Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) accused New Jersey Democrats of undertaking a “partisan witch hunt” against Gov. Chris Christie (R) with their investigation into documents suggesting top aides to Christie caused a traffic jam on the George Washington bridge last year as political retribution.
Giuliani took exception with New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who is spearheading the bridge probe, who told NBC News that he believed it was “hard to really accept” Christie’s statement that he was unaware of his staff’s actions.
"These people travel with him, these people discuss things with him every single day,” Wisniewski said. “This is not an isolated, unknown story. ... He knew there was an investigation. He knew people were looking at it, and his senior staff was involved [and] he expects us to believe he knew nothing? I just find that implausible."
Giuliani said that he believes that, because of the comments, Wisniewski could not conduct a fair investigation.
“When you announce before you're even investigated you don't believe the subject of the investigation or the person who's the ultimate focus of the investigation, it would seem to me the assemblyman has an ethical obligation to step down, to recuse himself,” he said. “He's no longer an impartial arbiter of the facts.”
Giuliani added that there were “no facts on the table” contradicting Christie’s claims that he did not know about the incident.
“It gives it no sense of credibility and it clearly was a partisan witch hunt,” Giuliani said.
Democratic National Committee spokesman Michael Czin defended Wisniewski in a statement, and criticized Christie’s office for circulating Giuliani’s comments calling for his recusal.
“If it had not been for the New Jersey legislature’s methodical work, Chris Christie would have the public believe that his office had nothing to do with the lane closures,” Czin said. “Not surprisingly, the legislator Christie launched an attack against today is one of the very people who found the truth that Christie ignored for four months.”
--This post was updated at 1:39 p.m.