New Jersey prosecutors on Friday said they would not pursue criminal misconduct charges against Governor Chris Christie in connection with the “Bridgegate” scandal.
The Office of the Bergen County Prosecutor said in a letter to a local judge it did not have sufficient evidence to prove allegations that Christie knew about a plot to close lanes at the George Washington Bridge in 2013 in order to punish a local mayor for failing to endorse Christie’s re-election bid.
“The reason is simple, but compelling – that charge cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” the letter said.
Bill Brennan, a retired firefighter and activist who announced he would run for governor this year, filed the citizen complaint against Christie last September.
Two former Christie allies were convicted last year of orchestrating the lane closure plot, and U.S. prosecutors introduced evidence at trial suggesting the governor was at least aware of the scheme. Christie has steadfastly denied that he knew about the closures at the time.
Roy McGeady, a municipal judge in Fort Lee, had found probable cause to allow the case against Christie to proceed after a hearing at which Brennan testified. Christie’s lawyer was not permitted to argue or cross-examine, McGeady said, because the governor was not a defendant until probable cause was established.
Bergen County Superior Court Judge Bonnie Mizdol rejected Christie’s subsequent request to toss the complaint outright. But she agreed with both Christie’s lawyers and county prosecutors that McGeady erroneously denied the governor’s attorney an opportunity to participate.
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office said in the letter that citizen complaints typically allege minor crimes of which the complainant has personal knowledge. The letter said criminal misconduct was far outside that scope.
“In short, a matter of this gravity should not have been heard by a municipal court judge,” the letter said.
Brian Murray, a spokesman for Christie, applauded the decision on Friday.
“The Governor is gratified that the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office has ended this baseless fiasco began by Mr. Brennan and perpetuated by Judge McGeady,” Murray said in a statement. “It is right and appropriate that this injustice against the Governor is finally over.”
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler)
‘Part of me wanted to leave’: Lone attendee of Steve King town hall turns out to be a ‘hungover’ Democrat
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is being told to resign by members of his own party who are tired of his overt racism. While many Republicans might exhibit racist tendencies and make apologies for the president's racism, King says things out loud the GOP would just assume he keep quiet on. The true test, however, comes from King's own district and whether or not they're willing to reelect him in November.
The key revelation came at a recent townhall King held, where the only person who attended was a hungover Democrat. The Iowa Starting Line reported the pathetic event, where it seemed more members of the press were willing to show up than actual constituents.
‘I’m the one who calls the shots’: Trump rails against Fox News for giving him ‘his worst polls’
President Donald Trump explained why Fox News has drawn his ire and that they need to realize he's the one in control of them.
In a conversation on the tarmac in Morristown, New Jersey on his way back to Washington, Trump said that Fox News has not been good to him lately.
"Fox is a lot different than it used to be, I can tell you that," Trump said.
In an earlier Twitter rant, the president went off on Juan Williams for being "nasty and wrong."
Trump explains why he wants to buy Greenland to reporters: ‘It’s a large real estate deal — a lot can be done’
President Donald Trump reaffirmed his desire to buy Greenland in discussion with reporters Sunday.
The president was returning to Washington, D.C. when he stopped at the airport in Morristown, New Jersey. New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman asked the president about his desire to buy the country from Denmark.
"Greenland, I don't know. It got released somehow," Trump said of the news about his desire to buy the country. "It's something we talked about. Denmark essentially owns it. We're very good allies with Denmark. We protect Denmark like we protect large portions of the world. So the concept came up, and I said, strategically, it's interesting. And we'd be interested. We'll talk to them a little bit. It's not number one on the burner; I can tell you that."