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Wisniewski on Christie’s claim of collusion between NJ, national Dems: ‘utter nonsense’

August 4, 2016 GMT

A Democratic lawmaker says two reviews of his emails show no proof exists to support Governor Christie’s charge that the Democratic National Committee coordinated with legislators in their investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closures.

On Tuesday, Christie called on Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, and Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Teaneck, to release their email correspondence with the committee since 2014.

Christie’s claims of collusion came after revelations that Weinberg and the national committee communicated about a news release critical of Christie when he was named chairman of the transition team for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. In a State House news conference, Christie speculated that the two lawmakers – two of the most outspoken critics of the governor - likely coordinated with the national committee while they chaired a legislative panel investigating the lane closures.

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Wisniewski first called it “utter nonsense” for Christie to demand that he release his emails.

On Thursday, Wisniewski’s office announced that it had the his email account searched.

A review by the Office of Legislative for “any communication” between the committee and Wisniewski from September 2013, when the lane closures took effect, to December 2015 “found none,” chief of staff Timothy O’Donovan said.

“Assemblyman Wisniewski also asked his computer services firm to conduct the same search of his personal emails. As the Assemblyman had previously stated, having served as a member of the Democratic National Committee from 2008 until last week, he has had numerous email communications with the DNC during the period in question. A review of the substance of those emails, however, found none relevant to the conduct of the legislative investigation into the closing of traffic lanes at the George Washington Bridge.”

Christie’s charge of collusion with the committee came after the media organization Wikileaks released nearly 20,000 emails showing that the Democratic committee acted in favor of Hillary Clinton and against her primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Included in the email release was correspondence between Weinberg and a committee staffer on a press release critical of Christie.

Weinberg acknowledged on Tuesday that she had communicated with the committee. She had legislative services search her email that day, and, according to her, it found none related to the bridge scandal.

In addition to demanding they release their emails, Christie strongly suggested prosecutors investigate whether there had been any criminal activity by the two Democrats.

Christie’s office did not respond to an email Thursday seeking comment.

Email: racioppi@northjersey.com

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