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tv   Up W Steve Kornacki  MSNBC  February 2, 2014 5:00am-7:01am PST

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's open for everyone. there's not one way to do something. no details too small. american express open forum. this is what membership is. this is what membership does. kk can kk goes back hris ch to high school to fight back. when it comes to the chris christie/george washington bridge scandal, news has not been taking a break on the weekend. two new developments to tell but since we went off the air yesterday morning. first, a statement from reid schar, the former federal prosecutor brought in by the state legislative committee investigating the bridge affair. that legislative committee has issued subpoenas including 20 which are due back tomorrow. but its immediate future in
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question since january 23 when the u.s. attorney, paul fischman, issued subpoenas of his own in connection with the bridge scandal. many wondered if he would lean on the committee to essentially stand down and to get out of his way. late yesterday afternoon schar issued a statement he met fray daye with frischman's office and based on the meeting i am comfortable the investigation may continue as we proceed schar's statement, continues, we will be mindful of the need to avoid taking steps that could inappropriately impede any investigation the u.s. attorney's office may be conducting. left unclear is exactly what steps could impede an investigation by the u.s. attorney. will the committee be able to release all of the documents it receives from this latest round of subpoenas just like it did when record submitted by david wildstein and baroni came in last night? will there be a negotiated release of doupts or all withheld from the public? and will the committee be issuing any further subpoenas going forward? this remains unclear right now
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but what we do know is that in some form that legislative investigation, which is the most public inquiry into the lane closures now going on, that investigation will continue. the other new development is this. the e-mail that was sent out by chris christie's office yesterday afternoon to friends and allies of the governor under the heading, five things you should know about the bombshell that's not a bombshell. 700 word e-mail downplays the significance of the letter from the lawyer for wildstein, that's the former port authority official who oversaw the bridge lane closure in september that was released late on fry day. that letter from wildstein's lawyer suggested that there was an order from the christie add in mrgs to close the lanes and it asserted that, quote, evidence exists that the governor knew of the closures as they were playing out. the letter also claimed that wildstein himself has evidence that can disprove some specific claims that christie made about him in his january 9 press conference. the e-mail from christie's
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office suggests that, quote, sloppy reporting from "the new york times" led the rest of the media to make too much of the letter on friday afternoon. "the times" story originally state that had wildstein himself was claiming to have evidence linking the governor to the closures, subsequently changed to reflect the letter's broader claim that, quote, evidence exists. christie's e-mail reiterates the existence he had, quote, no involvement, knowledge, or understanding of the real motives behind david wildstein's scheme to close lanes on the bridge, that he first learned of the closures through media accounts, and that until three weeks ago he believed the closures are were the result of a traffic study. then there's this, item number four in that christie e-mail. it is by far a the longest section of the e-mail and it is a full throated attack on wildstein. it's an effort to undermine his character to attack his credibility. david wildstein's past, the e-mail reads, people and newspaper accounts have
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described him as tumultuous and someone who made moves that were not productive. and then there's a series of bullet point indictments, as a 16-year-old kid he sued over a local school board election. he was publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior. he had a controversial tenure as mayor of livingston. he was an anonymous blogger known as wally edge. he had a strange habit of registering web addresses for other people's names without telling them. you can make your own judgment about the material christie's team has chosen to attack wildstein with, but two things should probably be pointed out here. one is that every one of those items with the possible exception of wildstein's penchant for registering various web addresses, every one of the items on the list has been known to christie and his team for a long time. remember, christie is from livingston. he grew up in a town around the same time as wildstein.
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these are facts that anyone who knows anything about david wildstein knows. so the question is, if christie and his team are so bothered by all of these things, if they think david wildstein's past is so shady, then why did they give him a job? why did they create a brand-new $150,000 a year job for him at the port authority in 2010? why did they make him part of their team? and there's also this. look closely at the fourth bullet point about wildstein. quote, he was an anonymous blogger known as wally edge. there's context i can add a here because the implication in that bullet point is that wildstein is a fringe, flakey figure because he's an anonymous blogger. if you've heard me tell my story at all in the last month, you know i worked for david wildstein when he was an anonymous blogger known as wally edge. i can tell that you website was called poll six particularsnj.com back when had he was running it.
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that had real credibility. we reported on, we talked to and heard from just about every political player in the state. in fact, i can tell you that one of those political players we would hear from was named chris christie. this is from november 8, 2005. it was election day in new jersey. jon corzine winning the race for governor. it's a boring e-mail. chris christie, the u.s. attorney, reaching out to me, the report er for politicsnj.co, during his work day, without any prompting, i might add, to volunteer information about his office's election day hotline. like i said, it's a boring e-mail. it's not the only one i got from chr christie when he was u.s. attorney. he would read what i wrote. he would read the site and he would occasionally send me notes like that one. he wanted to be on our radar. he was one of our readers. he was one of the many political leaders in new jersey who helped make an anonymous blogger known as wally edge the proprietor of a credible, respected, must-read
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site for the political new jersey class. again, make your own decision about christie's statement of wildstein's character. i think you should know when i was covering new jersey, he seemed to have no qualms about reading and feeding the anonymous political blog he's now attacking. to talk about the latest developments overnight welcome in our panel. we have wnbc's brian thompson, lo longtime reporter for the station, paul, a conservative columnist with "the star ledger," heather, michael pile, a reporter and columnist with "the new york times." so, brian, i'll start with you. we have this story with reid schar. i guess we can get to that. this statement from christie's camp last night going after wildstein, digging up stories about wildstein in high school, this was supposed to be -- remember at the press conference a few weeks ago, christie said how little he knew of him in high school. now he wants to attack him and
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all he can talk about is high school. >> this is very dangerous, steve. this is very, very dangerous for the christie administration. he is essentially at that news conference three weeks ago or so threw his people under the bus, talked about them lying to him, that sort of thing. what he's doing now in going after wildstein, is he is telling all of these people who were in his employ that he's not standing by them and he's doing it in a very aggressive way. i mean, yes, the news conference was aggressive enough. now it's going beyond throwing them off the bus, it's getting in the driver's seat and riding right over them. that's what we see in this e-mail. of course, when you get hit by a bus, if you can stand up again, what are you going to do? you're going to call in the cops. and you say, i got hit by a bus. >> and, leather, you have an interesting angle on this, too, because your paper, "the wall street journal," has been covering this whole traffic
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story very aggressively and has done a great job on it. your colleague, ted mann, tweeted out last night after this statement came out, after christie attacks david wildstein this way, ted mann said governor christie said to you, heather, you and your paper will owe an apology to senator baroni and mr. wildstein. he's gone in just over a month saying you will be apologizing to just shredding david wildstein's character. >> it shows an evolving strategy. going back a little bit when david wildstein first stepped down from the port authority his spokesman at the time praised david wildstein, said he was a fine public servant, and wished him well basically. now we have an evolution all the way to attacking him very aggressively. so i think there's a change in tone in the administration as they see that the letter was very impactful from friday. i think they really are showing
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here they need to be aggressive. i think the concern now is what will the other defendants do? what will the other folks, the bridget kellys of the world. i talked to some of those lawyers on fry day. at this point they weren't touching that letter. i think this is -- that statement was meant to have a chilling effect. >> paul, what do you make of it? it seems to me, i'm just reading through and, again, just he had a controversial tenure as mayor of livingston, he was an anonymous blogger. it just seems almost to have a desperate tone to it, this attack. >> i think what they're trying to do is set up, set the bar very low which is they're trying to say if christie didn't know about it beforehand, he's off the hook. and i think sh is all engineered, all these e-mails, everything, is engineered to that. let's say on that september 11 when the picture of them was taken together, wildstein says, i told him that day the traffic was all backed up and he got a good laugh out of it. and then it's christie's word
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against wildstein. they're trying to destroy wildstein's credibility if it comes to a he says/she says because they've only -- right now we see the e-mails of wildstein. was he a compulsive record keeper oregon something? why didn't he throw those e-mails out? >> my impression, as i said, we were talk iing with brian murph who also worked with us on the show yesterday. he said he never seemed like the kind of guy who would be left without a chair when the music stopped. somebody who prepares for contingencies. i don't know. >> i was told -- you would know this better. i was told he was a pack rat with his papers and he kept all these e-mails and memos and everything like that. do you remember that? >> in my dealings with him were primarily online. it was always uncanny that if i had a question about we were working on this story a year ago, we had this interaction, he always seemed to have it at his disposal. >> exactly. >> my impression, he has a pretty extensive -- >> drewniak and kelly when they used personal e-mails to
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communicate with him thinking it was anonymous, which is very dumb. that's why they have phones, you know. and then he held on to this stuff, they probably delete it had it from their e-mails and were probably shocked when it showed up in his. >> that's what i mean about contingency planning. you can see in the documents released, it looks stra teblgic as it if wildstein is leaving all these clues, these possibilities, looking for some sort of immunity deal, setting himself up as the guy who can connect all of these dots that are out there. >> yeah, i think this is really the christie nightmare, right? either kelly or wildstein and they're certainly indicating -- and it was interesting in looking at wildstein's letter he kind of danced across a number of subjects. didn't say i know about them, but who knows, right? it was interesting nonetheless the lawyer's letter did that. i think it's a big -- look, this is a big tanger for them.
