tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC January 17, 2014 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
erased. >> that is amazing. this is the data google announced they were initiating their google contact. >> exactly! that is in my mind. ayesha harris from slate and david edelstein from "new york" magazine, thank you. that is "all in" for this evening, "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. >> that was terrible. between you and the bloody fingers and the merging of human and machine, i feel like i'm a little rattled, chris. >> well, you know, it's the movies. have a good weekend. >> thanks. you know, late in the day on a friday, for most people who work monday to friday, late in the day on a friday is the time when you least want to be at work. but if you work in this business, if you work in the news business, late in the day on a friday is the happ, happ, happiest time of the week. because late in the day on a friday is when huge and unexpected news tends to drop out of the sky. and today's late in the day on friday, huge and unexpected news that fell out of the sky, was this.
office of the governor, p.o. box 001, trenton, new jersey, please find attached hereto, a subpoena to the office of the governor. we command you -- laying aside all businesses and excuses, to produce all documents and materials and electronic data described below. your production of documents is governed by the following legal statutes. failure to comply with this subpoena shall make you liable as such penalties as are provided by law. did you see this coming today? i did not see this coming today. subpoenas have been served and now publicly released in the chris christie bridge scandal in new jersey, not only to chris christie appointees and chris christie staffers and the people who we know seem to have taken part in shutting down the lanes of that bridge as some sort of act of political retaliation last september, not just to those people, but a subpoena
went out today to the governor's office itself. and to governor chris christie's campaign for re-election. we were told yesterday that there would be roughly three entities, three organizations who were getting subpoenas alongside a long list of individuals. turns out it is two entities. it's the governor's re-election campaign and the governor's office. which means that as sprawling as this scandal and this investigation have become, they are much more tightly focused than we knew on the governor himself and his immediate staff. this is not a far-flung investigation into how politics is done in new jersey, which is some of the way that it's been covered in the national press. no. at least so far, from what we can tell about the scope of the investigation, this is about chris christie. the subpoena tells the governor's office to hand over all communications of any kind, all documents and records of any kind concerning the bridge lane shutdown, and they want those
documents from september 2012 to the present date. not september of last year, but september the year before. all correspondence, notes, e-mails, texts, blackberry messages, instant messages, telephone records, voice mails, everything. they want all calendars, all day planners, all notes, all diaries. from the governor's office specifically, they say they want call logs, all call logs and all visitors logs. that's a common thing in high-level government offices, you know, to have a formal record of every call that comes in and every person who comes by the office. from governor christie's re-election campaign, specifically, they're asking for a list of all employees for all of the last year. the 20 subpoenas that were released today are all asking, basically, for the same thing, with a lot of the same verbiage, but there are some differences between the subpoenas, like that request for a list of employees from the campaign office. and, i've got to tell you, some of the people who got suspected,
these people who you see on your screen here, they were told that they have to hand over their cell phones. cell phones, smartphones, ipads, any other personal digital devices that they use in any capacity, including a personal capacity, at any time, from september 2012 to the present. the people who have been personally served subpoenas now include, of course, bridgette kelly, governor kelly's deputy chief of staff, who sent that e-mail in august, that said, time for some traffic problems in ft. lee, and david wildstein, who's the man who responded to that e-mail, got it, and then personally orchestrated the shutdown of the bridge lanes. mr. wildstein has since resigned from the port authority. also, david wildstein's boss at the port authority, a chris christie appointee, a former new jersey state senator, he has also resigned from the port authority because of the scandal, bill baroni is his name. and everybody's boss at the port authority, the chairman, who is
also a chris christie appointee, his name is david sampson. also mr. sampson's top aide at the port authority, phillippe danielles. and she was told about it the friday before the shutdown happened. and she fielded calls and messages about what a disaster the shutdown was, once it was underway. and also interestingly, i'm not sure anybody saw this coming, but paul nunzado is a police official. he had told the official that they had nothing to give them when they subpoenaed him the first time around, but he did tell the press, incorrectly, that there had been no ambulance delays are caused by the shutdown when it happened. now he's getting a second subpoena. those people were all people from the port authority that got subpoenas last night or today. now, that's the port authority. in chris christkrooe chris chri
