Judge Napolitano: 'Inconceivable' Christie Did Not Know About Bridge Closures
Judge Andrew Napolitano, the youngest life-tenured Superior Court judge in the history of New Jersey, wants to know how Governor Chris Christie could not have known about the George Washington Bridge closures last September while enjoying such close relationships with everyone involved in the scandal.
Napolitano questioned Christie's innocence in the story now known as "Bridgegate" during a conversation with NewsMax's Steve Malzberg, noting that it seemed "inconceivable" to him that Christie would be so close to major figures in the scandal like former high school classmate David Wildstein but not have any idea that they were orchestrating such a corrupt operation. What's more, when the inevitable links surface, Christie's two-hour press conference exonerating himself of any guilt will worsen the blow. "He painted himself into a corner with that epic press conference last week," Napolitano argued, because "his denials were so certain and severe and all-encompassing and watertight" that anything that could implicate him in the scandal will make him seem like a bold liar to his constituents.
In particular, Napolitano questioned the relationship between Christie and senior aide David Wildstein, a major player in the New Jersey political scene since launching the now Observer-owned PolitickerNJ and assuming a role described at the time as Christie's "eyes and ears" into the Port Authority. Napolitano also questioned the relationships between Christie and other major characters in the email exchanges released by the New Jersey Legislature, particularly Bill Baroni and David Samson, who both criticized Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye for potentially leaking private correspondence about the bridge closures to the press. Between Wildstein and other senior officials being involved in the scandal, like Baroni and Samson, Napolitano concluded that "it's inconceivable [Christie] didn't know what was going on."
While Christie continues to suffer blowback for the widely-covered bridge scandal, other allegations have come to the fore, particularly regarding Hurricane Sandy funding. A CNN report alleges that Christie is under investigation for misuse of Hurricane Sandy funds to promote himself during election season. Meanwhile, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer-- who became mayor former Mayor Peter Cammarano was arrested in a corruption sweep spearheaded by US Attorney Chris Christie-- is accusing the Governor of trying to extort a redevelopment plan out of her for his cronies by threatening to withhold Hurricane Sandy funding. The report prompted Christie's office to issue a scathing statement against "openly hostile" and "gleeful" MSNBC.
Judge Napolitano possesses an extensive knowledge and history of his native New Jersey, holding the record for youngest New Jersey Supreme Court Justice to receive lifetime tenure. While not serving on the bench since launching his career in journalism, Napolitano still teaches constitutional law at New Jersey's Seton Hall Law School.
Listen to Napolitano's comments to Malzberg on NewsMax here.