’s name on it, but the email has the deputy chief of staff on it,” Wisniewski said in a press conference. “This is an administration that keeps a tight control over what happens and comes out of the front office. We would like to get explanations as to who else in the governor’s office knew about this and what the role is.”
Wisniewski has subpoenaed Christie to testify on his knowledge of and role in the lane closures, and renewed his call to hear from the governor.
“So far what we know is that he has been pointed to by everybody,” he said. “When we look at the documents we have seen today, it is clear that that’s not the entire story. His testimony can help fill in the blanks and answer a lot of questions.”
Emails and text messages obtained by TPM on Wednesday show that top Christie aides may have ordered the lanes closed as political retribution for For Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich (D), who did not endorse Christie in 2013.
Christie has repeatedly dismissed the idea that he ordered the lanes closed for political reasons.
In a Wednesday statement, Wisniewski said that either Christie has no control over his staff or he is lying.
“Based on the Governor’s previous response regarding his knowledge of the lane closures, either he doesn’t know what’s going on in his front office or he is lying,” he said in the statement. “This is a sad day for New Jersey and a sad day for politics. The Governor has a lot of explaining to do.”
Wisniewski would also like David Wildstein, a Christie appointee to the Port Authority whose name appeared in the emails, to testify as a previously scheduled transportation hearing on Thursday.
“Mr. Wildstein has repeatedly been painted as the fall guy in this controversy but based on the documents released today, clearly that isn’t so. This is all the more reason why his appearance at tomorrow’s transportation committee hearing is necessary.” he said in the statement.