Politics Trump's Tubby Chum Might Be Screwed

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by diggitydank1968, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. diggitydank1968

    diggitydank1968 Well-Known Member

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/20/nyregion/bridgegate-trial.html?_r=0

    NEWARK — Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey knew that three of his top officials were involved in a plan to shut down lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge as it was happening and that the closings were intended to punish a local mayor for declining to support him, federal prosecutors said on Monday.

    The assertion was an unexpected and startling beginning to the trial of two former Christie administration officials charged with closing the lanes in 2013 and then covering it up. And it was a surprising claim because of the side of the courtroom it came from, as lawyers made opening statements.

    Defense lawyers have long argued that Mr. Christie, a Republican, and his top advisers were well aware of the lane closings and that they directed the cover-up as they tried to protect the governor’s political aspirations — saying their clients were “thrown under the presidential bus,” as one lawyer argued on Monday.

    But this was the first time a prosecutor had pointed a finger at Mr. Christie. And it directly contradicts the governor’s statements in the three years since the lanes were mysteriously closed, paralyzing the borough of Fort Lee, N.J.

    Mr. Christie, a former top federal prosecutor in New Jersey, has consistently denied that he knew about the lane closings as they unfolded, and argued that the United States attorney’s office had “exonerated” him when it declined to indict him along with the defendants now standing trial.

    The prosecutor, speaking for the United States attorney’s office, said that two of the alleged co-conspirators in the case, David Wildstein and Bill Baroni, had “bragged” to the governor about the lane closings at a memorial service for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, on the third day of the closings, and that they had been done to “mess” with Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee, a Democrat, because he had declined entreaties to endorse the governor’s re-election. Mr. Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly, who were close allies of Mr. Christie, are the two defendants in the trial.

    Mr. Wildstein and Mr. Baroni boasted to Mr. Christie that panicked phone calls from Mr. Sokolich, pleading that the lane closings were a “public safety emergency,” were deliberately being ignored, the prosecutor said.


    The prosecutor, Vikas Khanna, quickly moved to quell any curiosity the jury might have about why Mr. Christie was not charged in the plot.

    “The evidence may show that others could have, should have, perhaps known certain aspects of what was going on in Fort Lee,” he said. “Perhaps you will even wonder what happened to those people. But at the end of this case the only issue for you to decide is whether Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni are guilty of the crimes with which they are charged beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s it.”

    Defense lawyers quickly seized on his comments in their own opening statements.

    Michael Critchley, a lawyer for Ms. Kelly, a former deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, said: “We know who they’re talking about. They’re talking about Governor Christie. They’re talking about Kevin O’Dowd.” (Mr. O’Dowd was the governor’s chief of staff at the time of the closings.)

    A spokesman for Mr. Christie, Brian Murray, responding to the prosecutor’s assertion, referred reporters on Monday to statements the governor made in 2014, in which he said he had not known about the plan to close the lanes. Mr. Murray declined to address whether the governor knew about the closings while they were happening.

    The office of the United States attorney, Paul J. Fishman, declined to comment on why the governor was not charged, but Mr. Fishman has said in the past that merely knowing is not a federal crime.

    Mr. Christie was intimately woven into the story both sides told in the packed courtroom on Monday.

    Prosecutors and defense lawyers alike described an administration tightly controlled by the governor, one that worked hand-in-hand with his re-election campaign to trade favors for endorsements. The governor was trying to win a big and broad margin of victory, and to win over Democratic mayors like Mr. Sokolich, so he could make the case that he was the Republican best able to win the White House.

    Mr. Khanna said Mr. Baroni covered up the lane closings because “this was something that was important to Trenton.”

    He added, “Trenton: the governor’s office.”

    Mr. Baroni’s lawyer, Michael Baldassare, later told the jury it would be hearing a lot about Trenton. “Trenton, Trenton, Trenton; Trenton is the governor,” he said. “Let’s make no mistake. Open a dictionary: Trenton, the governor.”

    The details of the plot that Mr. Khanna laid out are largely familiar by now — that Ms. Kelly sent an email in August 2013 saying “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” after confirming that the mayor of that borough would not endorse Mr. Christie. A month later, two of three access lanes to the George Washington Bridge were shut down. Mr. Baroni, then the highest-ranking official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the bridge, studiously ignored the mayor as he pleaded by text, email and a handwritten letter for the agency to reopen the lanes.

    Mr. Critchley, Ms. Kelly’s lawyer, said Mr. Christie and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York developed a strategy to cover up the lane closings as soon as they ended, and executed it through official statements over the next several weeks, lying that the closings had been a “traffic study.”

    Mr. Critchley characterized their strategy as one that sought not to “inflame the issue.”

    “The idea that they — the governors of New Jersey and New York — they’re going to let a single mother of four control the future is also crazy,” he added, referring to Ms. Kelly.

    A spokesman for Mr. Cuomo flatly denied that he had any involvement. “The governor did not have any role — direct or indirect — in any press statements regarding the purported traffic study,” he said.
     
  2. bennymuso

    bennymuso Italian by name, British by nature

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    Have another doughnut christie.
     
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  3. Gogol Boobdello

    Gogol Boobdello Well-Known Member

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  4. crazypreacher

    crazypreacher Hey yo

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    Trump distanced himself from frontbutt long ago. Nice try though.
     
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  5. HS Cult Leader

    HS Cult Leader Elite Member Gold

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    Lets throw this guy in jail for knowing about lane closures that caused a traffic jam, but let a highly corrupt woman that broke the most sensitive federal security laws in the thousands of counts off because "she didn't have intent" :facepalm:
     
  6. diggitydank1968

    diggitydank1968 Well-Known Member

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    What planet are you living on? He is still one of Trump's surrogates. Still shilling for him as of yesterday. Get a grip.
     
