Ex-Official: Christie Illegally Blabbed About Grand Jury

David Wildstein gives sworn statement saying NJ governor divulged secret info
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2015 8:19 AM CDT
Ex-Official: Christie Illegally Blabbed About Grand Jury
In this May 28, 2015, file photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks in Pemberton, NJ.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

Chris Christie's decision to run for president may have to wait as he deals with a new legal distraction. A sworn statement by David Wildstein, the ex-Port Authority official accused of shutting down lanes to the George Washington Bridge in 2013, not only seems to show that Wildstein regularly had conversations with others in Christie's administration (meaning he wasn't the "lone wolf" Christie portrays him as)—it also alleges Christie casually mentioned to some of his cronies details of a grand jury proceeding he had overseen, a violation of federal law, the New York Times reports. At the meeting Wildstein said he attended in Christie's office in June 2010, with Christie and other members of the governor's inner circle in attendance, the governor reportedly informed Port Authority officials they were to fire Arthur Cifelli, who held two high-up roles with the agency, and replace him with Gerard Speziale, then Passaic County's sheriff.

One of the reasons Christie gave for the firing, per Wildstein's statement: The governor reportedly said he "would not have Cifelli working for his administration" due to the fact he perjured himself during grand jury proceedings for a case involving John Lynch, an ex-Senate president for New Jersey. The Times notes that, except in rare circumstances that don't seem to apply here, one may not ID someone who has testified in a grand jury case. Wildstein's statement says there may be more to come, including other "documents to be produced for inspection." Meanwhile, Christie's spokesman, who calls Wildstein's claims "legal jockeying," tells the Times that "anyone suggesting the governor disclosed grand jury information is either lying or mistaken." (Recent reaction to Christie's possible presidential run is lukewarm at best.)

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