other than bridget kelly, we've saw e-mails from her boss, kevin o'dowd, chris christie's nominee to be the next chief of staff of new jersey. and regena egea. and his chief council, who christie says is one of two people who direct report to him on this issue of the bridge shutdown. also the governor's chief spokesman, also the governor's other spokesman, also a high-level staffer in the governor's office. the governor's director of departmental relations. her name is christina genovese. also subpoenaed today, a low-level staffer named evan ridley, who we know took a call from the mayor of ft. lee during the shutdown, when the mayor was desperately looking for somebody to listen to his complaints
about what was going on in his town. that's the governor's office as governor. over at the governor's re-election campaign, the people who have received subpoenas includes his campaign manager, bill steppian, his spokesperson, the campaign staffer who asked the ft. lee mayor for his endorsement, his name is matt mauers. he's since became the executive director of the republican party for the state of new hampshire. which made sense when chris christie was going to start winning the republican nomination for president in that state next year. but here, this last one, look. that turns out is a really interesting one. nicole davidman drewniak. that name is probably not familiar to you even if you have been following this story closely. it is a name that has not been focused on before. but this person is known to have a role in a key time and a key
place. her name is nicole davidman drewniak, she is married to governor christie's spokesman, michael drewniak. who knows if that's relevant, but that's why her last name is drewniak. but miss davidman drewniak worked for the chris christie re-election campaign. worked as campaign finance director. now, check this out. november, so after the shutdown, after the election, right? this is when the press was pushing really hard to figure out what had happened with the shutdown. the legislature was starting to sniff around, to try to figure out what happened with the shutdown. but at this time in late november, governor chris christie was still mocking this story, telling everybody it was nothing. in late november, bill baroni testified to the legislature about what happened on that bridge. and he appears to have not told the truth in that testimony, really, at all. really egregiously. for example --
>> at all times during the week of the study, the port authority police department monitored traffic on the george washington bridge. they were alert for any emergency vehicles in the area and prepared to further alter traffic patterns -- excuse me -- in the event of an emergency. >> that is not true. emergency vehicles had a ton of trouble, actually, because of the bridge lane shutdown. we know that because of ems chief in ft. lee writing to the mayor in that town during the traffic jam, on the second day of that traffic jam, on tuesday of that week, writing to the mayor saying, this traffic is causing delaying. paramedics were delayed due to heavy traffic, in an accident where four people were injured and had to be transferred to local hospitals, the response time was delayed. some of the ems responders had to jump the curb because of the traffic in order to get to this. we know from contemporaneous reports that emergency vehicles were delayed because of what they did to that bridge and what they did to ft. lee. and no one further altered the traffic patterns in order to
help that out, because they recognized an emergency was happening. that didn't happen. we also know that when bill baroni told the legislature that that happened, when bill baroni told the legislature that untrue thing, he knew when he said it it wasn't true. bill baroni has been notified the first day of the shutdown that ft. lee police and medical responders were already having difficulty responding to emergencies because of the traffic. that e-mail was send to bill baroni, so he knew. we also know mr. baroni was sent a letter from the mayor of ft. lee on thursday of the shutdown, telling him, quote, our emergency service vehicles are suffering tremendous response time delays. we also know mr. baroni received phone messages about emergency public safety matters, messages to which bill baroni did not respond, even though we know he got them. so when bill baroni testified to the legislature that day in late november, and he said, the port authority took care of it, the port authority, at all times, we were monitoring the situation,
