TRENTON -- The state Legislature's special investigation into last year's lane closures at the George Washington Bridge was a cover to "take down" Gov. Christie and boost the political career of its chairman, GOP lawmakers charge in a new report.
Democrats on the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation, led by Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D., Middlesex), "repeatedly misled the public; manipulated media coverage via false leads, seemingly unlawful leaks and baseless claims; charged taxpayers millions of dollars to promote political fiction; and accomplished nothing meaningful for the public good," the report says.
The 119-page "minority statement" was released on Monday by the four Republicans on the 12-member panel, which formed in January after the bridge scandal engulfed the Christie administration.
The committee is scheduled to meet this morning, when Democrats will propose adopting a report of their own, which leaked to the media last week.
That report found no evidence that Christie, a possible presidential contender in 2016, played a role in the lane closures. But it said the key actors who apparently were involved -- Christie's former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, and former Port Authority official David Wildstein -- likely "felt empowered to act as they did, with little regard for public safety risks or the steadily."
The U.S. Attorney's Office is investigating the closures, which caused massive traffic jams from Sept. 9-13, 2013.