TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey legislative committee investigating whether Republican Gov. Chris Christie had any connection to the 2013 lane closures at the George Washington Bridge has voted along party lines to release an interim report on the probe.
The report says there is no conclusive evidence showing Christie played a role in the scheme to close lanes or knew about it as it happened. The vote approving the release of the report comes as Republicans assail the committee's work and after the contents of the report were leaked in the media last week.
Hours before the panel met to discuss the interim report Monday, Republicans released a 119-page report accusing the Democratic-controlled committee of wasting millions of taxpayer dollars to promote "political fiction."
"With unfettered power, Democrat Select Committee co-chairs ran up exorbitant public costs, while providing little or no benefit to the residents of New Jersey," the statement said. "They proved to be some of the most-partisan elected officials in modern times, using public resources to apparently carry out a national Democrat mission to destroy a popular Republican governor all the while advancing their own political ambitions."
The report, signed by state Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R) and state Assembly Members Michael Patrick Carroll (R), Holly T. Schepisi (R) and Amy Handlin (R), was presented to the New Jersey attorney general’s office Monday to investigate "any possible criminal violations or civil charges."
State Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D), the panel's co-chair, defended the investigation as "a shining example of how American democracy and checks and balances are supposed to work" during a committee meeting Monday.
"[It] may well serve as a great example, perhaps the greatest example, of legislative oversight in our state's history," Wisniewski added, according to NJ.com.