to make sure no emergency vehicles were having any trouble, we stood ready to change any traffic patterns as need be, if emergency vehicles were having any problems, when he said that to the legislature in late november, it was not true and he knew that it was not true. so, yeah, bill baroni was one of the first people who had to resign in this scandal and now he's been subpoenaed and he's been told to hand over his cell phone and all the rest. yeah, that's what happened to bill baroni, but, but, look at this. as soon as bill baroni finished his testimony that day, his untrue testimony that concealed the real story of why those bridge lanes were shut down, as soon as his false testimony was over at the legislature, at noon on november 25th, he sent this text to david wildstein. trenton feedback? david wildstein responds, good. then the next line is blacked out. then bill baroni responds, just
good? then he swears. that's not actually a redaction. that's actually us blacking out his curse word. a minute ladder david wildstein responds, no, i have only texted bridget and nicole and they were very happy. so don't feel upset that the testimony -- i'm not telling you good is a way of damning you with -- no, good, i have texted bridget and nicole and they were very happy. this is the guy who just lied to the legislature. who, just, forgive me, in the words of the subpoenas, the guy who appears to have just made an attempt to conceal an abuse of government power, while speaking to the legislature, and bridget kelly, who is the one who ordered the traffic jam in the first place, who ordered, "time for some traffic problems in ft. lee," bridget kelly, who therefore must know that bill baroni just lied to the legislature when he said those traffic problems were caused by a study, bill baroni says that to the legislature and thereafter, bridget kelly, who
knows what he said is false sends word, good job, i'm really happy with this thing i know is not true to conceal an abuse of power when you spoke to the legislature. she knows what he said isn't true and she says, good job. but it's not just bridget kelly who says it, chris christie's deputy chief of staff. it's not just her who high fives bill baroni, it's also nicole, who, reasonably speaking, given the subpoenas today, may turn out to be nicole who is governor christie's campaign chief on his re-election effort. she is the person who got subpoenaed today. her name is nicole. if the crime here was con siling an abuse of government power, that appears to have happened in that testimony that day, before the new jersey legislature. all that false testimony from bill baroni. that was back in november. the documents we have so far indicate that not just governor christie's office in the form of bridget kelly, applauded and said, oh, we're really happy
with that false testimony. even though bridget kelly was in a position to know it was false testimony while she was applauding, but now we also know that a person who appears to be a staffer from the governor's re-election campaign, nicole, said the same thing. good job! you good great. and maybe she did not know it was false testimony when she applauded it. maybe she thought what bill baroni was saying was true and she just liked bill baroni's style when he delivered this testimony, or maybe she knew it was false like bridget did, since bridget appears to have ordered the shutdown in the first place. one more thing here. the other person who applauds bill baroni's false testimony to the legislature, where he delivered that false testimony about a traffic study, which we now know is intended to cover up what they were really doing, which is shutting down traffic for some political reason, the other person who high fived bill baroni for that purposefully misleading testimony was charlie. charlie said you did great.
who's charlie? could be anyone. could be charlie brown. could be charlie sheen. could be that charlie tuna character from the old ads. could be charlie anybody. may very well be charlie mckenna, who is governor chris christie's chief counsel, who is also suspected today. after bill baroni delivered false testimony to the legislature, making up a story about a traffic story, a traffic study, a traffic study that could only have been intended to cover up what they're really doing, quote, charlie says you did great, great in all caps. the investigation is to find out about abuse of government power and efforts to conceal abuse of government power. everyone known to be involved in the shutdown, and now the governor's re-election campaign, as an entity, have been asked to turn over documents on that, as has the governor's office itself. one question is, is the cover-up worse than the crime? does the way that this goes into all these other entities, does it follow the chain of people who knew that the cover-up, the
whole traffic study bunk, was nuts and who took some part in cooki ining up that story and applauding it once it's delivered. is that the way that this rises? the other question is, does governor chris christie himself, as part of the office of the governor, does governor christie hand over his own e-mails and his own text messages and his own notes and his own phone logs and everything else is that relates to this investigation. does governor christie himself answer the subpoena, including his own communications that he made as governor? hold that thought. [ police radio, indistinct ] the comeback trail. there is no map. no mile marker. no welcome sign. one day you may find yourself here. and you'll need someone to bring you back. to carry you home. at liberty mutual, we believe with every setback there's a chance to come back and rise. liberty mutual insurance. auto, home, life.