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this is the watergate -- that was the and a aalogy that came mind. the inner circles starting to talk. it's always dangerous to go high school on people. there's a lot more people who were the nerds of the world than the big swinging jocks and class presidents as the governor has described himself. so i think, you know, it's a dangerous thing when you want to play high school. it brings up a lot. >> that whole thing you hear in high school, if you didn't like it, 20 years from now everybody can forget all about it. the first thing he goes to is social studies teacher. anyway, we'll talk more are about this christie statement and also where the investigation is going in the legislature. we'll pick it up right after this. today we're going to play a little game.
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i just want to show you how the last 36 hours or so is playing in the newspapers of new jersey. this is the asbury park press, the front page. this comes after david wildstein's lawyer letter, christie's response yesterday, "can he survive?" the basic question splashed on the front of a major newspaper in new jersey, and that seems to be, paul, the level of the conversation right now. a governor who, again, we talk about it shall i resisted these nixon comparisons but a governor bent on racking up the biggest possible margin, wins this 60% re-election landslide and now he's, what, two weeks into his second term and the can he survive question is out there. >> the funny thing is, the reason he's in trouble he was running for president not governor. he didn't need these democratic mayors. he went after them to prove nationally that he could get the democratic vote, the la tino
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vote. remember his 51% of the latino vote was the big bragging point. he did nothing for his fellow republicans. he had zero coattails. didn't bring a single seat in. his fellow republicans resent that. he should have been out there campaigning in the swing districts, which he ignored, and he kept going after these places where the votes weren't going to go to -- they were going to elect democratic legislators anyway. he killed himself nationally by trying to improve himself nationally. >> you raise an interesting point. to understand the political geography of new jersey, if you don't nope the state that well, south jersey is the more republican friendly part of the state. if a republican governor is going to get 60% of the vote in new jersey, there should be opportunities for the republicans to win legislative seats. but south jersey is controlled by the democratic boss, george norcross, who christie has his alliance with. christie basically would not go and campaign against the vulnerable democrats. you're talking about, paul, that builds resentment in the
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republican party and christie's first act was trying to oust tom cain jr. in the state senate because he had tried to go after those seats in the south. given that history, are we looking at republicans maybe in the coming days or weeks starting to turn on christie, start i starting to ask more critical questions and raise more critical comments about him? >> i don't think they'll turn on him. they're not that enthusiastic about him to begin with. my republican friends don't call me up and say, gee, why did you write a column about christie, they just call and say give me more good stuff. >> remember, the democrats have the majority in the assembly. if they want to go -- they will impeach if there's a smoking gun. i talked to the former governor the other the night. yeah, brian, if there's a smoking gun you can look at impeachment if he doesn't resign. they have the 51% to do that. they don't have the two-thirds vote to convict in the state
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senate. all they need, i think, is three republ republican votes if you get unanimity. i think it's three from the republicans they need. right now i think they are in lock step behind the governor. i don't think there's any question about that because there's no smoking gun. if there is one, then it becomes a lot easier to turn three or four votes. why are they going to stand behind somebody if there's a smoking gun? >> if there's a smoking gun, the poll numbers collapse d. >> the same thing to use the nixon analogy. >> the other thing is the democrats, as you alluded to, the democrats are pretty compromised in new jersey. it's been a very sweet arrangement that they've had with christie. they have a political boss in newark, in essex county, a
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political boss down state. they've agreed to divvy up in a pretty unsightly way the judicial nominations. they play all kinds of games. it's been very -- it's been very good to them, this whole arrangement with christie. that is certainly the southern state democrats, less so the ones up in bergen and essex -- let's stop in bergen in hudson. in one of the interesting things, to me, about this whole thing is the way in which it's lake a flooded cemetery in new jersey and you have all these coffins coming up. and a lot of them have christie's initials on them but some of them have the democrats' initials on them. >> that bipartisan alliance, that's if, way ahead of ourselves, if christie were to go and the lieutenant governor were to go, the next in line would be steve sweeney, a democratic state president who is a product that have deal between christie and the democratic bosses but, heather, let's talk more immediate ly
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about the subpoenas from the legislative committee are due back starting tomorrow. we have word last night from reid schar, the committee will go on even with the u.s. attorney looking into this. what should we be expecting from that committee? do you think we'll be seeing documents this week? >> the news that broke right before david wildstein's letter and got overshadowed was kevin moreno, the attorney for steppian, the former campaign manager, he's taking the fifth. they're not going to deliver documents. it was a 157-page legal brief. >> there were 20 subpoenas. stepien is in the weird position he's subpoenaed by the committee but also the u.s. you attorney has subpoenaed the re-election campaign which he was runninging. he's caught up in both of those. for the people who are only being subpoenaed by the legislative committee, are you expecting -- the general expectation we are going to get documents from them and the public will will see the documents? had. >> i don't think we'll see
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anything on monday. already some of the other attorneys are saying we need more time or we have yet to see if more will take the fifth. i also think going forward the state committee will be much more careful. so they have been sort of making this as they've gone up. when they first got those thousands of pages of documents, there's no exact protocol for rae leasing them. they have legal counsel. they are more careful how these will be released and they said they will only release them once people are called for public testimony. we'll have to see on monday. >> heather is right. as of saturday night, nobody else had taken the fifth on the document production. i can tell you that reid schar, the counsel hired by the legislative committee, his meeting with the u.s. attorney's office wasn't just with the office, it was with the u.s. -- >> paul fishman was there. >> they were there roughly an hour. and all the speculation you put in there, what will he allow?
