Dershowitz: 'The Dominoes Are Beginning to Fall' for Christie
Friday, January 31, 2014 09:02 PM
By: Todd Beamon
Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax on Friday "the dominoes are beginning to fall" in the spiraling bridge-gate scandal engulfing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and said "I think he hasn't told the whole truth and is in trouble."
"The U.S. attorney should now subpoena the documents that were referred to in the letter and should sit down and talk to the governor," the former Harvard Law School professor said in an exclusive interview.
"The governor so far has not spoken to law enforcement nor has he spoken under oath, so legally, he can lie all he wants," Dershowitz said. "He's not obliged to tell the truth. Politically, he may be obliged to tell the truth, but legally he's not.
"But once he sits down and talks to law enforcement, he has to tell the truth, otherwise he can be prosecuted for a crime.
"They have to lock in his testimony as soon as possible, before he knows what all the dominoes are, and he has to give those answers," he added. "That what the U.S. attorney's office should do now. The sooner the better."
Dershowitz's comments came after the lawyer for a former Christie appointee for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey disclosed that his client had evidence that proved the Republican governor knew early on about the lane closures that snarled traffic on the George Washington Bridge for four days last September.
Alan Zegas, who represents David Wildstein, said in a letter that was published by The New York Times and The Star-Ledger that it was "the Christie administration's order" to close the lanes at the town of Fort Lee.
Wildstein resigned in December because of the scandal.
The two-page letter added that "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."
Zegas wrote to the Port Authority asking it to reconsider its decision not to pay Wildstein's legal bills, according to The Star-Ledger. Wildstein ordered the abrupt and unannounced closure of commuter lanes leading to the bridge, causing massive gridlock.
In a statement late Friday, Christie's office said he told the truth about what he knew about the politically motivated lane closings, and disputed the allegations in Wildstein's letter.
"Mr. Wildstein's lawyer confirms what the governor has said all along: He had absolutely no prior knowledge of the lane closures before they happened and whatever Mr. Wildstein's motivations were for closing them to begin with," the statement said.
"As the governor said in a Dec. 13 press conference, he only first learned lanes were closed when it was reported by the press and, as he said in his Jan. 9 press conference, had no indication that this was anything other than a traffic study until he read otherwise the morning of Jan. 8.
"The governor denies Mr. Wildstein's lawyer's other assertions," the statement said.
The U.S. attorney in New Jersey, Paul Fishman, said earlier this month that he would open an investigation into the bridge lane closings.
Fishman must give immunity to Wildstein — "and he's going to have to testify and tell the whole truth and be asked hard questions," Dershowitz said.
But regardless, Christie is in trouble, he told Newsmax, and "if he is smart, and he is smart, he's talking to somebody behind the scenes — a very good criminal lawyer.
"He hasn't disclosed that. He doesn't have to. He can keep that a secret."
More broadly, the former law professor said that Friday's disclosures illustrated a personal rift between Wildstein and the governor over the bridge scandal.
The men have known each other since high school, according to news reports, but Christie made negative comments about Wildstein at the Dec. 13 press conference.
"Gov. Christie really made his stupid mistake by treating Wildstein the way he did," Dershowitz said. "He provoked him. Christie showed his total ineptness when he said what he said about Wildstein at the press conference."