Former NJ Governor said George Washington Bridge lane closure prosecution “changed the course of history”
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie slammed his successor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Obama Justice Department today in response to the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overturning the convictions of Bridget Ann Kelly and Bill Baroni for their roles in closing down entrance lanes to the George Washington Bridge in September of 2013.
Christie, who was considered the front runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination before the scandal broke open in early 2014, said the prosecution of Kelly and Baroni “changed the course of history.”
Christie’s full statement is as follows:
“The unanimous decision today by the U.S. Supreme Court ends a 6 ½ 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. As many contended from the beginning, and as the Court confirmed today, no federal crimes were ever committed in this matter by anyone in my Administration. It is good for all involved that today justice has finally been done.
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 Paul Fishman. Despite being repeatedly told by numerous respected members of the bar during the investigation that he was inventing a federal crime, Paul 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 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.
There are no words of apology that would be sufficient to right the wrongs committed by Paul Fishman. 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. 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 Department of Justice.”