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what will he not? they were were given a green light not quite full speed ahead but to proceed as they have been proceeding. >> okay. if you're in the public and interested in seeing some of these documents, that's an encouraging sign. thank you, brian. chris christie as u.s. attorney and governor, a tale of two very different investigations. we're going to tell it to you next. en you retire? then we gave each person a ribbon to show how many years that amount might last. i was trying to, like, pull it a little further. [ woman ] got me to 70 years old. i'm going to have to rethink this thing. it's hard to imagine how much we'll need for a retirement that could last 30 years or more. so maybe we need to approach things differently, if we want to be ready for a longer retirement. ♪ is that true? says here that cheerios has whole grain oats
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♪ drimusic stopsusic ♪ music resumes ♪ music stops ♪ music resumes ♪ ♪ [announcer] if your dog can dream it, [whistle] purina pro plan can help him achieve it. nutrition that performs. we learned this weekend that new jersey senator bob menendez has set up up a legal defense fund seeking to pay some of the hundreds of thousands of dollars he's racked up in legal fees. the this after the news of one week ago when wnbc reported that he is under federal investigation for assisting the citizenship applications of a pair of businessmen who were wanted in the home country for allegedly defrauding customers
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in their bank. it was noted in the report that a family member of these businessmen has donated large sums of money to democratic campaigns. menendez strongly denies the allegations and says he was only respond to go a request for help from the banker's family. he contacted the u.s. attorney's office about the leaks. th there very well may be something serious here and it remains to be seen where, if anywhere, this is going. if it seems the media has been a little restrained in how it's covered of the menendez story so far, more restrained to the scandals engulfing the chris christie administration, it feels like the press wants to wait a little bit longer to learn just a little bit more about the allegations. well, there the might be a reason for that. it's because the press, myself very much included, has been taken town this road before when it comes to menendez. it turned out there was nothing to it. the reason we were taken down the road, the reason we let
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ourselves get taken down that road are the actions of the previous actions of the u.s. attorney, someone we know as governor chris christie. let me explain. it was in september of 2006, jon corzine had become governor of new jersey and in one of his first acts appointed menendez to replace him in the senate. there was an election coming up. menendez was running for a full six-year term and it was a close race. nationally ka trae in a, iraq, bush fatigue and a spate of corruption scandals had made the playing field bleak for the republ republican party. but in new jersey, they had what looked to be their only real chance anywhere to actually pick up a democratic seat and to save their senate majority. so it's in that context that in september 2006 this happened. >> the federal investigation has been launched in new jersey into the financial dealings of
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senator robert menendez and a nonprofit agency he's helped over the years. sources tell news channel 4's brian thompson that dealing with the house once owned by then congressman mendoza have been subpoenaed by the u.s. attorney's office. that was huge news in the fall of 2006. this story was ominous for menendez for two reasons. it dealt with his political roots in hudson county, a legendary bastion of old democratic machinery and political corruption in new jersey. hudson county is the collection of tightly packed cities just across the river from manhattan. hoboken, union city, that's hudson county. its represeutation for politica malfeasance is the you stuff of legend. former governor, bren tan byrne, lakes to joe when he dies he wants to be buried in hudson county, quote, so i can remain politically active. that's the political world that
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bob menendez grew up in, that he mastered, that he climbed to the top of. it was the machine that he controlled. and when he was appointed to the senate, republicans honed in on all the negative associations that suburban new jerseyans have with the hudson machine. they decided they would make those associations stick to bob men menendez, every voter saw him as the product of the dirty, crooked world of hudson county machine politics. this was how they were going to beat him in 2006. so when that story broke, menendez, the state's new appointed senator, was under federal investigation, it threatened to ratify to the average voter everything republicans were saying about bob menendez. and then the second reason the story was such a threat to him, that federal investigation was being led by the u.s. attorney's office, by the office of chris christie, and in september 2006, there was probably no public figure in new jersey with a more sterling reputation for integrity and corruption busting than chris christie. he had gained the u.s.
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attorney's job in 2001 after raising big bucks for the presidential campaign and he said about using the job to make a name for himself, taking down corrupt politicians. the taking them down in very public ways. the press always seemed too much a heads-up when the next perp walk was going to be. u.s. attorney christie took down high-profile members of both parties, one of his first and most famous acts was to arrest, indict, and prosecute a man named james treffinger, a rising star in the republican party and who, for a brief moment, looked like he might win a u.s. senate seat in 2002. he was failed by a corruption bust and christie got the credit. and, sure, democrats and even some republicans would grumble occasionally about christie. he was grandstanding. he was positioning himself to run for office. he was picking case that is were most likely to burnish his own image, to are score the most points with the public, rounding up crooked piles and throwing them in jail.
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many of that grumbling in 2006 was more than drowned out by voices in politics, in the media, even from the general public. voices that gave christie the benefit of the doubt. he was doing important work, most seemed to agree, and he was willing to go after members of both parties. it wasn't like he was on a partisan witchhunt. the story broke in september of twik. not only were new jersey voters told he was under federal investigation, but the man investigating him had a reputation for never going after anyone unless he had the goods. and i'll be the first to admit that i was one who fell for it. when menendez pushed back against the report and attacked christie's office for leaking it, it was, quote, a weak response given the number of corrupt republicans brought down by chryistopher christie. the u.s. attorney on the menendez inquiry. but a funny thing happened. after word of the investigation leaked, nothing else happened.
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this was not what those who had been covering christie in new jersey politics were used to. the rule with christie, it seemed, a leak like that would be quickly followed by more revelations, more damning details and soon some kind of action, subpoenas, arrests, indictments. menendez loudly and repeatedly denied he had done anything wrong. no further details came out for the rest of the campaign. that lack of any public follow-up combined with the strongly anti-republican tide of 2006 in new jersey's generally blue tint were more than enough to save menendez. the investigation hung over his head until it officially ended in 2011, menendez never had to gr grapple with questions about it after that brief eruption in the 2006 campaign. new jersey political circles, some quietly asked what had previously been an unthinkable question. had christie been trying to give a hand to the republican candidate? the son of tom cain senir.,
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christie's own political mentor. certainly there was no proof of it and there still isn't any. it was the first time that an investigation by christie produce this had kind of question. the suspicions were further raised in the months after the 2006 election. president george w. bush's justice department came under scrutiny for playing politics with its u.s. attorneys. >> the attorney general and the firestorm tonight over the controversial dismissal of several federal prosecutors. was it political punishment? >> revelations emerged that u.s. attorneys around the country had been ranked according to their loyalty to the white house and its goals and in a surprisingly high number had been fired or at least placed on to be fired lists. and it turned out that twice in 2006 christie had appeared on informal lists of targeted u.s. attorneys. but that by the end of 2006, after the race, after it had been made mr. public at the height of the campaign,
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christie's name was no longer on that list and he wasn't fired. a clear link between the pressure to meddle in politics and the leak about the menendez investigation has never been established. christie has steadfastly maintained that politics had nothing to do with his actions. but it's an episode that veteran watchers of new jersey politics remember and that they are thinking about now as news of another investigation of menendez begins to emerge and it's an episode politics watchers are thinking back to as a story that received little attention just a few months ago suddenly getting a second look from the press and the public. this is the story of a man named bennett barland who for 16 years held the position of county prosecutor in new jersey, a quiet, almost bucolic swath of the western part of the state near the delaware river, one of the more republican counties in the state. it was big news in 2010 when he intighted the republican sheriff, deborah trout, and two of her deputy sheriffs.
