Honk Twice or Blink Your Lights Once If You Think He’s Guilty By Land, Twice If By Sea, and You on the Opposite Shore Are Ready to Spread the Alarm Through Every County, Village and Farm
Everybody I know thinks Christie is guilty and should pay the penalty, whatever it may be, for the egregious sin of being involved in closing down those two lanes in Fort Lee, one of the Ten Plagues afflicting modern civilization today, right up there with commercials in movie theatres and Karl Rove. They are rooting for him to become the Hindenburg of American politics, going down in flames before the race for the GOP presidential nomination, thus not running against Hillary in 2016.
Those are admirable goals.
There are a lot of bad things to be said about the Emperor of New Jersey.
He may be loud. He may be a bully. He may eat too much. But he is not stupid.
He is too smart to have put in writing the hot email, the holy grail Sen. Loretta Weinberg’s Joint Legislative Committee in Trenton and Paul Fishman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark are searching for, to wit:
“Yes, I knew what my henchpeople were doing when they ordered the closing of the two lanes at the GWB. I approve of this message being sent to that hunky mayor in Fort Lee.”
Now he may have yelled the substance of that politically motivated message across the transom on his way out to lunch at Wendy’s: “Time for some traffic problems in Ft. Lee.” And Bridget Kelley just scribbled it down and fired it off.
But that would be hard to prove in court.
Good grief, the man is not some ward-heeling hack or hackette hanging around the smoke-filled backrooms of HoHokus or Hackensack. He is a former United States Attorney, as close as we have come lately to a crusader in New Jersey prosecutorial circles.
His enemies are out to get even with him for all the Democrats he put in jail as the Federal prosecutor. But he was fair and balanced. His track record was something like 287 Democrats and 1 Republican. I have to check the numbers.
Just how difficult it’s going to be nailing the governor was demonstrated on Tuesday (May 13) with the testimony of Michael Drewniak, the most senior administration official to testify before the Joint Legislative panel. For seven hours the hard-nosed press secretary was grilled until over-done.
The closest he came to spilling the beans was calling the closing of the lanes on Sept. 9 “idiotic.” That was unfair to village idiots, of which New Jersey has more than its share. The “strange, unnecessary closing,” as he called it, was “moronic.”
Anyway, it was all Wildstein’s cockamamie idea. The wayward PA official actually thought he was conducting a traffic study, and had engineer’s notes as evidence. When the Press Secretary found out post-facto what Wildstein had wrought, Drewniak mentioned it to the boss, what were later described as “drive by” remarks.
After seven months and a cost of $700,000 in legal fees accumulated so far by the Joint legislative Committee’s legal team — that was it? It was nothing much again. As usual.
While the legislators in Trenton that day were not finding anything actionable, the governor was making his usual monthly appearance on his favorite afternoon radio talk show — Eric Scott’s “Ask New Jersey” on “New Jersey 101.5 FM radio,” our equivalent of “Meet the Press,” “Face the Nation, “The PBS News Hour,” and “Chris Matthews (all four of them). “ What did he know about what Drewniak told the panel?” Scott asked.
“Knew about what?” Christie answered.
Each Drewniak line Scott repeated got the governor’s reaction, “I don’t remember.” He kept repeating, “I don’t remember.” This is what might be called “the amnesia defense.” It reminded me of “At this point in time, Senator “ in the Watergate Hearings.
Not remembering is not a crime yet. Why, I myself often use that defense at home. Just yesterday my wife apparently said something at breakfast, and by evening I didn’t remember. She is planning to wear a wire when talking to me in the future.
72 subpoenas! 72 lines in the water! Some body has to say something about Christie knowing about it, and gave his approval to such a moronic exercise in abusing power.
That’s the smoking email. Without that, we have impure speculation. Even if something does turn up in a dumpster, the statutes covering such a crime are vague and difficult to prosecute, according to the finest legal minds who coach me on these matters.
We will see how all of this plays out in the next six or nine months of hearings, of course.
But I’ m going out on a limb here today and predict His Mightiness beats the rap.
I may be wrong, of course. But don’t get your hopes up. All those who are expecting the end of Emperor Christie’s reign are in for a rude awakening.
May 14, 2014