Josh Marshall – TPM:
As noted earlier, we sent Eric Kleefeld down to the Elizabeth, New Jersey police department headquarters to get the police report on gubernatorial Chris Christie’s wrong-way collision with a motorcyclist back in 2002. And here’s Eric’s write-up on the report.
But just a few moments ago, another big development surfaced — an apparent lie about the accident Christie was caught in by New Jersey public television station NJN.
One of the things that made us most curious about this was that Christie’s negligence (he was driving the wrong direction on a one-way street) seemed so clear that we were wondering whether the accident didn’t lead to a lawsuit.
Earlier today, NJN asked Christie whether the accident had led to a lawsuit. And Christie said, point blank, no.
But a few hours after getting Christie’s flat denial, NJN found records of a 2004 suit, which appears to have been later settled out of court.
We’re going to keep on this and see what more we can find out. But this looks about as close as you can find to a straight up, caught red-handed lie by Christie.
“He did identify himself as U.S. attorney,” Cosgrove said…..
Asked whether Christie’s job title factored into the officer’s decision, Cosgove said, “I don’t think I want to make that kind of deduction, but I think the facts speak for themselves.”
Chris Christie’s past just keeps looking better and better to the Corzine camp. It seems that whenever Christie got himself into any trouble, he just had to envoke the name of the US attorney’s office and the position he held there to get out of any trouble.
Last night it was confirmed by the Star-Ledger
, that Christie was not issued a traffic ticket after his BMW sedan was involeved in a traffic incident with a motorcyclist while speeding towards the swearing-in of the new Union County prosecutor in july of 2002:
Details about the accident came to light today as Democrats continue to hammer Christie over his driving record and accuse him of misusing his office as a federal prosecutor.
“This was an unfortunate accident and just like a lot of us, Chris knows he can always be a better driver,” said Maria Comella, a campaign spokeswoman.
Christie was driving a rented BMW sedan and apparently had lost his way when he attempted to turn right onto a street that was one-way in the other direction, according to the police report. A motorcyclist, Andre Mendonca of Elizabeth, was riding towards Christie, and both men saw one another and put on the brakes, police said. Christie’s vehicle came to a stop, and the motorcycle then “fell on its side and slid into his vehicle,” according to the police report.
Mendonca was taken by ambulance to University Hospital in Newark, Cosgrove said. He said he did not know the extent of Mendonca’s injuries or “the seriousness of the condition.” Mendonca could not be reached for comment tonight.