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he accused trout of failing to conduct background checks and accused her team of making threats against a critic and a pharmaceutical employee with a fake badge. the reason behind what next happened is in dispute but there is no dispute about what next happened, what happened after bennett barland secured those indictments in 2010. christie's attorney general, paula dow, usurped control of the prosecutor's office, fired barland, went back to court the to tell a judge of the indictments contained, quote, legal and factual deficiencies. the indictments were then tossed out. the sheriff and deputies were in the clear legal ly. the christie administration has long contend that had barland was fired for, quote, legitimate business reasons. but this past week he was in court asking a state appeals panel to unseal documents that he says will prove the administration was trying to
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protect its political allies when it ended his investigation. the story has been out there for a while. it was a front page story in "the new york times" just a few weeks before the election. but it barely made a ripple. now, though, the media seems to be taking a second look. the image that christy has long cull valt ted, the reputation t helped to shield him when he went after menendez in 2006 and when the story of bennett barlyn was first told, that image, that reputation, they suddenly seem up for grabs as the george washington bridge scandal and the allegations raised by h hoboken mayor dawn zimmer play themselves out. why was bennett barlyn fired? was the christie administration just trying to protect its friends, even if it meant killing a serious corruption investigation? it seems to be a lot more interest in those questions now than a few months ago. we're going to talk about the
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changing political landscape that chris christie is suddenly navigating. first that huntington prosecutor who was fired by christie's administration. bennett barlyn is here and joins us at this table next. everything life throws my way. except for frown lines. those i'm throwing back. [ female announcer ] olay total effects. nourishing vitamins, and seven beautiful benefits in one. for younger-looking skin. so while your life may be ever-changing... ♪ ...your beautiful skin will stay beautiful. total effects from olay. your best beautiful. yeah... try new alka seltzer fruit chews. they work fast on heartburn and taste awesome.
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fell apart. what happened? >> absolutely. very quickly, 2008 the sheriff is elected. she hires as her under sheriff an individual with a checkered pass, subject of a state investigative report for wrongdoing. in his capacity as somebody in a worn chapter of the aspca. that's the first issue. immediately after assuming office, our office, the hunterdon county's office, receives information from an inside source of various wrongdoing in the office and an investigation commences. what's interesting, steve, is the first thing we do is contact the attorney general's office, who is the chief law enforcement office in new jersey, we need help here. there's a conflict. we have two law enforcement agencies who are going to go head-to-head in this investigation. we need your assistance. several letters were sent, and all of them were not responded to. so we were really left to pursue this on our own. and that becomes important later on. we obtain evidence.
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it unyou folds like any other criminal investigation. we talk to witnesses. a judge signs off on a search warrant. searches are conducted. more physical evidence is obtained. in 2010 after governor christie wins his first term, members of our office go to the attorney general's office and inform then attorney general dow that this case is right for presentation to the grand jury. and the evidence is presented, and attorney general dow, this isn't disputed, gichs the green light to go forward. our head of special investigations, a very experienced prosecutor named bill mcgovern begins presenting the case to the grand jury. a case in march of 2010, the grand jury returns the indictment, 43-count indictment, along with a very lengthy, detailed report called the presentment which provides information about wrongdoing that doesn't rise to the level
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of crippminal acts. >> you have now got an indictment? >> absolutely. a 43-count indictment. >> when the administration -- when this becomes news, the attorney general comes in and takes over your office. >> exactly. the very day the indictments are unsealed our prosecutor is compelled to resign. somebody from trenton is installed, and the dismantling of the case begins. evidence is shipped from trenton -- i'm sorry, from hunterdon to trenton. the lead prosecutor is essentially removed from the case two weeks before the dismissal and finally on august 23, 2010, the head of the corruption bureau of the attorney general's office marches into court and claims that there were numerous factual issues with the indictment and it's dismissed. that day i complained to the acting prosecutor. clearly there are political influences involved. legally there's no way all 43 counts could be dismissed. the next day i'm suspended
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without explanation. asked for an explanation, told i'm not entitled to one. give my access cards in. three weeks later i get a one sentence dismissal letter from the division of criminal justice. >> so you right now are in the process of suing through the state appeals court where you want the testimony that you it shall you want the case you presented to this grand jury to be made public because you want people to see this was a strong case that did not deserve to be quashed. >> the story you mentioned in the "new york times" had four grand jurors all separately interviewed who said there's nothing wrong with this case. it was a very compelling case. the prosecutor was meticulous and so were we. moreover, that prosecutor, as well as our first assistant at the time, have all agreed with our contention that the case was improperly dismissed for political reasons. i was the one who was fired. >> the situation is you're trying to get these records unsealed. i was reading the stories about
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it this weekend. there was skepticism from the judges. so if that doesn't happen, the question is, is there -- is there a different way of going about proving your case? for instance, have you talked to the u.s. attorney at all? >> you know, that's a question -- funny thing on the other side that i'm reluctant to answer at this point. if i did are or didn't, i assume that their preference is i not disclose that. we have also been reached out to by this joint legislative committee and we're very eager to cooperate if, in fact, there are questions posed about what owe can kurd in hunterdon. so clearly we're willing to participate in providing a public airing out what have occurred. there's plenty of evidence direct and circumstantial that justifies, i think, an investigation beyond the case that i'm presenting in civil court. >> it's a story, as you said, that's been reported before. what i'm finding is the media in the political world is a lot more interested in this now than
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it was a few months ago. so we'll be tracking it and we'll talk to you again as this progresses. >> thank you very much. >> i want to thank our guest, ben barlyn, for joining us. ♪ ♪ [ female announcer ] with five perfectly sweetened whole grains... you can't help but see the good. there's nothing like being your own boss! and my customers are really liking your flat rate shipping. fedex one rate. really makes my life easier. maybe a promotion is in order. good news. i got a new title. and a raise? management couldn't make that happen. [ male announcer ] introducing fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex. [ screaming ] ♪
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powerful nighttime 6 symptom cold and flu relief. ♪ all right. we're back with the panel to talk a little bit about what we heard from ben barlyn about this hunterdon county situation. you covered this story we just told on the air. you wrote about it for "the times" a couple weeks before the election. what's interesting to me is there's a lot to this story, it sounds like, and yet it didn't get much traction when you wrote it back then. i imagine in this climate now people are a lot more interested in this all of a sudden. >> it didn't fit the narrative, right? christie was, notwithstanding, that the george washington bridge was happening around that time, still very much in control of his narrative, right? so this kind of a story struck, i think, a lot of people as an outlier. it's kind of weird. it's kind of murky. it seems kind of weird. what's going on?
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and i think that now, right, it feels like something that's much more part of the central nervous system, of christie and his political machine. >> and i wonder, paul, the christie image in new jersey that sort of brought him to power in new jersey was this law and order guy, this it guy who was anti-public corruption. he was the crusader against public corruption. and i ran a piece there. i've always been a little suspicious with the menendez investigation in 2006. but then the story of hunterdon county cuts to the image of the alfwags here of basically the governor's office coming in and killing the investigation to protect republican bastion, to protect republicans. >> it's very strange story because the republicans themselves were split on this and, you know, to me it's more of an argument for getting rid of the elective office of sheriff. they're in politics and they do all these things. by jersey standards, trout was nothing.
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middlesex county, they're still finding people who paid to get their jobs from their county sheriff who is still in jail. i think that the bigger picture there is that all of these things are coming back in and i think the sandy thing is what will kill them. that's the federal money, using federal money for local political purposes will be the problem. >> there's a really big picture here that a prominent lower, jay haddon, told me about. let's go back to his history as u.s. attorney. you're right. big crime buster. public corruption. but there were the cases that shouldn't have been brought. joe doria, the former assembly speaker, a democrat, had his reputation and his career just thrown through the mud. he was never indicted but he had his house searched. you had the mayor of ridgefield, and th anthony suarez, caught up with some other mayors who were convicted but he was not convicted. he got off in a trial.
