EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

February 3, 2014

Top Republicans say they stand by Gov. Christie

High-profile Republicans were adamant Sunday that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie should not resign from his post as chairman of the Republican Governors Association after a recent claim from a former ally that there is evidence Christie knew about an apparently politically motivated traffic jam earlier than he has said.

The support from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan put Republicans on the offensive and the Democratic chairman of a state legislative committee investigating the September lane closures near the George Washington Bridge on the defensive the day Christie’s state hosts the Super Bowl.

Christie, a potential 2016 presidential contender, has been going about Super Bowl ceremonial duties and has not taken questions about the scandal in recent days. He didn’t respond Saturday when some spectators booed him at an appearance in New York City’s Times Square. He’s scheduled to watch Sunday’s game with his family from a luxury box at MetLife Stadium.

Giuliani, appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation” took aim at the credibility of two figures central to the scandal: John Wisniewski, who’s leading the investigative probe, and David Wildstein, the former Christie loyalist who as an executive at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey last year ordered the lane closures, as someone with less than pure motives.

He said Wildstein “wants somebody else to pay his legal bills and he can’t get them paid unless the governor is responsible.”

On Friday, Wildstein’s lawyer wrote a letter to the Port Authority saying evidence exists that Christie knew about the traffic jams in Fort Lee as they happened. But he did not disclose any evidence in the letter.

Giuliani said Wisniewski is prejudiced and has ulterior motivations as a “guy who’d like to be governor.”

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