Gov: I’ll Cooperate With Probes…for Now [AUDIO]
The New Jersey legislative committee investigating the Bridgegate scandal will take center stage again next month when it calls four witnesses to testify. Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie was asked if his office will continue to cooperate with the probe, and he said his administration will play ball — for the time being.
On May 13, Christie’s press secretary Michael Drewniak is scheduled to testify. The governor was asked if Drewniak will in fact give testimony before the Select Committee on Investigation.
“I don’t see any reason why not,” Christie said. “We have completely cooperated with any and all appropriate, ongoing investigations, and I assume that folks will continue to do that. We have not restricted people’s ability to cooperate in any way with appropriate investigations and as long as that continues, we will continue to cooperate.”
In a 30-minute State House press conference, the governor was also asked if the Democrat-controlled panel can conduct an impartial investigation.
“I think you should judge people by how they conduct themselves, and everybody has the right to their own opinion and to make their judgments on that,” Christie said. “I think you have to judge them by the statements they make and how they conduct themselves.”
The governor said it is not his place to give an opinion about whether the legislative committee has run its course. He also said if the state Attorney General’s office decides to investigate the issue, that will be their call and not his.
The scandal has been dogging Christie for months. He launched an internal investigation, and the team of lawyers he hired produced a report that cleared Christie of any wrongdoing.
In September, access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee were closed without prior notice, snarling traffic for four days. Some Democrats believe this was done to punish Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor for refusing to endorse Christie’s re-election.
One of Christie’s deputy chiefs of staff, Bridget Kelly, was fired after an email apparently sent by her went public, in which she wrote, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” Christie cut ties with his two-time campaign manager, Bill Stepien, after Stepien’s involvement in the scandal became clear.
A judge ruled recently that Kelly and Stepien do not have turn over subpoenaed documents to the SCI. Both successfully argued that doing so would infringe on their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.