Bridgegate: Christie points the finger of blame

The Bridgegate internal review lays the blame for the George Washington Bridge lane closures on Bridget Kelly and David Wildstein.

The Bridgegate internal review is in, said Alec MacGillis in, and, “not surprisingly, it lets Chris Christie off the hook.” The 360-page, $1 million, taxpayer-funded whitewash commissioned by the New Jersey governor on September’s lane closures at the George Washington Bridge exonerates him from any responsibility whatsoever for that act of political spite. Instead, the report lays the blame solely on two people: Bridget Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, and David Wildstein, a Christie appointee to the Port Authority. Both are accused of conspiring to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee for failing to endorse Christie for re-election by jamming up traffic in his town for days—and all without Christie ever knowing a thing. “Well then! If the people being paid $650 per hour by Christie say so, it must be true.”

So now we know Christie’s strategy—“blame Bridget,” said Joan Walsh in In a demonstration of “textbook misogyny,” the report depicts the loyal staffer—a divorced mother of four—as an “emotional” liar who acted hysterically in the aftermath of an affair with another top Christie aide. By trying to personally humiliate Kelly, Christie only proves once again that he’s a bully. Everyone knows this internal review is “irrelevant,” said Michael Tomasky in Christie commissioned it only so he could launch a pre-emptive strike against the credibility of Kelly and Wildstein, who he’s worried will testify against him in the only “investigation that matters”—the one being conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Federal investigators are trying to find out whether Christie is lying and knew something about the lane closures.

Liberals aren’t interested in the truth about Bridgegate, said Jennifer Rubin in They rightly fear Christie as a presidential candidate who could beat Hillary Clinton, and while they’ll dismiss this internal report, the investigators did interview 70 people and examine 250,000 documents, finding zero evidence of Christie’s involvement. Still, putting Bridgegate in the governor’s “rearview mirror isn’t as simple as that,” said Jonathan Tobin in The “drip-drip-drip” of news from the federal investigation will mean this scandal will hover over him “throughout 2014 and perhaps well into 2015.” That will badly damage Christie’s chances of running as “the inevitable mainstream GOP choice.”

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