do you feel like you have the authority to subpoena the governor? >> well, you know, that question gets asked all the time, and there's intention right now to subpoena the governor. see, the problem with that question is, when i abs that question, the entire context is not going to be reported. and i understand it. so all i want to say is -- >> there are cameras recording -- >> i know, i know, i understand how this works too. that's not what we're doing. right now, we're going to issue subpoenas to individuals and organizations that we've seen in the documents that are relevant to our inquiry. >> one of those organizations commanded to turn over documents today is the office of the governor. what is the significance of that subpoena? does that mean that governor chris christie's own e-mails and texts and notes and phone logs and all the rest of that will be
part of the response to this demand for documents? let's ask the chairman leading the investigation, assemblyman john wisniewski. thanks very much for being here. >> thank you, rachel. >> does the subpoena to the office of the governor indicate that you expect documents, specifically from governor christie's own official e-mail and phone records? >> the reason we subpoena the office of the governor is we want the records, you know, we've asked for things from charlie mckenna, regena egea, and the office of the governor is the entity that controls those records. so in order to get those to make sure that we're doing it all properly, that's why the subpoena is there. this is not about the governor. we don't have any connection right now that the governor sent an e-mail or received an e-mail, but we do see a lot of other names in the e-mail chains we've looked at. so we want to make sure that we can see the other e-mails, perhaps, that other people in the office received, involving this incident. and this is the best way to get to it. >> to be clear, though, if there is anything in the governor's
office that was written by the governor himself, that pertains to the remit of the subpoena, there's no legal grounds to excuse that from their document reply, just because he's the governor. >> no, there'd be no reason to exclude it, but we haven't crossed that bridge yet, and obviously, the governor's office has hired a high-power lawsuit to defend them in some respect on something or advise them on something. so we'll see what happens when we get closer to february 3rd, when the production date arrives, to see what kind of document response we get. >> in terms of the number of subpoenas you put out here, 20 subpoenas, as you say, they are due by february 3rd, including that one to the governor's office. what are you expecting in terms of the volume of the material that you're going to get and what's your plan for getting through it? >> well, it's going to be a bigger volume than we have. we had several thousand pages, just from a couple of people, and now we've got 20 people. i don't know how many pages we'll get. i mean, some people may have absolutely nothing. and i think it's important for everybody to watch, who knows
that these people may have information, they may not. and one of the ways that we can rule somebody out is to ask for their documents. we may look at somebody's documents that they produce and say, well, there's absolutely no reason to continue to discuss them. we'll move on to somebody else. and, so, it's partially a process to figure out where the chain goes next. i mean, we know somebody had to discuss this with bridget kelly before she sent that e-mail. we don't know who. we have a lot of likely people that have been involved in communications. we want to talk or we want to see what we have, first, and ultimately, potentially, talk to them. and this is one way to start the process. >> one of the things that seems, like an interesting choice to me, i guess i should just tell you, an eyebrow raising choice to me is that on, i think it's five or six of these subpoenas, including bridget ann kelly and including david wildstein, but also including, i believe, the governor's campaign manager and a few other people, you're asking for not just documents, but you're asking them to hand over their cell phones. any cell phone or blackberry or
ipad or any device like that that they have used since september 2012. why those people and why that big a request? >> the request is not that big, but the information is very important. the information contained in those pdas, cell phones. we want to make sure it's preserved. we want to make sure the committee has an opportunity to analyze it, understand whether there were phone calls, text messages, e-mails, p.i.n.s, or any other means of communication. that's one way to preserve that information, by sending this subpoena out and we putting them on notice that we would like to look at it. again, we may look at this stuff and find it's of absolutely no use, but we won't know that until we have an opportunity to look at it. >> why did you pick september 2012? >> we wanted to go back a year. one of the things we observed in the first set of subpoenas is we went back to august, which was a full month before this happened, and we saw in the very beginning of that time frame, august 5th, there was this communication about setting up a meeting between dave sampson and the governor. it so leads us to believe that there could be things in the month before in july or june,
and we wanted to at least make sure we were broad enough, one year seems to be a sufficient time frame to be able to look at this and see if there was stuff going back even further. >> let me ask you about one other member, you have subpoenaed dave sampson, the general of the port authority of new jersey. you mentioned him in conjunction with that meeting. the senate committee that is investigating this matter also announced this week that they are planning on sending a subpoena to david sampson, the same guy, next week. that seems strange to me, that he might be getting two subpoenas from two different entities within the legislature. is there a potential conflict there. does that not open the legislature to some, to that subpoena, at least, to him, being hung up somehow in the courts. because he's got two from two different intententities. >> he would have an obligation to respond to both, we have talked to our lawyers about that, but also what i've pointed out before, even though there are two committees constituted, the goal is with senator
weinberg for her committee and the committee i chair to work cooperatively and collaborately. i don't think there's any danger or doubt that ultimately we'll get that information from david sampson. and i think the fact that there's two subpoenas out there is really not a big issue for any of us to be worried about. >> i hear it's not a big issue for you. i'm also observing this and seeing what the governor and his side are planning on doing to fight this, based on what they've lined up for legal representati representative. i see that as a big red flag. chairman john wisniewski, who's leading the assembly, special select committee on investigating this matter, it's been a big week for you. thanks for helping us to understand this. >> thank you, rachel. >> thank you. all right, the art of clothing people in immunity is coming up. and also the president's big speech today. much more to come this hour. stay with us. are oms. [ sneeze ] [ male announcer ] truth is not all flu products treat all your symptoms. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus severe cold and flu speeds relief to these eight symptoms.
