Giuliani and N.J. Democrat at odds on Christie's role in bridge scandal

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has some advice for everyone watching the scandal enveloping New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration: Put everything in context, and be patient.

"So far, there's no evidence to suggest that he's not telling the truth. I think the governor knows the consequences. If he's lying, it's a really bad situation. If he's not lying, then something very unfair is being done to him. So let's see what happens," Giuliani said in an interview on CBS’ "Face the Nation."

The political fallout over the September lane closures of the George Washington Bridge – an apparent act of political retaliation against the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J. – took a new turn last week when the attorney for former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official David Wildstein, who oversaw the closings, said Friday, said Christie knew about the lane closures as they were happening and that "evidence exists" to prove it

Giuliani said there were “big credibility issues” with Wildstein’s assertions, noting that the former official is looking for someone to pay his legal bills and also seeking immunity, and that he hasn’t turned over any evidence.

Meanwhile, a member of Christie's administration who was subpoenaed by lawmakers investigating the lane closings confirmed Sunday that she had resigned. Christina Genovese Renna left the governor's office Friday, her lawyer said.  Renna had reported to ousted Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly, who apparently set the lane closings in motion with an email saying, "Time to cause some traffic problems in Fort Lee."


 

 New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the Democrat who is leading the investigation into the scandal, said last month on “Face the Nation” that he didn’t believe it was “credible” that Christie was in the dark about the lane closures, given the number of top aides that have been connected by the incident. In another interview on the show this Sunday, he reiterated that he has “doubts” about the timeline that Christie has put forward but is still waiting to receive all the documents from the committee’s subpoenas, which are due in tomorrow.

“What I've said is I have skepticism about the governor's statement. I haven't said that the governor has responsibility for this. I haven't said that the governor knew when this was happening. That's something Mr. Wildstein said,” Wisniewski said. “What I've said is the governor made a statement about when he knew, and I said that I have my doubts about that timeline.  He could've known at any time, but I have my doubts about what he said.”

As for the issue of impeachment, Wisniewski said that was a “premature” discussion.

“We don't have enough facts to even get to that conversation. We need to get all the facts on the table. We need to make decisions about who knew what when. And when that's done, maybe it might be appropriate at that time to have that conversation. But clearly we're way ahead of that right now,” he said.

Giuliani wouldn’t even weigh in on the impeachment issue since no one has proved Christie knew about the lane closures.

“I think there's a real incident that was unfortunate and bad and the governor apologized for that. I don't want the minimize that. But what I'm saying is, you take that real incident and now you've got pile on,” he said.

Giuliani added that he didn’t believe Wisniewski should be leading the investigation, because he said early on he didn’t believe Christie’s version of events.


  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

Comments