Chris Christie Knew About George Washington Bridge Closures, Letter Claims

01/31/2014 04:36 pm ET | Updated Jan 31, 2014

The attorney of a former Port Authority official who oversaw the George Washington Bridge lane closures has sent a letter claiming that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) was aware of the closures.

The New York Times obtained a copy of the document from Alan Zegas, lawyer of David Wildstein, which was sent to the Port Authority. The letter alleges that the lane closures were the "Christie administration’s order” and that evidence exists that is "contrary" to Christie's Jan. 9 press conference, where he claimed he was unaware.

In addition, the letter also states that “Mr. Wildstein contests the accuracy of various statements that the governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some." The letter makes no reference as to what those inaccuracies may be, or even if they are related to the George Washington Bridge scandal.

While Wildstein's allegation is potentially explosive, it is worth noting that he is currently seeking a plea deal. The letter was written in part to ask the Port Authority to pay his legal fees.

"I would request that you kindly reconsider the decision the Port Authority's decision to deny Mr. Wildstein payment of his legal fees and indemnification."

(View the full letter, via the New York Times)

Christie denied three weeks ago that he was aware of any of the lane closures, expressing how "sad" and "heartbroken" he was by the betrayal carried out by various aides. Wildstein was the recipient of an infamous Aug. 13, 2013 email from fired Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly, which read "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."

UPDATE (5:50 p.m. ET) -- Per TIME's Zeke Miller, Christie's office released the following statement in response:

"Mr. Wildstein's lawyer confirms what the Governor has said all along - he had absolutely no prior knowledge of the lane closures before they happened and whatever Mr. Wildstein's motivations were for closing them to begin with. As the Governor said in a December 13th press conference, he only first learned lanes were closed when it was reported by the press and as he said in his January 9th press conference, had no indication that this was anything other than a traffic study until he read otherwise the morning of January 8th. The Governor denies Mr. Wildstein's lawyer's assertions."

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