Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville) wants to reconvene the Legislative Committee on Investigations specifically to examine Governor Christie’s actions as they relate to Bridgegate.
Both prosecution and defense attorneys asserted the governor’s real-time knowledge of the lane closures, which he denies.
Now Wisniewski wants clarity.
“In the aftermath of today’s guilty verdict in the Bridgegate scandal I’m calling on the leadership of the New Jersey Senate and Assembly to reconstitute the Legislative Select Committee on Investigations to look into the actions of Governor Chris Christie,” said the assemblyman in a statement. “With two of the highest ranking members of the Christie administration found guilty of criminal conduct, it is time to find out what the governor knew, when he knew it, and what actions he took in relation to the shutdown of the lanes on the George Washington Bridge. During the trial, numerous witnesses offered testimony under oath that directly contradicts Governor Christie’s public statements.
“The trial also demonstrated that the Maestro report, which Christie points to as evidence of his innocence, was a complete whitewash that cost New Jersey millions of dollars,” Wisniewski added. “The citizens of New Jersey deserve the whole truth in this matter. It’s become clear that Governor Christie has misled them at every turn — including the statement he released today. The Governor will not tell the truth unless compelled under oath.”
Wisniewski is feeling out a run for governor next year.
With the Democratic establishment lined up behind front-runner Phil Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive, there is a question about the party’s political will to give a platform to Wisniewski.
In his own statement after today’s verdict, Murphy similarly called for Mastro Report reimbursement to the voters but stopped short of calling for a reformation of the joint committee on investigations captained by potential rival Wiz.
“While a verdict has been rendered, justice has not been served,” Murphy said. “Genuine accountability has not occurred, and the culture that fostered this has not been punished. The past eight weeks have opened the lid on a governor and office who put politics before principle, self-preservation before the good of our state, and worked to cover up their tracks and confuse an honest investigation into their actions. The one point on which both the prosecution and defense agreed, and witness after witness corroborated, is that Governor Christie set the tone that allowed Bridgegate to happen. The legacy of Bridgegate is a failure of leadership, a deficit of decency, and a complete disregard by the Governor and his people for those who pay their salaries.
“The ‘Mastro Report,’ which the governor claimed vindicated his administration, now rightfully lies in tatters. It has been proven to be the smokescreen it was feared to be. Worse yet, it was paid for with millions of our tax dollars,” Murphy added. “The time is now for Governor Christie to finally take responsibility for his role in ordering a taxpayer-funded whitewash by telling his friends at Gibson Dunn to refund the taxpayers of New Jersey every dime he spent on this firm’s services. And, if he won’t, as governor I will explore every legal avenue to get the people of New Jersey their money back.”