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. okay. this is a heads up about some new reporting that is about to come out. it is also a programming note, but it is not a programming note about this show. one of the sort of side bar characters, who's emerged alongside the chris christie bridge scandal in new jersey is the mayor of hoboken, new jersey. her name is dawn zimmer. she and her town have ended up as a peripheral note in this bridgegate story, because of stories suggesting that hoboken, her city, was denied what the mayor said was critical state aid after hurricane sandy, specifically because mayor zimmer refused to endorse chris christie for re-election, when
he and his campaign asked her to endorse him. here's the thing, though. the msnbc show, "up with steve kornacki," has now obtained documents that suggest a very different reason why that mayor may have been targeted by the christie administration. steve kornacki is reporting on that story exclusively. he's going to have that story tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. eastern and he is going to have the mayor herself here to comment on it in her only television interview. steve kornacki made his bones covering new jersey politics and he is always great, no matter what he's talking about, but i've got to tell you, steve is must-see tv on this story right now. and that scoop that he's got on this big story is breaking tomorrow morning, 8:00 a.m. eastern, here on msnbc. i asked steve yesterday, when i knew he was working on this, i said, if you are going to be able to do it, could i please let my audience know ahead of that saturday show, that that scoop was coming on saturday morning, and steve gave me permission to tell you, to let you know that it's on its way. so now you know.
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supreme court justice john roberts was appointed to the supreme court by president george w. bush in 2005. and while any supreme court appointment is for life and is a huge deal, a chief justice has a whole raft of responsibilities that nobody else in the whole country has. for example, if the chief justice of the supreme court votes with the majority on a case, he gets first dibs at writing the opinion in this case. if he chooses not to write the opinion, he gets soul authority to decide which of the other judges is going to be able to write it. the chief justice also gets to serve as the presiding judge, should there be an impeachment of a sitting president. william rehnquist served in a role during the impeachment of bill clinton. weirdly, the chief which is of the supreme court also gets to be chancellor of the smithsonian institution. no, i don't know why, but reason enough to be that justice rather than just an associate justice like the other eight. the chief justice of the supreme court has another responsibility that became newly important
today. the chief justice alone gets to appoint all of the judges, all 11 of the judges, who serve on one very important secret court. the foreign intelligence surveillance court, fisa. that's the court that essentially authorizes the government to conduct top-secret surveillance operations. this is the court that gives the nsa the okay to do things like, say, collect huge amounts of telephone metadata that the government doesn't really admit to in public. the fisa court is really, really powerful and secret. and this one guy, the chief justice of the court, gets to decide who sits on that court. he appoints all of the judges for that court. everything about that court is don in secret. the judges meet in secret, they discuss cases in secret, they make their rulings in secret. nothing is done publicly in this court. and no one involved in the court proceedings, this is important, presents the other side of the argument. there's nobody in those secret court proceedings, representing the public, for example. i mean, the government goes to this court and says, we want to do this surveillance thing, and
then the judge just decides whether or not that's legal. nobody's appointed to make the other side of the case. nobody's appointed to argue against the government's request for more surveillance. after all of the disclosures this year from nsa wiff whistle-blower, edward snowden, there was some talk that maybe that aspect of the fisa court would change. maybe president obama would make the fisa court an adversarial process. he would add a layer to the court, essentially. a permanent advocate for the public and for privacy rights, to argue against the government's position in cases heard by the secret court. in the lead up to the president's big speech today, though, announcing reforms to u.s. surveillance policies, something very out of the ordinary happened concerning the court. one of chief justice john roberts' old appointments to the fisa court, this man, john bates, was asked by chief justice john roberts to write a letter on this issue to policy makers, specifically to democratic senator dianne feinstein, who chairs the intelligence committee.
