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Magazine: Federal Probe’s Top Bridgegate Target is Christie

Esquire magazine is reporting that Paul Fishman. the U.S Attorney for New Jersey, is targeting several Port Authority figures in a second Bridgegate grand jury, “hoping” they will provide evidence that Gov. Christie himself was involved in the scandal.

US Attorney for NJ Paul Fishman
US Attorney for NJ Paul Fishman (David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ)

Two sources said to have   “intimate knowledge” of the investigation tell the magazine Fishman is hoping the threat of indictment will prompt Bill Baroni, David Wildstein, David Samson or Christie’s former lawyer Charlie McKenna to offer viable evidence connecting the governor not only Bridgegate but also politically-facilitated real estate deals, the use of Port Authority funds for non-PA projects and the withholding of Superstorm Sandy relief funds.

The 74-year-old Samson, appointed by Christie to be a Port Authority commissioner, would seem to have the most to lose if he is indicted, including the possibility of spending his retirement years in jail. “Don’t underestimate what Wildstein has on Christie,” one source told Esquire. “And Wildstein and Baroni have both turned on Samson. If Samson doesn’t give Fishman Christie, Samson is toast.”

According to the story. Fishman could start issuing indictments within the next month to Bridget Kelly and Christie’s former Deptuty Chief of Staff and campaign advisor Bill Stepien. “But Fishman is really focused on Christie,” says one source according to Esquire. “Ultimately, he believes he’ll get to the governor.”

After months of relative political inactivity on the national stage, Christie has attempted to again raise his profile with an appearance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” and a return to his usual confident demeanor during appearances.He told potential GOP donors during an appearance in California  he is moving on from Bridgegate and donors should “get over it,” assuring them them that nothing new would come out about his involvement in the September lane closures.

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