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he said, look, i'm innocent. that was part that have same investigation, that operation. so now you have to question, well, how flawed was this whole attack on the political establishment, this perceived corrupt political establishment? and what haden says to me is, brian, you are now starting to look at -- if you go back to that, if you go back to everything, hunterdon county, from sandy money, from what happened at the bridge, from some of these other things coming out and you have to think is there some overarching conspiracy involved within the christie administration to play politics in a nefarious sense. we all know there's politics played. but in a very nefarious sense with the body politic of new jersey. >> and to pick up on that point, it really does go to the core -- when you look at something like hunterdon, when you look at the
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pipeline, there was a very kind of, if you will, sort of this southern jersey this strange thing where the attorney general all after sudden comes in and says potentially a swing vote for this pipeline, oh, you need to recuse yourself at risk of a $10,000 fine, there's this highly -- this high politicalization of things like the attorney general's office that i think should concern a the lot of people and does seem like a real thread that runs throughout the christie did -- >> and it's revisiting, to me, his rise as the u.s. attorney. we forget he was a politician before he was u.s. attorney. it really was no secret all along that a he wanted to become governor after being u.s. attorney. and so you start lacki ilookingt these cases and what was the strategy at play? heather, we'll give you the final word. [ male announcer ] here's a question for you:
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all right. it's my fault we ran way too long this hour. we have to call it quits for the hour. we'll be back with new material at 9:00. i want to thank paul mulshine. we will be trying to convince 2,000 pages of documents, testimony, in had the clearest, most concise time line of the five days in september that started the biggest scandal chris christie is now facing next. i have the flu,
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♪ [ male announcer ] introducing the bold, all-new nissan rogue with intuitive all-wheel drive. because winter needs a hero. ♪ the george washington bridge
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scann scandal has exploded in two stages, at least so far. the first came when officials at the bridge at the port authority testified before the new jersey assembly's transportation committee back in december. the second came in early january with the mass rae lease elease messages released by the committee, a massive document dump full of open political scheming by a community by top christie staffers. just one problem, though. the pages are not in chronological order and there are 2,000 of them, which is a lot to comb through and make sense of. one important thing could happen on page 577. the next event as it occurred in real life, you may have to go back to page 19 to find that. while the assembly testimony is in chronological order it's also very, very long. so this week we embarked on our own bold project to try to put all of those pages and e-mails and texts and it testimony into a chronological and comprehensive time line to walk you through exactly what happened that fateful week of
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september 9-13 of last year when ft. lee's traffic was deliberately ground to a halt. to return to the root of the scandal, to understand what was going on in real time and to identify all of the questions this chain of events raises. and there might still be more shoes to drop, 20 subpoenas were issued by the legislative's new joint investigative committee. they're due back starting tomorrow but we're about to show you from the most extensive public record that currently exists. as you no doubt have seen, bridget kelly's time for traffic problems e-mail went out last august 13. david wailed steen replied to that e-mail, got it. publicly available records offer a few clues about how we got from that exchange to the actual closure of the lanes a few weeks later on august 21. wildstein asks to talk with robert durando. he was asked whether there was a formal written memorandum of understanding with ft. lee about
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the three access lanes. by august 28, a week later, wildstein has requested the chief traffic engineer rivera has prepared a mock-up of three different traffic scenarios including cutting down ft. lee's lanes from three to two. chief engineer peter zip forwards it to wildstein noting it could be to merge down to only one lane. that's, quote, if needed. and friday, september 6, according to testimony from both durando and fulton, the director of the bridges, tunnels, and terminals department, wildstein directs them to go ahead with the test. he has a condition that they not inform officials in ft. lee. supposedly because talking to them about the sudden change would taint the experiment. on sunday, september 8, wildstein e-mails him to say he will be right there at the bridge. he will be there to view this new lane test. the traffic monday morning was
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predictably slow and jammed. the initial reaction from the locals was swift. matthew bell e-mails baroni that ft. lee mayor mark sokolich is calling about, quote, an urgent matter of public safety in ft. lee. baroni forwards that e-mail to wildstein who replies simply, radio silence. 11:24 a.m., port authority staffer tina latto e-mails that a ft. lee council administrator is calling to say police are having problems responding to calls including one about a missing child. and that ambulances can't get through either. traffic is at a complete standstill in the city of ft. lee to dangerous effect. one hour later, the bridge director durando is writing his chief traffic engineer about angry calls from drivers and the ft. lee police chief that the test is, quote, a monumental failure. now it takes us to tuesday morning, day two, the test continues anyway. baroni sends wildstein a copy of
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a text he's received from ft. lee mayor mark sokolich about those four lanes merging into only one toll booth. writes the bigger problem is getting kids to school. help me, please. it's maddening. wildstein forwards it to someone else who wonders, is it wrong that i am smiling? wildstein replies, no. when the other person says back, i feel badly about the kids, i guess. wildstein writes, they are the children of blono voters, the person challenging christie for governor. saturday, september 12, day four of that test, and on that day three very big things happen. first, a preliminary version of some sort of traffic study of this supposed test is being prepared. you can see it there. a capital letters early assessment of the benefits of the trial. all in all an estimated 11,592 vehicles on the highway approach to the bridge saved a total of
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966 vehicle driver time. those using the ft. lee time lost an estimated 2,800 vehicle hours of delay. that is the equivalent of 117 days of time spent snarled in traffic. second major thing to happen on september 12 is ft. lee mayor mark sokolich writing a very pointed letter to bill baroni. he writes only to baroni, not to anyone else, and says he hopes that the lane closure will be, quote, reversed quietly, uneventfully, and without political fanfare. i have incessantly attempted to contact port authority representatives to no avail, he writes. would you please be good enough to please have someone contact me or the police chief bendul to discuss this policy change and what we must do to reverse it. plain and simple. query, what do i do when our $1 billion redevelopment is put online at the end of next year? a traffic reporter is starting to ask questions for his road warrior column, road closures are a big story.
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pat foye will later tem the assembly committee word the press was looking into the lane closures on the bridge on the fourth day was the first time he had ever heard they were happening which brings to us friday, september 13, when the whole stunt comes to an end. foye sends out this infamous e-mail which has become known as the foye memo at 7:44 a.m. he tells agency officials he is canceling the closures, which he believes actually violate federal and state laws and that, quote, i will get to the bottom of this abusive decision which violates everything this agency stands for. but the narrative isn't quite over. the first thing that bill baroni, port authority official, the first thing hes to in response to foye's member open at 7:51 a.m. that morning, is to e-mail port authority chairman david samson on the side asking him to call him about this. and then at 8:04, durando notifies him the lanes have been restored. a little over 20 minutes later
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foye says, thanks, he wants to set up a meeting to get the word out. at this time baroni is appare apparently very concerned about what might be made public. so he e-mails foye, quote, pat, we need to discuss prayer to any communications. oochs foye responds, quote, bill, we are going to fix this f fiasco. i am on my way to the office to discuss. there can be no public discourse. to which foye replies, bill, that's precisely the problem. there has been no public discourse on this. by midafternoon they will agree on a statement to deliver about a traffic study that they are working with local law enforcement. about the same time all of this is going on "the bergen record" is running its story, closed toll booths causing a commuting disaster. mark sokolich is starting to air his suspicions in public. i've asked the port for a response. i thought we had a good relationship. now i'm wondering if there's something i did wrong. am i being sent some sort of a
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message? finally on friday, this. wildstein e-mails bridget kelly the lanes were given back to ft. lee. we are appropriately going nuts, he tells her. samson helping us to retaliate. 20 minutes later he tells her this. fixed now. what exactly was fixed now? it's not like the lanes were taken away again. we do know that in the days to come david samson was not happy about how the lane closures played out. he was very angry with pat foye, samson seems to be convince that had foye is responsible for leaking stories to "the wall street journal." very unfortunate for new york/new jersey relations, he writes. reckless, counterproductive behavior, that he rides in on a white horse to save the day. again, all of that talk about reckless behavior and being bad for cross state relations has to do with the way foye has stopped the traffic experiment and allegedly talking to the press not with the lane closures themselves. there are more subpoenaed
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documents that could be coming out in the next few days and weeks including from both david samson and bridget kelly. there is still a lot more to learn. when it comes out, we'll be combing through all of those pages, too. here to discuss this time line, what we know now, what questions it raises, where it all leads us, wnbc's brian thomson, nick, the editor and publisher of a weekly inside news report on new jersey politics, heather haddon, her paper pops up in that time line we just read, michael powell from "the new york times". and, heather, i'll start with you, reporting this story from the beginning, if you can take us back to that time to the closures themselves, to the days after the closures, the kind of interactions were you having with new jersey, the new york side of the port authority. what was that like? >> well, and also with the christie administration there was a lot of pushback about this story, characterizing it as ridiculous basically.