in the letter, this judge argues that basically we on the fisa court don't need your stinking privacy advocate. the secret fisa court shouldn't have a person arguing against the government. the fisa court shouldn't have a person there representing the pri privacy interests of regular folks against the government's? he says that would be unnecessary and counterproductive. no independent privacy advocate needed here, says the man tapped by john roberts to make an appeal on behalf of the court on this issue. that very unusual letter, playing a very unusual role in the tripartide split american government, that letter went out earlier this week, just before president obama's big speech today. and when president obama announced today his changes ss how he conducts surveillance as a country, he did address this specific issue. and listen to what he said. >> to ensure that the court hears a broader range of privacy
perspectives, i'm also calling on congress to authorize the establishment of a panel of advocates from outside government to provide an independent voice in significant cases before the foreign intelligence surveillance corps. >> significant cases before the fisa court. so, president obama is calling for a public advocate, for an adversarial process, but he wants that process to only happen in novel cases, in specific and significant cases before the court. well, who decides what's a significant case? who decides what's a novel issue? who knows? it appears that maybe that lobbying from john roberts and the judge he picked to do the lobbying, worked here. critics of the fisa court also wanted to take the power to appoint judges out of the chief justice's hands, but according to today's speech, it seems like that's not going to happen either. this was a big consequential speech from president obama today, that will change some of the ways the nsa operates going
forward. the president announced that the bulk collection of telephone metadata will continue, but intelligence officials will now need to obtain specific approval from the fisa court, before they're allowed to tap into all that data, for whatever reason they want to tap into it. they'll no longer have unrestricted access to use that data however they want. we also learned today that president obama plans to move the actual phone records database out of the government's control, and to some sort of outside entity. he gave the attorney general, eric holder, and other intelligence officials, to the end of march to get back to him with a plan as to where that information should be housed going forward. president obama also announced that there will be no more eavesdropping by the u.s. government on foreign leaders. that change comes after the very public and very embarrassing disclosure that the nsa had been tapping, say, the phone of german chancellor angela merkel, our great ally. this was a big, important speech today by president obama. it came on the heels of more than seven months of one leak
after another, from former nsa contractor and whistle-blower, edward snowden. at first glance, this appears to be the most significant revision of spy practices since the church community in the 1970s, but much about how it will happen and what it will mean, remains to be seen. watch this space. >> america's capabilities are unique. and the power of new technologies means that there are fewer and fewer technical constraints on what we can do. that places a special obligation on us to ask tough questions about what we should do. gots all my pertinents on it and such. works for me. turn to the camera. ah, actually i think my eyes might ha... next! digital insurance id cards. just a tap away on the geico app. could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. everybody knows that. well, did you know that when a tree falls in the forest and no one's around, it does make a sound? ohhh...ugh.
