New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, after a low-key initial response to Friday’s explosive allegations about his involvement in a bridge-closing scandal, mounted an aggressive defense late Saturday afternoon, attacking The New York Times and a former political ally in an email to friends and allies obtained by POLITICO.
“Bottom line – David Wildstein will do and say anything to save David Wildstein,” the email from the governor’s office says, referring to the former appointee who reignited the controversy.
A letter from Wildstein’s lawyer, Alan L. Zegas of Chatham, N.J., asserted Friday that “evidence exists … 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.”
The subject line of the 700-word email from the governor’s office is: “5 Things You Should Know About The Bombshell That’s Not A Bombshell.” It offers a harshly negative portrayal of Wildstein’s character and judgment.
The Christie camp begins by criticizing The Times for its initial characterization of the Wildstein letter: “A media firestorm was set off by sloppy reporting from the New York Times and their suggestion that there was actually ‘evidence’ when it was a letter alleging that ‘evidence exists.'”
The Times’ original story said that Wildstein claimed “he had the evidence to prove it,” while later versions stuck to his lawyer’s vaguer “evidence exists” formulation.
In a statement last night, the Times said: “We regularly update web stories for clarity as we did in this case. We do not note changes unless it involves an error.” Read more at POLITICO.