  7. crazypreacher

    crazypreacher Hey yo

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    Surrogates? Is that what that gut is? That's a scandal.
     
  8. diggitydank1968

    diggitydank1968 Well-Known Member

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    Jail is not an option. He was not charged. He will have to explain why he lied to his constituents and they will likely want him impeached. In other words, he fits right in with the Cheeto Jesus crowd.
     
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  9. HS Cult Leader

    HS Cult Leader Elite Member Gold

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    I guess the crack investigation team at "Late Night with No Ratings" must have missed this??


    It’s one person’s word against another on the birther rumor

    By David Goldstein
    WASHINGTON

    September 19, 2016 7:35 PM


    It’s still one person’s word against another. While emails show that Hillary Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal did share story tips about Barack Obama with McClatchy’s former bureau chief James Asher, the emails aren’t conclusive that Blumenthal was the source of the “birther” tip.

    Asher says he recalls the conversation clearly, and a former McClatchy reporter recalls being asked to check out the birther rumors. Blumenthal denies it all.


    The issue came to light Friday when Donald Trump accused Clinton of starting the “birther” conspiracy story, which alleged Obama was born in Kenya, when the two were competing for the 2008 Democratic nomination. The Clinton campaign has denied any role in the birther conspiracy. The campaign did fire one aide who talked about the issue in an email. Several fact checks have debunked Clinton’s involvement.

    Trump championed the birther issue for years. Only last Friday did he acknowledge that Obama was born in the United States.

    Asher said Friday and repeated on Monday that Blumenthal did spread the story to him, and that he assigned a reporter to check it out. Blumenthal, who did not have a formal role in the campaign in 2008, denies Asher’s account.

    Shashank Bengali, who was the McClatchy bureau chief in Nairobi in 2008, confirmed Monday that Asher asked him to look into Obama’s background.

    He said he did report on several tips as well as the false rumor that Obama was born there, and not in Hawaii. Candidates for president must be native born.

    “Jim asked me to look into Obama’s ties to Kenya and sent a number of tips to check out and one of the things I looked into was the unfounded rumor that Obama was born in Kenya,” Bengali said, speaking from Afghanistan where he was on assignment for the Los Angeles Times, where he now works. “I don’t have any specific knowledge where that tip would have come from. Jim’s instructions were just to look at everything.”

    McClatchy has not been able to reach Blumenthal for comment. He worked for both President Bill Clinton and more recently for the Clintons’ charitable foundation.

    He told Fox News on Saturday: “This is false. Never happened. Period. Donald Trump cannot distract from the inescapable fact that he is the one who embraced and promoted the racist birther lie and bears the responsibility for it.”

    In an email in 2008, Asher forwarded to Bengali an email he had received from Blumenthal: “Jim: On Kenya, your person in the field might look into the impact there of Obama’s public comments about his father. I’m told by State Dept officials that Obama publicly derided his father on his visit there and that was regarded as embarrassing and crossing the line by Kenyans for whom respect for elders (especially the father, especially a Muslim father, in a patrilineal society) is considered sacrosanct. Sidney”

    In a statement to McClatchy on Monday, Asher said:

    “Blumenthal visited the Washington Bureau of McClatchy, where he and I met in my office. During that conversation and in subsequent communications, we discussed a number of matters related to Obama. He encouraged McClatchy to do stories related to Obama and his connections to Kenya.”

    Asher said that as far as the “birther” issue, he has “nothing in writing,” but that he recalls the conversation. He has been tweeting about his accusations against Blumenthal since March. He also cited an email Monday from Bengali, who wrote: “What I remember is that you told me to look into everything about Obama’s family in Kenya. I can’t recall if we specifically discussed the birther claim, but I’m sure that was part of what I researched.”
     
    diggitydank1968 likes this.
  10. crazypreacher

    crazypreacher Hey yo

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    Or scum NY/NJ crowd, but tomatoes tomatos, right?
     
  11. RaeRae

    RaeRae VIP Extreme Gold

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    He's filling in for Boomer Esiason on Boomer & Carton this morning. :rolleyes:
     
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  12. whogivesa

    whogivesa Well-Known Member

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    This thread makes me wish I had picked "Tubby Chum" for my user name.
     
  13. The Snork

    The Snork Well-Known Member VIP Gold

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    The Feds still prosecute politicians? I guess as long as they're Republicans.
     
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  14. jrstinkfish

    jrstinkfish The Slow Adult VIP

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    I thought he was the head of Trump's "transition team" too.
     
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  15. Austinchota

    Austinchota Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  16. wife is a whore

    wife is a whore Stripped of POTY for butthurting staff VIP

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    He won't be impeached. He was already exonerated and next year NJ will be electing a new Gov, because his 2nd term will be coming to a close.
     
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  17. Austinchota

    Austinchota Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, we'll go back to a Democrat and stupid guns laws will get signed & a lot of my stuff will have to go to PA. Fuckers...
     
  18. wife is a whore

    wife is a whore Stripped of POTY for butthurting staff VIP

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    And you won't hear shit about underfunded pensions, cause the Dems will stop making payments again, while they give the teachers' union more money on paper.
     
  19. Austinchota

    Austinchota Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. I gotta get outta here...
     
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  20. bluedevil30

    bluedevil30 Well-Known Member

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    The only people in NJ who care about this issue are the unions and Liberal media who hate Christie.
     
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