U.S. Attorney interviews Christie's spokesman in bridge investigation
February 27th, 2014
11:54 PM ET
9 years ago

U.S. Attorney interviews Christie's spokesman in bridge investigation

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's press secretary met with federal investigators for several hours on Thursday and answered questions about what role, if any, he played in the closing of access lanes at the George Washington Bridge in September, according to his lawyer.

Attorney Anthony Iacullo declined to discuss the questions put to long-time Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak.

"Mike Drewniak is my client. I know Mike from his many years at the United States Attorney's Office to be a genuinely hardworking and honest individual, and I am pleased to represent his interests," Iacullo said in a written statement. "He is at best a witness and a tangential figure in these events and proceedings, and I am certain all fair, objective and non-partisan parties will recognize that as we move forward."

While Iacullo would not say where the federal investigation is heading, he writes that Drewniak is not being looked at as someone who may have broken the law.

"During our meeting today with the United States Attorney's Office, we were assured that Mike is not a target of any investigation but a fact witness. He will continue to cooperate fully with federal authorities as needed," the statement read.

Drewniak is no stranger to the U.S. attorney's office in New Jersey. He was spokesman for the office for more than 10 years, including Christie's tenure.

Christie's press secretary is the first member of the governor's inner circle to publically acknowledge having met with investigators as they look into the apparent act of political retribution possibly aimed at the mayor of Fort Lee. A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney would not say whether other members of Christie's administration have been interviewed.

Last week, Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich met with federal investigators for more than three hours, according to his attorney. The Democrat believes lanes leading to the nation's busiest bridge were closed, causing massive traffic jams in his town for four days, because he wouldn't cross party lines and endorse Christie's re-election campaign.

Documents submitted to New Jersey legislators investigating the so-called Bridgegate scandal revealed that Port Authority deputy executive director Bill Baroni wrote to David Wildstein - the man who allegedly orchestrated the lane closures - urging him to "Call Drewniak" when reporters started asking about the gridlock. Both men were appointed to the bi-state transportation agency by Christie.

The governor has repeatedly and vehemently denied knowing about the lane closures until after the fact and claims to have had nothing to do with it.

Filed under: Chris Christie
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    It hard for me to trust a guy like Chris Christie who lobbied for "Bernie" Madoff and against finance regulations to protect investors.

    Christy would not be a trustworthy President , his leadership skills in delegating authority in his higher circle appointees is irresponsible .

    February 28, 2014 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  2. Marie MD

    Christie's minions are either unemployed (thanks to him) or will be in jail for perjury or worse.
    Oops moment for the NJ bully.

    February 28, 2014 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  3. salty dog

    And the water gets a little hotter, no wonder he's losing weight .

    February 28, 2014 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  4. Gary

    I don't like GOP philosophy.

    February 28, 2014 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Hey Christie! Let's Move!!

    February 28, 2014 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  6. Gurgyl

    Let us stop this NJ bs, move on......

    February 28, 2014 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  7. salty dog

    Very telling emails, and a lot of them, the more you know, the more you realize how lucky we were to find out how he runs things. I'm betting before this is over, we'll know why he hired a big shot lawyer. The level of maturity shown by the gop's brightest, quite frankly, is frightening.

    February 28, 2014 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    It's getting to be time for Christie to resign. There is no question about what was done. The only questions are why and who was behind all of it. It seems that at least a dozen people are directly involved, and possibly as many as another dozen or more on the fringes. Laws were broken. At the very least, the law prohibiting state business to be conducted on personal email accounts and personal electronic devices was broken.

    It's one thing for one member, or even 2 or 3, of your staff to go rogue, but when your whole entire staff, without exception, is involved one conspiracy or another, it is completely implausible that the person at the center of that staff, the leader of that staff, was completely unaware of what was seemingly done for the leader's benefit. Even if Christie didn't know, then he has demonstrated incompetence of the worst kind, and should step down on those grounds alone.

    February 28, 2014 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    What's behind Rick Oerry's new specs?

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    Hey Christie! Let's Move!!

    There you go again ... coffee on the keyboard ... !

    February 28, 2014 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  10. salty dog

    Could you imagine this disrespect towards other nations, wow, not ready for the presidency is an understatement . How could anyone feel comfortable voting for this guy?

    February 28, 2014 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    "The level of maturity shown by the gop's brightest, quite frankly, is frightening."

    I'd like to think his past actions spoke for themselves and that he didn't fool everyone as easily as he fooled so many in New Jersey, but I'm not so sure he didn't simply intimidate those we thought were fooled.

    The man ran a shyster staff. No doubt about it. The good news is Mitt Romney had enough gumption not to add Christie to his ticket. The bad news is that Mitt Romney is now shaking that old etch a sketch of his for all it is worth re Christie.

    February 28, 2014 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  12. Al-NY,NY

    where are all the "librul conspiracy" posters here? Shouldn't they be clamoring about Benghazi, or Vince Foster, or Whitewater?

    February 28, 2014 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  13. salty dog

    Lynda, yes, very glad its more public, he's had this cloud around him from the get go, but now all get to see his act, very thankful indeed .

    Btw, it read -17 when I started my truck, please, I give, make it stop

    February 28, 2014 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda Minnesota
    There you go again ... coffee on the keyboard ... !
    Good morning babe, ready to lock and load?!

    February 28, 2014 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  15. Pete

    Funny how now Christies unemployed staff workers emails came to light joking,laughing about that GW bridge gridlock that caused problems in front of some Jewish rabbis place..And Christie still cries foul not knowing what was going on behind his back by personnel he trusted ,hired..Just pathedic and with every move of his lips he's just making the fact stronger you can't trust any republican, period...

    February 28, 2014 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    Lynda Minnesota
    There you go again ... coffee on the keyboard ... !
    Good morning babe, ready to lock and load?!

    Internet hug from the hubby being sent your way.

    February 28, 2014 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Salty: "Btw, it read -17 when I started my truck, please, I give, make it stop"

    Oh dear. My brother in Fargo phoned me yesterday telling me to make it stop too my friend. I told him he was preaching to the choir. I cried uncle two months ago ... for whatever good that did.

    Plus 20 on Wednesday. For sure.

    February 28, 2014 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  18. Wake up People!

    We were back in the negatives last night and this morning. It was 0 when I woke and 5 now...... Is Spring EVER coming???

    February 28, 2014 09:29 am at 9:29 am |