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but you see the split between the new york side and the new jersey side of the port authority here. pat foye being angry about these closures. and very explicit about it in that e-mail. that e-mail was written, i think, for a reason, talking about breaking state and federal laws and needing to reverse that immediately. so, yeah, there was a lot of ambiguity and when you see those documents it's really interesting to see their internal communications about this. the new jersey side of the port authority really being upset about this coming out and blaming the new york side. >> and there are longstanding tensions at the port authority and there are these turf wars going on. one of the things that comes through to me when i'm reading the documents, you seep the idea of a traffic study or test when people on the new york side are often using the quote marks like "the test." "the study."
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like they know it's not really a test or a study. >> there's also a lot of confusion that a you can see about why they are conducting this study and what it is proving. there's e-mails they are saying, we're not quite sure what we're documenting here. there are slides in there that seem to document some kind of evidence from this traffic study but what it means they don't seem to know. >> here is the thing i still find confusing and if anybody can help me out on this i would appreciate this and i make this appeal to the christie administration as well. there was data that was formalized. you showed a slide of the cover sheet of it and they had reams of, seemed like, information about cars and time frames. now they also broke it down into political legislative districts in one of those breakdowns. but this was within three days of the first shutdown. i think it was the 12th is when they had that early assessment you emphasized. what was that all about? if they were trying to mess
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around a with somebody, whether it was the development, a politician, the mayor, why did they go to the effort? i think whatever role governor christie did or did not have, i think he was clearly referring to that in his two-hour news conference a few weeks ago about, well, i don't know. maybe there was a study. there was something. >> it raises the question. to collect data on a daily basis no matter what whether there's a test or study going on or not, the question raised to he me, was there -- did they want to have some kind of test in place so if they get caught they can say, hey, look, we were having a test, or did they want to have data they could use for some other purpose? >> far be it for me to accuse someone of covering up but -- but -- the port authority -- everybody misunderstands the port authority. it is a massive bureaucracy.
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studies don't just happen. studies are in the planning stages for fave yeaive years be they're implemented. this was ad hoc. the port authority doesn't do things ad hoc. >> this was not a tradition al traffic study. >> not at all. >> we say there were tensions between the two sides. everything you see in the testimony, everything you see in the e-mails about keep the new york side out of this completely, keep ft. lee out of this completely. >> you have to understand the level of, how shall we say, hatred that existed between foye and some of the people on the new jersey side. and foye is one of the great bureaucratic infighters of all time. if there were a hall of fame of bureaucratic infighters he would be a first-round pick. they were completely outmatched by him. >> have they made up by now? >> no. >> we have more questions -- this raises more to get to from this time line. play a little g. which 4g lte map has the most coverage? this isn't real difficult.
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something else that jumped out at me in some of these documents is that one of the bridge officials, i forgot who it was that testified, he had several interactions with wildstein, and he said multiple times in those few years wildstein had brought up, had raised the issue of what he called the ft. lee only lanes. now we know that's a misnomer. this is not just ft. lee traffic. this is not a special deal for ft. lee. this is a vital way of getting across the bridge for people who live -- the locals who live all around that area. but it -- we keep asking the question of why. it seems to me that this thing might go back a lot further than the august 13 time for some traffic e-mails if such a
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relatively small detail for port authority official is on his mind for a few years. >> well, yeah. you have this billion dollar development, right, that is talked about down there. and i must say i, when i first heard that, go with the easy conspiracy, right? it made sense. but on the other hand you do start to wonder. real estate is, particularly in new jersey, kind of the root of all -- >> evil. evil is the word. evil. >> that is the word i was looking for. so it is the root of all evil. you have a ton of money sitting down there and you wonder why is this political operative thinking about cutting lanes at a time that there's enormous development. there's going to be more and more traffic on that side of the river. there's all kinds of little pressure points you can put on trying to get mezzanine financing, and all after sudden they're starting to play with the traffic. it certainly begs a whole series of interesting questions. it's that why thing. >> my problem with that theory
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is that i still only see dots. i don't see a picture. it doesn't look like a picture yet. there are lots of dots but they're not connected for me yet. i'm with you. your original position, the s simplest answer is very often the real answer. and it could just be a rogue operation. it could be a whole lot of things. we don't know. everyone at the table keeps asking what? we don't know what happened. >> we did a thing on the show a few weeks ago, and i tried very hard to say this is not a theory. i know some of you picked it up, steve kornacki's theory. it's not because i don't have the motive and i don't connect those dots. i just say mark sokolich and ft. lee becomes a lot more interesting to a the lot more people when you attach a billion dollar redevelopment project to it. so i think it raised some questions worth getting into. the other thing talking about this during the break, brian, the role of david samson in all of this. and david samson basically we show some of the e-mails there, you know, samson is retaliating.
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samson is firing off this furious e-mail to foye. the first thought baroni has when he realizes, whoa, we might be into it here, david samson, the chairman of the port authority, christie's top ally, his fingerprints are all over this. >> samson, the former attorney general of new jersey under a democrat who has played both sides of the political parties in new jersey very well over the past -- >> nobody else has ever done that. >> thank you. >> i mean, come on. >> well, let's put it this way, he's gotten rich off of it. >> no one else has ever done that either. >> you keep shooting me down. >> i'm sorry. i'm sorry. >> but this is what i find interesting in this kind of like cone of silence that has developed since all of this has been breaking is that the chairman of the port authority who has refused to respond to loretta weinberg, the state senator who is now co-chair of the investigative committee, a refused to respond to her, refused to give her any kind of lip service whatsoever, all we have on him are, in essence, incriminating communications.
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he has yet to come out and say, you know, this was wrong. >> we've heard him say the leak from pat foye was wrong, pat foye was play iing in traffic i the term he used. >> i'm waiting for the former attorney general of new jersey to say, this was wrong. >> we're going to get that ch s chance because he's been subpoenaed. >> and the port authority board meeting is coming up in february. the ripple effect of this controversy is already happening. in hoboken, which has also been linked with this, his legal firm has been severed from that development. we have the port authority commissioners saying they might take some action against david samson. he's going to face, if he goes to the meeting, he will face some real scrutiny. >> we've had loretta weinberg religiously showing up at the port authority meetings. i think a the lot of media people, the most heavily attended meeting ever. be very interesting to see david
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samson try to chair that. heather haddon, michael powell, wnbc's brian thompson, nick, the winter olympics are just days away. to get us in the mood, i strapped on my skates. actually they were rental skates. we'll talk about politics. i made a complete fool of myself for some reason we'll show you next. when you order the works you want everything. an expert ford technician knows your car's health depends on a full, complete checkup. the works. because when it comes to feeling safe behind the wheel, going the distance and saving at the pump you want it all. get our multi-point inspection with a a synthetic blend oil change, tire rotation, brake inspection and more for $29.95 or less. get a complete vehicle checkup. only at your ford dealer. ♪ yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! ♪ we are one, under the sun ♪ under the sun...
