NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Former U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, who was recently ousted by President Donald Trump, is opening about the Bridgegate case.
Three ex-Christie allies have been convicted or pleaded guilty in the plot to cause traffic jams at the George Washington Bridge to punish a mayor for not endorsing Gov. Chris Christie during his 2013 reelection bid.
Christie was never charged nor were members of his statehouse inner circle. The governor has often said he’s been cleared in the probe, but Fishman begs to differ.
“We don’t actually say people didn’t do something, we don’t say that they’re innocent,” Fishman told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell, adding that just because Christie wasn’t charged, it doesn’t mean the governor was cleared. “We bring cases when we have sufficient evidence to prove people guilty, and we don’t when we don’t.”
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Fishman dismisses the notion that all the so-called “big fish” got away.
“Bill Baroni was the deputy director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, it is a multi-billion dollar agency and he was he second-highest ranking full-time employee of that agency,” Fishman said. “Bridget Kelly was a deputy chief of staff to the governor.”
“I think when people look at the case they forget how high ranking all of those people were and the significant responsible jobs that those people had in government,” he added. “I’m not disappointed, we followed the evidence… we brought cases against the people as to whom we had sufficient evidence to prove them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, I’m gratified that the jury saw it the same way that we did.”
Haskell also asked Fishman how he feels about comments Christie, a former U.S. attorney himself, recently made about seeing the office restored to its past success.
“I’m not sure how the governor measures success, if he has been paying attention to and reading about the cases we brought during the seven and a half years I was U.S. attorney I’m sure he would know that the cases we brought were as significant and important and resonant as any cases ever brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this district across the board,” Fishman said. “I can only assume that some of the decisions I made as United States Attorney and some of the decisions I had to make as United States Attorney made him a little uncomfortable but when he takes a slap at the success of my tenure he’s really taking a slap at the success of the people who do the work, and the work that they did from where I sit was extraordinary.”