New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew of politically motivated George Washington Bridge lane closings as they were happening, says a lawyer for the former port authority official blamed for the politically motivated incident.
A letter from David Wildstein's attorney says "evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the Governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference he gave immediately before Mr. Wildstein was scheduled to appear before the Transportation Committee."
"Mr. Wildstein contests the accuracy of various statements that the governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some," the letter also reads.
The letter, from attorney Alan Zegas and addressed to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, seeks a reconsideration of the authority's decision to not pay Wildstein's legal fees. The letter was first reported by the New York Times.
A spokesman for the governor said a statement would be released shortly.
Zegas' letter sent shock waves through New Jersey's political community, with one veteran pundit saying the revelation was a "bombshell."
"Most of us who have watched this governor over the past several weeks anticipated this, given his demeanor has been rather un-Christie-like," said Brigid Callahan Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University.
Wildstein has been central in the probe into the lane closings, which occurred in September and snarled traffic in Fort Lee for hours over a period of four days. The closings led some Democrats to say the incident was meant as political retribution because the Fort Lee mayor declined to endorse Christie's re-election bid.
Originally, Wildstein, Christie and others claimed the closings were the result of a traffic study, but emails released earlier this month showed the closings were discussed between Wildstein and Christie Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly in August.
Christie said he fired Kelly and cut ties to Bill Stepien, who ran his 2009 and 2013 campaigns, and insisted during an extraordinary Jan. 9 news conference that he was "blindsided" by the content of the e-mails.