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[ carmel ] that drives me nuts. it gives me anxiety just thinking about how crazy they get. [ doorbell rings ] [ daughter ] oh, wow. [ carmel ] swiffer wetjet. you guys should try this. it's so easy. oh, my. [ gasps ] i just washed this floor. if i didn't see it i wouldn't believe it. [ carmel ] it did my heart good to see you cleaning. [ regina ] yeah, your generation has all the good stuff. [ daughter ] oh, yeah. [ male announcer ] campbell's homestyle soup with farm grown veggies. just like yours. huh. [ male announcer ] and roasted white meat chicken. just like yours.
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[ male announcer ] you'll think it's homemade. i love this show. [ male announcer ] try campbell's homestyle soup. i have a big meeting when we land, but i am so stuffed up, i can't rest. [ male announcer ] nyquil cold and flu liquid gels don't unstuff your nose. they don't? alka seltzer plus night fights your worst cold symptoms, plus has a decongestant. [ inhales deeply ] oh. what a relief it is. the miracle on ice when i was a little can kid is i actually made it east through an entire year of youth hockey. this week my producers asked to get a photo in the hockey program. but i was too lazy to look. this is zach miles instead. he has some real talent. anyway, the reason this all came up has to do with the winter olympics which are set to start next week in sochi, russia, and hockey obviously will be one of the marquee events with those
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competing for dmroglory of thei nations. some will be airing here on msnbc so we figured as a way of wetting your appetite we would combine hockey with politics. who better than mike quigley of i wi illinois. he represents a chicago-based seat, a seat ram emanuel used to hold, and sits on the appropriations committee. more importantly, he is also the co-chairman of the congressional hockey caucus. y yes, there is a congressional hockey caucus. john kerry used to play in their games. anthony w anthony weiner, too, actually. recently congressman quigley was nice enough to take me out on the ice at the center in bro brooklyn's prospect park. i think i held my own but i'd better let you be the judge of it. here we go. now we're moving. i feel like i should have brought a helmet. >> you're not going to learn if you don't make mistakes. >> oh, boy. here we go. >> nice, smooth motion.
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like you're going to run. >> yep. >> you want to have that same burst. >> all right. >> we formed a hockey caucus, the congressional hockey caucus to advance the game and, for me, principally that means providing greater access to the sport for all kids. arthur ashe said something that struck me when i thought about hockey. he said, tennis shouldn't be a country club sport. kids in the inner city should be able to play. men and women who have come back from afghanistan or iraq with purple hearts, legs missing, arms missing. the usa warriors. those folks use hockey as therapy, as fun, as exercise. we play them in a game once a year. we try to advance the issues and causes that they're facing. >> why is it so hard to work with house republicans today?
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>> i think the rank and file. it's not -- i mean, we were meeting with the no labels folks and charlie dent and we had meetings all during the shutdown with the bipartisan working groups. and i think there were solutions there. there was a willing neness. i just think that the tea party skewed things to the right. i've talked to tea party folks before the shutdown and i said what's the speaker going to do? and they disdainfully said, it's not up to him. right? so he said on national tv he's not the leader. he just follows what people want. if it's just the majority vote, then he ought to go with the rank and file. >> last year we have all the stats about what an unproductive year it was for congress. what would change -- what would make 2014 any different? do you think anything will? >> i think if you -- it just depends how far speaker boehner will take what he said at the end of the year when he pushed back on the tea party and said
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we passed this budget bill with representative ryan's help because it was the right thing to do. ok okay. that's the case, let's pass it on. let's get back to regular order. i'm an appropriator. let's appropriate. let's have some relevance here. >> by the way, i think we're picking up speed. >> it is all time on ice. >> i feel like i should challenge to you a race here. >> when i tore my hamstring -- >> i fell the way you told me to fall congressman mike quigley is not just a sportsman but a really good sport. up next the big event that's probably bigger than sochi. we'll be placing bets, some weird and unusual wagers on tonight's super bowl. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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the super bowl has become one giant national collection of rig rituals and traticians. there's the game itself. tonight's broncos/seahawks game the 48th. the then there are the commercials. the one night out of the year americans actually turn up the volume when the ads come on. and there are all the parties at homes, at restaurants, at bars. a sunday night in the middle of the winter transformed into an excuse to socialize, to drink, to stuff yourself silly. and, have i mentioned the bedding? since everything about the super bowl is bigger, tonight offers not just a chance to place a wager, if you're interested the broncos are a two-point favorite. many americans, some legal hadly in vegas, some not so legally, will be making bets on that line tonight. and that's the least of it. if you have a taste for betting,
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the super bowl offers you the chance to make hundreds of side wages, prop bets. some are fairly straightforward like how many touchdowns will broncos quarterback peyton manning throw? how many total yards will the broncos rush for? how many will the seahawks rush for? how much will each running back collect? manning himself score a touchdown? and it if he does, will it be a rushing touchdown or a receiving touchdown? you can probably get some pretty good odds on the second one. how many times will peyton manning's brother, eli, be shown on tv? that is where the prop bets start crossing over into the absurd. something that gives the super bowl its unique flavor. will any members of the red-hot chili peppers be shirtless during their performance? will opera singer renee fleming be wearing gloves? will the word marijuana be said
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during the game since recreational pot use was legalized about by the home states of both teams in colorado and washington. last year a record 99 $99 million was bet in nevada. if you can't make it out to vegas or don't want to place bets online, there's the everpresent office pool. buying a square that match the final score of the game. this might take home enough to afford a couple meals at my favorite mexican restaurant, or so i'm told. the point spreads come with super sunday that bring to the surface an aspect league officials don't like to talk about. how neatly the game of football syncs up with gambling. joining me to talk about the intersection of the two, selena
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roberts, a former sportswriter and founder and ceo of a digital sports network. the hall of famer harry carson who played with the new york giants for more than a decade which does include a super bowl win. congratulations on that. mike is a sports reporter for the npr. waiting for his first super bowl victory, i think. in las vegas johnny is the executive director of the racing sports operations for the casino wind las vegas. thank you for joining us. the gambling aspect of super sunday, i've talked to so many people who aren't just talking about do you think it's the seahawks or the broncos or what about the point spread, the two-point spread, and it occurs to me that more than any other sport football seems c conducive -- it's a once a week event. it seems to me this sport, more than any other, this is a sport that a lot of good interest does come from gambling.
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>> it's so easy. i have a hippy young sister. she knits, grows vegetables. when he she started playing fantasy football, her life changed. she is suddenly calling me up, is ladainian tomlinson a good pick for me this week? what do you think? it is almost a bonding thing that people do now. whether it's fantasy football or they want a place a fun bet. you mentioned bruno mars' hat. what selection will he make? that's a prop, too. it's brought in a huge, broad audien audience. it's not something nfl likes to talk about. it's the dark side. they are the prohibitionists who like to run the moonshine on the side. gambling is a foundation they don't like to talk about but it's there. >> it's something i notice if i go to a sports bar on nfl sunday, mike, a good chunk of people, well, i have this parlay going or i have this team in this game with four points.
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if it you are there for an nba game, major league baseball game, they are not talking about gambling the way they are with the nfl. the nfl has embraced that. it's official fantasy leagues but the illegal except in las vegas form of gambling. the reason people bet on football, nfl football, they love watching nfl football. they like betting on the ncaa tournament. it's a chicken and egg thing. i take the chicken plus two and a half. >> i'm not really into gambling. actually at my age now i still don't know what over and under is all about. >> well, it's dangerous territory for players.
