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Thursday, January 9, 2014



Long time CHRISTIE ally DAVID WILDSTEIN plead the 5th this afternoon during an official Hearing on the "BRIDGEGATE" Scandal.

ARTICLE: "Ex-Christie Appointee Wildstein Accused Of Contempt In Assembly Hearing"

The Assembly committee investigating the George Washing Bridge lane closures unanimously referred the actions of David Wildstein to authorities to be considered for a contempt charge.

Wildstein, the former Port Authority executive at the center of the lane closing controversy, refused to testify saying the Constitution protected him from self incrimination Thursday after a Superior Court judge refused to block the Legislature’s subpoena.

The statement came after Governor Christie gave a lengthy press conference apologizing for the lane closures and the part senior members of his staff played in the closure.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski, head of the transportation committee, asked questions during the hearing with Wildstein, who gave the order to close two of three entrance lanes from Fort Lee to the George Washington Bridge, repeatedly asserting that he is using his right to remain silent.

Wildstein’s statements came at the advice of counsel.

During an earlier news conference on Thursday, Christie disavowed Wildstein as a friend and a close colleague. Numerous media reports have said that Christie and Wildstein are high school friends.

“That conveys and emotional closeness that doesn’t exist,” Christie said.

Christie said that he met Wildstein for the first time in 1977 as a volunteer for Gov. Tom Kean’s campaign. But they did not remain friends.

“I was class president and an athlete in high school,” Christie said. “I don’t know what he was doing.”

Furthermore, he said that he could not remember any instance when he had a personal meeting with Wildstein.

Christie said that he did not want to speak to Wildstein, former Port Authority Executive Director Bill Baroni and others expected to be called to testify at the Assembly hearings because he wanted to avoid accusations of witness tampering.

On Thursday, when Wildstein informed the committee he would not answer their questions, the audience groaned.

After Wildstein asserted his right to remain silent, Wisniewski continued to ask questions about specific emails that landed in the Record yesterday connecting members of Christie’s senior staff to the decision to close lanes leading up to the bridge.

As Wisniewski continued to question Wildstein, two screens displayed their content on each side of the room near the witness table.

This morning, Wildstein’s attonery, Alan Zegas, tried to quash the subpoena in Superior Court and failed.

Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled Thursday morning the Assembly Transportation committee has the power to compel former Port Authority executive Wildstein to testify.

Wildstein went to court to try to quash a subpoena compelling him to testify before the Assembly’s transportation committee at noon today.

The lawsuit was filed yesterday after emails and text messages linked the decision to close the lanes to Christie’s staff and indicated it was done in retaliation, presumably for Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich’s decision not to endorse the governor for reelection.

The judge said the subpoena powers provided to Middlesex Democrat John Wisniewski’s committee were broad enough to withstand any objections by Wildstein’s lawyer.

The judge said she had the power to rule on one of the three problems cited in Zegas’s lawsuit – the jurisdiction of the subpoena, which was first issued to investigate the Port Authority’s decision to raise tolls.

“[The subpoena] certainly seems to fall within this very broad charge,” said Jacobson.

Zegas afterward said he disagreed with the judge’s ruling but would not comment about whether he would file a further appeal or whether or not Wildstein would appear at noon today.

Zegas said before a determination could be made, he would need to speak with his client.

The appeal began a whirlwind day of hearings, press conferences and media attention to what role Christie played, if any, in the closing of the George Washington Bridge in September.

Zegas questioned the validity of Assemblyman John Wisniewski's signature on the subpoena but Judge Jacobson said she could not rule on that matter.

Sources: AP,

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