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could you state and spell your last name for the record? >> david wildstein. w-i-l-d-s-t-e-i-n. >> where do you currently reside? >> monthfield, new jersey. >> are you currently employed? >> no. >> and most recently, where were you employed? >> on the advice of my counsel, i exert my right to remain silent. >> page 751 contains communications -- my question is, does page 751 contain communications dated august 5th,
2013? >> on the advice of counsel, i, again, assert my right to remain silent. on the advice of counsel, i assert my right to remain silent. >> the right to refuse to answer questions to this committee is not permitted under those rules. the committee does have the right to find your client's failure to respond to validly asked questions to be in con tem contempt of this committee's subpoena and to take a vote on that, and that matter may be referred to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. you understand that? >> that is understood, sir. >> that was david wildstein and his straight out of casting attorney, saying as little as possible to new jersey lawmakers, who compelled him to testify last week, on the great new jersey bridgegate scandal. dave wildstein is the official who appears to have carried out the order from governor christie's deputy chief of staff, to cause some traffic problems in ft. lee, which he accomplished by closing down
lanes to the george washington bridge last september, in what appears to be an effort to intentionally cause those traffic problems for ft. lee. they went on for four days plus. mr. wildstein sat at the witness table in the new jersey legislature last week, refusing to talk, knowing that committee could hold him in contempt for his refusal. that contempt charge has now been referred to a nnk county prosecutor. but it's interesting, the threat of being prosecuted for contempt didn't seem to scare david wildstein into talking, right? he knew that was a possibility when he was claiming the fifth. didn't make him talk. david wildstein and his lawyer told the assembly that day, though, that what they were holding out for, if they really wanted him to talk, was something bigger. >> there are interesting questions raised by who in the governor's office knew about the plan to close the lanes or divert the lanes, who was
involved, what did they know, when did they know it. and just as equally, who was involved, what did they know, when did they know it when the effort was made to craft an explanation for the lane closure. and so, those documents only tell part of the story. >> if the attorneys general for new jersey, new york, and the united states were all to agree to cloth mr. wildstein with immunity, i think you would find yourself in a far different position with respect to information he can provide. >> that's your job. we just want answers to our questions. >> understood. >> mr. chairman, my client would like to be clothed in immunity. he would like to be bathed in immunity. he would like to be wrapped in the tender arms of immunity from prosecutors in new jersey and also prosecutors in new york and also prosecutors the from the united states government. please. today, with subpoenas piling up
for officials at the port authority, where mr. wildstein worked, and for mr. christie's recollection campaign, and for officials inside the office of new jersey governor chris christie, and for the office of governor christie's itself, as an office, including this new subpoena for david wildstein today, calling for documents and e-mails and voice mails and text messages, all the way back to september 2012, telling him to turn over all of the cell phones and smartphones and ipads and personal digital devices he has used in the last year and a half. with all those new subpoenas being handed out today, the lawyer for mr. wildstein is now reiterating, in a less offhand way, spelling it out in no uncertain terms, that his client is willing to talk. he will talk. he will tell what he knows, in exchange for immunity. mr. wildstein's lawyer telling the ap today, quote, if he has immunity from the relevant entities, he'll talk. that's just exactly the way they say it in the movies. he'll talk. this is not a simple matter,
though. no one entity, i think, can give david wildstein all the immunity he's going to need, given all the different investigations that are underway or that might start. but it does snow that people who pretty definitely know what happened in this scandal, and who scandal and who probably know everybody who was in on it, the guy who probably has the most damning things to say if he does shot is already showing he's perfectly willing to do so for the right price. mr. wildstein's decision to make a deal if he can is not an inevitable thing. you could imagine his insisting on right to silence, taking the fifth amendment and closing ranks. yo will never get me to flip on people. fine me, send me to jail, i won't talk. he's not doing that. he's willing to deal. and in the movies this is how people start to fall apart. this is not the movie, though, this is new jersey. let me ask you the big picture,
20 subpoenas today. what do you think is the importance of that to the story and this investigation overall? >> well, pretty clearly, they have thrown as wide a possible net as they can at this stage as they can justify. everything short of actually personally subpoenaing chris christie himself. every name of real meaning we've seen so far and come out has now gotten a demand to show a tremendous amount of information about what they might have known about this. and i think chairman wisniewski was saying this before, and he said it a number of juncture, they're trying to build this deliberately, partly for political reasons so they can't be accused of being on a fishing expedition or a wish hunt trying to damage a very popular republican governor, but what they're really trying to do is establish wh this chain of demand was that led to the apparent order in bridget kelly's e-mail. no one seems to believe that the initial statement that launched this traffic study or whatever
