The former Port Authority official who personally oversaw the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge in the scandal now swirling around Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said on Friday that “evidence exists” the governor knew about the lane closings when they were happening.
In a letter released by his lawyer, the former official, David Wildstein, a high school friend of Mr. Christie’s who was appointed with the governor’s blessing at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the bridge, described the order to close the lanes as “the Christie administration’s order” and said “evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference” three weeks ago.
“Mr. Wildstein contests the accuracy of various statements that the governor made about him, and he can prove the inaccuracy of some,” the letter added.
Letter Says Governor Christie Knew About Lane Closings
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey knew about the lane closings as they were happening, a letter released on Friday by the lawyer of David Wildstein said.
The letter does not specify what the evidence was. Nonetheless, it is the first signal that Mr. Christie may have been aware of the closings, something he repeatedly denied during the news conference.
The letter is part of a continuing battle between Mr. Wildstein and the Port Authority over the payment of his legal fees stemming from the scandal.
In early January, documents revealed that a deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, Bridget Anne Kelly, had sent an email to Mr. Wildstein saying, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” the town at the New Jersey end of the bridge, where Mr. Christie’s aides had pursued but failed to receive an endorsement from the mayor.
A spokesman for Mr. Christie did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Friday.
Mr. Christie has steadfastly denied that he knew before this month that anyone in his administration was responsible for the lane closings, and his administration has tried to portray the closures as the actions of a rogue staff member.
The governor fired Ms. Kelly.