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is it something that -- i will ask you this, though. were you aware, were your teammates aware you are playing the cowboys and you were seven-point underdogs? is there an awareness of that? >> it's more of who is the underdog and who is the favorite. there's more of an incentive to kick the team's rear end and you don't even understand where are that is coming from. you just understand that you are the underdog and people will be betting for you or betting against you. but feeling or assuming that underdog role, you want to prove people wrong. >> nobody believes you're a ten-point underdog or anything like that. let me ask johnny out in las vegas, probably the biggest day of the year in las vegas, johnny. tell us about what kind of action you guys are going to be taking today on this game. >> well, we opened the game a couple sundays ago as a
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one-point favorite and it has swung to the broncos, the two and a half point favorite. and i'll tell you what the progression is of that move. it goes from seattle one to denver one. that was the first move of significant money. and then from one to two and from two to two and a half when that move happened about a week ago, eight days ago, it has stayed at two and a half. and the influx of denver money has been overwhelming versus seattle money. at this point here we are on super bowl sunday, about 25% to 30% of all the money is in and today we're going to take the biggest share. so today is the day that's going to decide who we're going to need by kickoff. >> and i think a lot of people wonder when they look at how does the sports bookie like you make money on a game like this, is it because the -- do you have to get lucky? are the bets weighted to one team, you need the other team to
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win, or is it these proposition bets we were talking about at the beginning, you know, what color shirt is the halftime show person going to wear? is that where you make the money? how you actually make money if you've got something you can't really control who is betting which team? >> we're actually going to have to be fortunate or lucky as you said. what we have going for us in the sports book, any sports bettor knows, is that the house has its b bigger issue to juice which if you're going to bet on either side you have to put you up 110 to win 100. over the course of time that works for us. it doesn't necessarily have to work for us on a particular day like today. so we -- i'm going to go back to your statement and say the books need to get lucky today. >> we'll find out what it would take for you to get lucky today. we'll ask about that and more about some of these fun side wagers. ing to play a little game. which 4g lte map has the most coverage?
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lisa simpson, would you like to read your essay? >> the happiest day of my life was three sundays ago. i was sitting on my daddy's knee when the saints, who are 4 1/2-point favorites but only up by three, kicked a meaningless field goal at the last second to cover the spread. >> dear god. >> one of my favorite simpsons moments. the super bowl with peyton manning involved, i have to share one of my favorite family stories. when peyton manning, i believe, was last in the super bowl against the new orleans saints in it would 20 10, my grandmother was 88 years old. had always been a football fan. grandma, we don't know exactly why, became a big peyton manning fan in her last couple years. and so she called around on super sunday and said she wanted to put $100 on the colts in that game. they did not win. i don't think anyone collected from grandma.
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from a player's stand point, asa motivational tool, the point spread is there. there's an awareness of it. is it something you hear from the fans? if you guys didn't cover the spread but won the game would giants fans tell you, that late touchdown, that meaningless field goal as time expired. >> you will have people slip up and say, you bums, you won the game but you didn't cover the spread. and they are angry because they had money invested in the game. but for us as players we play and could careless what the final score is. we have to win by one point. some people get very, very upset because they've lost money. >> yeah, yeah. and, like i say, it seems more in football than other sports. let's take a look at some of these proposition bets, though. some of these i get a real kick out of. what color will the fwgatorade,r liquid, be that is dumped on the
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winning coach? orange, clear/water, yellow, red, blue, green. do we know? is there a smart bet here? >> one of the online sites gives you hot chocolate. >> third degree burns. >> horrible. >> and then you have a secondary, what hospital will the coach be rushed to after. >> you have to have a variety of flavors, you know. when i got parcells in super bowl xxi i got him with orange first and then i came back with a second and it was ice water. >> to wash out the orange? you started it. >> it was the best free publicity anyone could have gotten. >> gatorade in the off-season given you -- >> bags here and there. >> i always felt poor parcells late in the season, those december games. >> he loved it because he knew that if he was getting a fwat raid shower, the team was winning.
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it's better to have a shower. >> better wet than dry. here is another that i like. it's a bet on who the super bowl mvp will mention first in his speech. the odds of this one, teammates, even money there, god, 3-1, fans, 11-2. other team 10-1. family 10-1. coach, owner 25-1. none of the above 9-2. a lot of options there. what would you go with? >> i don't want to bet against god. that's probably not a good thing. in nascar they would name their sponsor first. they have their priority. usually the family, their team mates, things like that. to place a bet, that's a tough one. >> sounds like you want better odds on god. johnny, let me ask you about these side bets. how do you guys come up with these odds that you assign to them? where are you getting them from?
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>> well, firstly, although those bets you mentioned are very cute, they are not the bets that we do in the state of nevada. in the state of nevada we in the state of nevada governed by the state board. those bets you just mentioned someone knows the outcome before we do. that's a problem for us here in the state. so, the bets that we do are formulated by stats that happen during the course of the year, through maybe, maybe games during the year or games in the playoffs that have already been played. basically all on stats. we have our share of different bets. one of mine would be all the advantage jersey of all the average players to score a touchdown. but that is going to be played out on the field and that might find a bet like lebron james versus manning. now, lebron james played against
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the knicks last night and the prop was his total points, rebounds and assists versus manning's attempts. and lebron was a 1.5 point or unit favorite. last night he had 30 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists. 45. so, peyton manning has to reach 44 today to beat that total. and, so, they're the type of props we do. we do crossovers. but everything needs to be played out on the field and needs to be a stat sheet at the end. >> i think i'll take lebron in that bet. but did some research on the length of the national anthem. and you can offer some mock of the week. >> mock of the week, but renee fleming, everyone thinks she is an opera singer and she will go long and stretch out the notes. 2:25 is the length of it. but she's singing to a backing track. that's already been recorded. so, every member of the new
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jersey symphony will know the answer. they know exactly how long they played with. this is not in the future, that's why las vegas can't take a bet like that. >> that's not going to be determined on the field. i want to thank johnny, big day for you guys. what should we know for today? our answer is we're going to ask for super bowl predictions. but we'll do that when we come back. as a police officer, i've helped many people in the last 23 years, but i needed help in quitting smoking. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix varenicline is proven to help people quit smoking. chantix reduced the urge for me to smoke. it actually caught me by surprise. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking, or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of mental-health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it.
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i guess we get predictions. go against that two-point spread or not. mike, we'll start with you. >> if you look at super bowl history. the team that turns the other one over more than they give it up has won four super bowls. seattle is really good at winning the turnover battle. win the turnover battle, therefore, i think they'll win the game, but really close. salina? >> i like a good redemption story. he dropped a huge pass and
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patriots could have won the super bowl with that pass play. peyton to wes welker. going denver. >> winning a game comes down to one yard. when you get to this point, winning a game comes down to an inch sometimes. and, so, i don't know which team is going to have that advantage. so, i'm just going to stay neutral as a former player and enjoy what i see this afternoon with the guys on the football. >> close game, though. >> close game. >> won't be a blowout, definitely. >> i don't really like the other team, but i like the underdog. i'll go with the seahawks in this one. i want to thank mike, selena and harry. we are off next week, sadly. some sporting events take over from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. saturday and sunday, olympics bumping us. but, first, melissa harris-perry who will be here. naturally this saints fan has a full show about sports, politics
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and culture. melissa and i will revisit the moment that occurred on live tv after i rubbed in too much my team beat her team this year. neither of our teams are playing tonight. stick around, it's next. ire? then we gave each person a ribbon to show how many years that amount might last. i was trying to, like, pull it a little further. [ woman ] got me to 70 years old. i'm going to have to rethink this thing. it's hard to imagine how much we'll need for a retirement that could last 30 years or more. so maybe we need to approach things differently, if we want to be ready for a longer retirement. ♪
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and that's a big reason why the u.s. is a world leader in reducing co2 emissions. take the energy quiz. energy lives here. ♪ this morning, my question. is richard sherman in the tradition of mohamm mohammeuham. the marijuana push creating a haze around the super bowl. but, first, as rod said to jerry, show me the money! good morning, i'm melissa harris-perry. today is not just any given sunday. today is going to be all about football because it is super

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