they're calling it now was bridget kelly just firing off a vague e-mail that david wildstein intuited immediately. it doesn't make sense. >> i just asked the chairman if the subpoena to the governor's office would exclude things that were personally from the governor, e-mails that shent, text messages that he sent, notes that he took. anything else. he said no, we're not looking for things from the governor specifically, but if he did things and wrote things and is on the record in the records of that office saying things that are relevant to this investigation, we would expect his communications not to be excluded from the subpoena, just because he's the governor. in real politic terms, do you think that the governor is expected to fight the request to turn over any of his own documents on grounds of executive privilege or something else? >> i think we can only look at what the other example we have involving john wisniewski trying to get information about toll hikes he didn't like and the new
jersey democrats didn't like at the port authority. >> right. >> the state of nj new jersey w sued by the aaa and they issued more subpoenas trying to get information about how the toll hikes were passed. they're still fighting over what the christie information through the port authority have turned over and have not turned over. and we know today, according to a source who has seen some of what they're arguing about, that part of what they're arguing about are actual e-mails among the top-level staff of chris christie's administration and some from the governor himself according to our source about that toll hike. >> and he's fighting in the toll hike investigation, he fought turning those over. so far has not been forced to turn those over, if they exist, like your source says. and his attorney fighting those subpoenas is the same attorney he hired to represent him. >> and not that pleased about that is the port authority of new york and new jersey saying what are you doing taking on
another client that potentially presents a great conflict of interest here because of our overlapping and potentially, you know, conflicting interest here. >> fascinating. i think that your piece today is the first one that lets people read in maybe as much as they should do governor christie's choice of attorney in this matter. it helps a lot in terms of understanding the decision making here. ted mann, reporter for "the wall street journal" on this story from the very beginning. thank you very, very much. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] this is the story of the dusty basement at 1406 35th street the old dining table at 25th and hoffman. ...and the little room above the strip mall off roble avenue. ♪ this magic moment it is the story of where every great idea begins. and of those who believed they had the power to do more. dell is honored to be part of some of the world's great stories. that began much the same way ours did. in a little dorm room -- 2713.
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(announcer) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. there's a lot about to happen in the world. on monday that's when a clock starts ticking on a real bik deal the u.s. government has struck with iran. it's the deal to temporarily freeze much of iran's nuclear program. in exchange for iran taking that historic step it is start next week, starting monday that the obama administration will start
to loosen some of the economic sanctions that we have imposed against iran. starting monday, they stop enriching uranium and we stop imposing some of the sanctions that they have been suffering under. well, the bill to impose new sanctions on iran and thereby scuttle this bill, the bill i like to see of let's have a war instead bill, that sanctions bill that's caused so much consternation in the white house has now reportedly been tabled by the senate, at least for now. that means that monday's an even bigger deal. it means the six-month deal is going to start. and it means the six-month deal struck by the obama administration is allowed to at least start moving forward and that starts on monday. then on tuesday, another big deal in domestic politics. which party is going to control the senate in virginia. tuesday is a special election to fill the state senate seat that became vacant when democrat mark herring, who is a state senator, got elevated to the attorney general's office. he won the race for attorney
general and his senate seat became vacant. it's not just a big deal in terms of who is going to hold that one seat, it may also determine which party has control. earlier this month there was another election to fill another open seat in the senate because the lieutenant governor who won for the democrats was also a senator before that el'eggs. that race for that other senate seat was so close nine votes in the democrats' favor that a recount is happening there. if democrats win that recount and they win the special election on tuesday, then control of the virginia state senate will swing to the democrats. so it looks like just a little special election in virginia, not that big a deal, but it could control something really important in that part of the country depending on which way it goes. also on tuesday, new jersey governor chris christie is going to be enjoying his reinauguration and associated festivities. he will also be hosting some extra guests who are not plan on paying to get into the festivities. they will be lying down as of
saturday, planning to camp out on the state house lawn in protest of the christie administration's other scandal right now, involving alleged overspending for the stronger than the storm ads which feature the governor and his family in the wake of hurricane sandy using taxpayer money. occupy christie protesters say they plan on camping out starting tomorrow and they will be there through his swearing in which is at 11:30 at the trenton war memorial. one note about governor christie's inaugural festivities on tuesday, the big party he's having is on ellis island. it's half new jersey and half new york. the chris christie inauguration party for becoming governor of new jersey, he's going to hold it on the new york side. that does it for us tonight. see you again on monday. now i'm sending you to prison.