The The Fatman Cometh

Chris Christie - Cone Warrior

I studied law at the Perry Mason School of Law. What I learned studying with Raymond Burr LL.D is that no matter how complex the case the guilty person is in the courtroom audience. “I’m the butler, I did it,” the spectator declares, just in time for the commercial break.

So I was a little surprised by the Federal prosecutor‘s opening statement on Day 1 (Sept. 19, 2016) of the mythical trial of the century, adjucating the longest running case of a traffic study that somehow ran into a ditch, apparently closing the road to the White House for the first governor of New Jersey to become president since Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna told us, in effect, the guilty person was not in the Newark court room but across the river in Trump Tower, performing the patriotic duties of helping make America great by picking up the Republican presidential candidate’s dry cleaning, ordering in Chinese food take-out, vetting cabinet nominees and other transition duties, including appearing on Sunday morning TV news shows, defending his candidate’s totally insane lies.

Hold on a minute, I said to myself. It seems a bit odd the federal prosecutor was pointing not only a finger but the whole fist, finding our distinguished governor as guilty as sin and he isn’t even on trial.

Need I remind the Federal Prosecutor, that on trial are the two wretches, members of the notorious Trenton gang that couldn’t shoot straight, for alleged crimes of depravity, wickedness and immoral turpitude by ordering the closing of two lanes at the GWB for the traffic study that ran amok in 2013?

The prosecutor seemed to be basing his case on the old legal bubbemeister, the fish is rotten at the head.

I ask you, who do you believe, a prosecutor’s office which couldn’t collect enough evidence in three years to bring the governor to the dock for being the mastermind of what turned out to be the mother of all traffic jams? Or the team of high-priced lawyers from a prestigious New Jersey law firm (Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher) that investigated the case at great expense to taxpayers ($8 million and counting) and exonerated the governor of all wrongdoing?

True, it was the governor’s own law firm, and they failed to depose several key witnesses and seemed to have lost track of the governor’s cell phone (He claims the lawyers have it; they say he has it). The missing phone may contain such important information as his list of the top five fast food restaurants along Route 27 from Drumthwacket in Princeton to Fifth Avenue, Manhattan.

I ask you, what would life be like if you couldn’t trust a respected legal firm in New Jersey? Clearly, the prosecution can’t nail His Shiftiness, the governor, directly, so they are trying a bank shot. Dirty pool!

So much about the trial had already raised hackles, starting with the jury selection. For two weeks, as she tried to find 11 honest citizens (and four alternates), U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton was telling the panelists the trial was not about Christie, and it’s turned out to be, guess what, about Christie.

I don’t think Diogenes, even with a military LED torch, could find an honest man in New Jersey through the smog of tainted air, even if he could stand the smell of the Turnpike.

The jury of peers eventually assembled included one juror, a certified paralegal, who lives in the same town as Gov. Christie, and writes a blog about cooking and weight-loss, does not like him. “ My grandmother loathes him.” Another said she could be fair, but Chris Christie is guilty. “I can be fair,” explained another juror, “but I hate Christie.”

With such a polluted jury pool, clearly a change of venue was called for.

I understand why Judge Wigenton did not concur. In six weeks, the anticipated trial length, she will be a legal superstar.

Where could you find a body of people, whether through ignorance, language difficulty or just not keeping up with the news the last three years of massive media coverage that could be judged to be fair? I found such a place.

Gravina Island, Alaska.

It was in the news itself in 2006, being the terminus of the famous Bridge to Nowhere, the $398 million earmark, inserted by Congressional fans of Gravina, pledged to end earmarks. It’s right down the road to nowhere, built by Gov. Palin, which hopefully would connect Ketchikan International Airport on Gravina to Ketchikan. All of which was not far from Gov. Palin’s porch, where she could see New Jersey.

Nowheresville, or Greater Metropolitan Gravina Island, has a population of 50, many of whom might still have an open mind about the Bridgegate scandal.

I’m not ready to call for a mistrial yet. Just saying Judge Judy would have been more vigilant in protecting the sanctity of New Jersey justice.




Marvin Kitman
Sept. 20, 2016

Marvin Kitman’s next book is “Chris Christie’s Expense Account.”

Public Domain Photo of the George Washington Bridge by National Park Service Photographer Jack E. Boucher from Wikimedia Commons.