Christie blasts Bridgegate committee for news leaks
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie says he's growing tired of the joint legislative committee investigating lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.
Speaking at a news conference Thursday in Trenton, Christie blasted the Democrat-controlled committee — including its co-chairman Assemblyman John Wisniewski — for leaking documents to the media.
The remarks were some of Christie's harshest yet against the committee, which includes both Republicans and Democrats.
"If they can't run their own ship, they shouldn't be running an investigation," he told reporters, accusing the committee's Democratic members of being more interested in getting their names in the newspapers and on television than finding the truth.
"These are people who are addicted to MSNBC and the front page of your papers, and nobody wants to cover it anymore," he told reporters. "So they have to leak something to be able to get someone to cover it."
He pointed specifically to interview records that were made public while he was in Mexico for a three-day trade mission this month.
Reacting to the comments, Wisniewski said the governor's office had refused to turn over some documents the committee had requested, claiming executive privilege, which he said "flies in the face of his pledge to cooperate fully."
He added that he's "as frustrated as anybody about the leaks" but that they don't impact the committee's work.
"We have clear proof that an abuse of power originated in the governor's office," Wisniewski said. "What we don't know is why and who authorized it. And any attempt to end the investigation prematurely is an effort to condone that conduct."
The committee is investigating who among Christie's aides ordered the lanes closed, apparently in a bid to create traffic jams in a town at the foot of the bridge to punish its mayor for not endorsing the governor's re-election bid.
Christie says he played no role in the plot, which tarnished his national reputation ahead of a potential run for president in 2016.
"The fact is that they've been digging around for eight months now and have found absolutely nothing that contradicts what I said," Christie said of the committee. "Wrap up your work. Do your job."
The U.S. attorney for New Jersey is also investigating the circumstances of the lane closures.
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