An administrative traffic management dispute ended after a legal battle that lasted for years without finding conclusive evidence of misconduct, the president said.
President Donald Trump congratulated former Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) for being unanimously cleared of any wrongdoing regarding the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) alleged “Bridgegate” scandal. After taking several years to hear different sides of the argument, Supreme Court judges all ruled in favor of the former New Jersey governor on May 7.
“Congratulations to former Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, and all others involved, on a complete and total exoneration (with a 9-0 vote by the U.S. Supreme Court) on the [Barack] Obama DOJ scam referred to as ‘Bridgegate,'” he said on Twitter.
The DOJ had accused Christie of misusing his administration to deliberately create traffic jams throughout Fort Lee through closing two out of three toll lanes and a local street entrance on the morning of Sept. 9, 2013. The gridlock allegedly ended four days later when Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye, who is a Democrat, ordered the two lanes to be reopened because doing otherwise would put lives at risk and breach both state and federal law.
The governor was later accused of deliberately causing the traffic jams as a political stunt against Fort Lee Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich for failing to support the governor’s candidacy for the 2013 state gubernatorial election.
The president believes the court ruling shows the allegations were politically motivated.
“The Democrats are getting caught doing very evil things and Republicans should take note,” he said. “This was grave misconduct by the Obama Justice Department.”
Christie welcomed the finding that his administration never committed “federal crimes” and slammed the prosecution for wasting taxpayer money on frivolous litigation that forced one staffer to serve time behind bars.
“What cannot be undone is the damage that was visited upon all of the people dragged through the mud who had nothing to do with this incident by the prosecutorial misconduct and personal vindictiveness of [former U.S. Attorney] Paul Fishman,” he said in a statement. “Fishman proceeded, motivated by political partisanship and blind ambition that cost the taxpayers millions in legal fees and changed the course of history. Worst of all, Fishman allowed Bill Baroni to go to jail for federal crimes he invented.”
The former governor believes the former Obama administration should have intervened and prevented the legal matter from proceeding to court.
“The leadership of the Obama Justice Department is also culpable for permitting this misconduct to happen right under their noses, authorizing Paul Fishman to weaponize the office for political and partisan reasons,” he said. “This case was driven by a U.S. attorney and Justice Department in search of a predetermined and biased outcome. In recklessly pursuing that outcome, they violated the oath sworn by every member of the DOJ.”
Christie revealed he may never forgive his accusers for the indirect damage they caused to the reputation of his administration, even though the court cleared him of wrongdoing.
“There are no words of apology that would be sufficient to right the wrongs committed by Paul Fishman,” he said. “From the very first day of his involvement, he was determined to damage the reputations of as many members of our administration as he could.”
For now, Christie believes real justice has been served and former members of his administration can finally put the matter behind them.
“The unanimous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court ends a 6.5 year political crusade by former U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman and the Obama Justice Department against Bill Baroni, Bridget Kelly, and dozens of members of my administration,” he said. “It is good for all involved that justice has finally been done.”