David Wildstein, Jewish Chris Christie Aide, Takes Fifth in Hearing on 'Bridgegate' Scandal

GOP Pal Ordered George Washington Bridge Lanes Closed

GOP Pals: Chris Christie, left, and David Wildstein, right, as they appeared in high school yearbook photos.
GOP Pals: Chris Christie, left, and David Wildstein, right, as they appeared in high school yearbook photos.

By Reuters

Published January 09, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

“I am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team,” Christie said. “I am who I am, but I am not a bully.”

As the head of the party’s governors association and a possible 2016 White House contender, the tough-talking governor has sought to present himself as a leader who can work with opponents and forge bipartisan alliances.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, whose job Christie held before being elected governor, has opened a probe, his spokeswoman said.

“Our office is reviewing it to determine whether a federal law was implicated,” Rebekah Carmichael said in a statement.

A local newspaper reported emergency responders were delayed in attending to four medical situations - one involving an unconscious 91-year-old woman who later died of cardiac arrest and another, a car accident, in which four people were injured.

At the news conference, Christie referred to the lane closings as a “rogue political operation.”

“I am stunned by the abject stupidity that was shown here,” Christie said. “This was handled in a callous and indifferent way, and this is not the way this administration has conducted itself over the last four years.”

Christie took reporters’ questions at the packed news conference at his office that lasted just short of two hours.

He appeared contrite, describing himself repeatedly as heartbroken and apologizing to the public, and even to the media, several times.

Toward the end of his lengthy appearance, he visibly relaxed, leaning against the podium, and resorted to his more typical form, calling one reporter’s question “crazy.”

Christie has enjoyed immense popularity at home since his election in 2009, particularly for his handling of recovery and rebuilding efforts after Superstorm Sandy devastated his state in late 2012. He was re-elected in a landslide in November.

But he is known as well for engaging in shouting matches, hurling insults and belittling challengers.

Christie told the news conference he was “nowhere near” beginning to consider a possible 2016 presidential bid.

Political observers said at first glance that Christie’s response to the scandal achieved what he set out to do.

“He did well, in that he offered an aggressive response. He showed the personality that people like - which is the person who seems to like to be right in the middle of things, even in a scandal situation like this,” said Julian Zelizer, a Princeton University professor of history and public affairs.

“At least for now, he offered the thing that was most important here - that he was going to hold people responsible.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • "I feel great sorrow about the fact that you decided to return the honor and recognition that you so greatly deserve." Rivka Ben-Pazi, who got Dutchman Henk Zanoli recognized as a "Righteous Gentile," has written him an open letter.
  • Is there a right way to criticize Israel?
  • From The Daily Show to Lizzy Caplan, here's your Who's Jew guide to the 2014 #Emmys. Who are you rooting for?
  • “People at archives like Yad Vashem used to consider genealogists old ladies in tennis shoes. But they have been impressed with our work on indexing documents. Now they are lining up to work with us." This year's Jewish Genealogical Societies conference took place in Utah. We got a behind-the-scenes look:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.